Should you say “yes” or “no” to rain gutters? That’s a million-dollar question! Why? Because although residential gutters are considered vital in most cases, they are not always necessary. They are not mandatory by the law either. But if you need them and don’t get them, you will likely face main home damage.
It’s always best to consult a local gutter service contractor before you take such serious decisions, whether you renovate or are in the process of construction. To give you an idea of how vital (or not) gutters are to homes, let’s lay some facts on the table.
Understanding the purpose of rain gutters
The main function of rain gutters is to facilitate the rainwater flow; to channel the water off the roof, away from the house.
When it rains, the water ends up in the gutters, follows the channel and finds itself in the downspout and on the ground. Without the gutters, the water will lick the fascia, the soffit, the exterior walls. It will pool around the building’s foundation, threating its integrity.
And so, we understand that the installation of gutters is necessary. No more wondering why you should spend money on gutters or even guard gutter installation! The answer is staring you at the face. Gutters protect homes.
Let’s take it a bit further.
When gutters are necessary?
• Not all gutters are created equal. Neither are roofs. Whether you need to invest in a gutter installation or not is primarily based on the roof style, its pitch. You may not need gutters all over the roof though, especially if the slopes are really steep. But you will need rain gutters at the lower slopes, where the rainwater will end up and must be channeled away from the structure.
• Homes need gutters when they are located in areas which experience heavy rainfall, storms, etc. In such areas, the faster the rainwater is channeled away from the home, off the roof, the better. That’s important, especially if the roof doesn’t have very steep slopes.
• Gutters play a significant role when there is limited or even, no overhang. In such buildings, homes without gutters will take risks. The water will easily pool around the foundation – eventually, threatening the structure’s integrity.
• Rain gutters are also necessary if the home has a pier foundation. In such cases, constant and heavy rain that will keep the soil in the foundation wet most time of the year may result in shifting the piers and thus, threatening the structure.
• You’ll have similar problems if the home is built at the end of a slope. In this case, your landscape – or at least, one or more sides of the home, will slope upwards. Rainwater will pool in these areas and won’t only affect the building’s foundation but likely the basement too.
In which cases rain gutters are NOT necessary?
• If there is a large overhang.
• If the landscape is sloped downwards.
• If there’s no soil around the foundation but concrete or any material that keep waters from soaking the structure.
• If you live in a location that hardly ever rains.
How should you take the right decision: gutters or no gutters?
Let’s face it. Nobody likes the idea of gutter cleaning. It’s nasty, time-consuming, and must be done quite often. And who wouldn’t want to avoid the expense of gutters, the expense of their installation, and the expense of gutter repairs?
On the other hand, there are some considerations, even in the cases where the gutters are not (absolutely) necessary. For example, you need to see how long the long overhang is! And does water really runoff away from the home? And then, in locations where it doesn’t rain often, it still rains some. Wouldn’t you want rainwater getting as far away from your house? Think of those things. Sleep on these things. And talk with an expert gutter service company before you take any decision.