Are Gutters Necessary?
Updated: Jan 19, 2022
Rain gutters (eaves trough for those of you up north) on your house serve an important purpose. They are installed to catch and collect the rainwater as it falls from your home’s roof line and direct it to points around your property that will best handle the drainage. Ideally, the downspouts would be placed where there is some downhill slope on the property; however in some cases extending the downspouts above ground, burying underground drainage, or consulting a landscaping drainage professional may be needed to help carry the water further from the home. Obviously different parts of the country receive different amounts of rainfall and also have different types of soil which will affect the drainage. If you live somewhere with either very sandy soil with great absorption or somewhere with very little rainfall, then a gutter system may not be as critical.
On some homes, where soil drainage may not be an issue, there may still be portions of the home’s eave that will require guttering. For instance, if your main entry door receives the bulk of the rainwater, that would not be an ideal situation, as you're trying to let yourself in with a load of groceries during a downpour. If standing water (and ice) on paved sidewalks and driveways will be a slipping hazard, then attempts to redirect that water with a run of gutter is definitely advisable. The home's roof design is also a factor. A small straight section of roof might handle light rainfall fairly well, but a larger roof, with a steeper pitch and valleys that channel multiple roof facets into a concentrated stream can make that same light rainfall seem more like a heavy downpour. A properly sized gutter and downspout to capture that runoff and direct it where your landscaping can handle it the best, can bring some peace of mind, with a storm raging outside.
For most parts of the United States and certainly for most here in Central North Carolina, having a serviceable gutter system installed on your home or business is necessary. Of course, we think a well installed set of gutters look great too, and can even be an affordable way to add some new curb appeal and freshen up your exterior.