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If your home does not have rain gutters, do you need them? This question may arise when you purchase a home. Or it may arise when the lack of rain gutters has caused problems. What you need to know first of all is what rain gutters do and what sorts of problems they prevent. This article should help you answer the question, “Do I need rain gutters on my house?”
The purpose of house gutters is to carry rainwater or snowmelt away from the sides of your home. The gutter catches water as it runs off of the roof and carries it to drains or downspouts. The downspout or drain carries the water away from the sides of your home.
Why do you need gutters? Rain gutters are important because they help prevent foundations from eroding, prevent obvious erosion around your home, prevent damage to landscaping, and keep water from damaging the exterior and siding of your home.
Do houses need gutters in extremely arid climates? The infrequent rain that you get will not be likely to cause the sort of water damage that gutters are designed to prevent. Thus, many homes do not have rain gutters and the homeowner does not need to worry about the necessary upkeep for gutters.
The other reason for not having rain gutters is that the design of your roof takes care of runoff issues. A steep slope to your roof keeps snow from accumulating and reduces the normal spring runoff from your roof. And, when the roof overhang is longer than usual, water already falls farther away from the base of your home which is what you use a rain gutter and downspout for anyway. Unfortunately, this does not help protect landscaping or your yard!
If your home was built in the late 19th or early 20th century, it probably does not have rain gutters unless they were installed later. Rain gutters were not common until the middle of the 20thcentury. On the other hand, your older home may have a steep pitch to its roof and longer overhangs. Are gutters necessary for an old home? Ask yourself, why do houses have gutters? If your roof design, climate, and other factors are such that you never have problems, house gutters may not be necessary. When in doubt, ask a roofer for their opinion.
If you don’t have rain gutters, discuss with a roofer. You may or may not need them and, if you do, you will want them installed to accomplish the goals of protecting your foundation, siding, home exterior, and yard.
When does a house need gutters? If you need rain gutters, you will have one or more of these problems.
If your basement floods when you get a heavy rain it may be because you have no gutters. However, if the slope around your home directs water back toward the house, that could be an issue as well. The cure, in this case, is to direct and extend the downspouts or drains beyond the sloped area. The point is that you don’t want runoff to fall right at the base of your home from where it easily enters your home.
If your foundation has small pores or cracks, they can let water into your home when it pools up against the house. Delivering the water away from your home with gutters and downspouts can prevent that pooling.
When your siding never dries out it can accumulate mold and rot. Siding is designed to protect against wind and rain but not against water running down like a river from above. Water gets trapped behind the siding and it deteriorates. Not only does this damage your home but it is a health risk to your family as well. If you need to replace your siding, make sure to take care of your rain gutter problem first.
A sure sign that you need house gutters and drains or downspouts is when you can see the erosion of soil at the base of your foundation and out into the landscaping. You can fill in these areas but, without rain gutters, you will need to do so again and again. And, you are probably getting damage to your foundation as well and you do not want to just cover that up and ignore it!
If your home has any of the above problems, contact a roofer to check out your options. You might also like to use the services of a home design company like Hearts at Home. And, do so before the next big storm causes even more trouble.
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