The gutters attached to your home serve different functions to protect it. These may be a simple fixture that runs along the roof of your house, but without them, your home may be more vulnerable to rain and snow, depending on where you live.
If you’re wondering, “Are gutters necessary?” keep reading to find out what they’re for and in what instances they may be needed or not needed to help a house function.
What Are Gutters on a House For?
The primary function of rain gutters is water management. This is especially important during a rain or snow storm because the gutters will guide the water flow coming from your roof. They divert it away from your home through the downspout.
Gutters that are well maintained protect against future moisture and roof issues. Without a gutter system, leaves and other smaller debris would get trapped on your roof. This causes water to stagnate and overflow. The most significant consequence of this is rotting, leaks, and further costly damage to your home.
If you have a basement in your home, gutters also prevent water from settling around the perimeter. The water that overflows from the roof can seep into the foundation of your house and slowly rot and weaken the structure without gutters.
Now that you know what gutters are for, it’s time to find the answer to the main question: “Are gutters necessary?”
Do You Need Gutters?
It’s easy for homeowners to neglect their gutters. They’re a part of the home that hardly stands out against the features that add personality, like the paint or windows. Unless we see the water rushing down the drain during a storm, most people hardly notice the gutter is even there. Although they may not stand out, they play an essential role in maintaining your house.
A little buildup of water sounds like it wouldn’t hurt, especially if you live in an area that experiences moderate rainy days during the year. While you may get away with less gutter maintenance in dry, hot climates, they’re still going to come in contact with water at some point.
So far, we’ve covered some of the reasons gutters are on a house to begin with. Now it’s time to dig further into the question, “Are gutters necessary?”. For a home to function correctly, no matter where it’s located, it needs an efficient gutter system. Even water that gently falls onto your rooftop needs a place to go.
They also do more than protect your home during a storm. Water builds up as it runs down to create a powerful surge. If this rush of water isn’t diverted, it can hammer down into the ground near your foundation. Heavy streams of water building up along the foundation will erode the soil, seep into the foundation, and increase the chances of structural instability in the basement or bottom of your home.
When Are Gutters Needed?
There are surprisingly many ways gutters help protect your home and even the neighborhood. So when you consider why are gutters necessary, they go beyond just diverting rainwater.
As they safely divert stormwater away from your foundation, they also prevent water from creating pathways across your yard that lead into your neighbor’s yard. This is a problem because it can destroy their property or the space between your homes through erosion by creating ditches, pooling in low-lying areas, and killing various types of vegetation. Try explaining to your neighbor that you killed their favorite rose bush because you don’t have a gutter.
In many places that experience average to above-average rainfall each year, the question “are gutters necessary?” wouldn’t even come up because they are frequently seen in use. For the most part, having them attached to your home does more good than harm. They are especially useful for homes in areas where the ground is sloped. Most roofers will suggest you have them.
When Are Gutters Not Necessary?
You now have your answers as to why these systems are important. But are gutters necessary for everyone? No — there are cases when having one may not be essential.
Some roof types don’t need a gutter system because they provide a significant overhang that directs water away from the house without one. In this case, installing a gutter system will lead to a complex operation that may create problems that wouldn’t exist otherwise. Depending on the aesthetic of the home, extending the roof may be more useful and attractive.
Homes located in areas with little to no snow or rainfall don’t necessarily need them. It doesn’t hurt to have them, but they won’t be required to reroute water and slush from your roof every year. Their primary duty is to protect the home from water damage over time. If water isn’t a common issue, then water damage isn’t a threat.
A home built at the top of a hill or where the ground slopes away from the property also won’t need this system as much as a home where the ground slopes toward it. The rain will naturally flow away from the house, following the ground that also points away from the home.
There are also gutter-less options to choose from if you feel strongly about not having one installed. You can discuss the available options with your roofer if you want to find an alternative way to redirect rainwater off your roof and away from your home. This is a common option for homes where the lines or aesthetics of a traditional drainage system don’t match up.
Using Gutters to Protect Your Home
Whether you choose to have a gutter system installed on your home or not, it serves the essential duty of keeping your home safe and clean after rain and snow storms. Whether they’re necessary depends on your home and where it’s located. It’s important to remember that if you have them, keeping them well maintained is essential for them to function. Otherwise, it’s like not having them at all.