Are Gutters Necessary?

metal gutters on a residential roof

If you own your own home, or any building really, then you know that ownership comes with a lot of responsibilities. You have to learn how to take care of the building itself, or else you’re going to run into major repairs and expensive problems later.

It’s always nice when a simple solution can prevent serious issues down the road, and that brings us to gutters.

You might be wondering whether gutters are necessary for your building. The short answer is yes.

If you want the longer answer, it’s because gutters do a lot of things for your building, and the most important of them are listed below.

Protecting Your Foundation

The number one purpose of gutters is to protect your foundation. When water runs uninhibited off of every edge of your roof, it often pools and puddles right along the edges of the building. That means it pools right on top of the foundation.

That pooling can ultimately soften the ground holding the foundation and cause it to sink.

Even worse, if your building is elevated above the surroundings, then the water will run, which can cause significant erosion, and that can sink your foundation even faster.

For anyone unclear, a sinking foundation is one of the worst things that can happen to a building, and gutters are extremely effective at preventing the problem altogether. It’s why they became popular in the first place.

Controlling the Flow of Water

The foundation isn’t the only part of a home that benefits from gutters. During a significant rainstorm, your roof can collect an impressive volume of water, and since it’s elevated, that water can pick up a lot of speed when it runs off.

Uncontrolled, that water will flow wherever it wants. It can tear up flower beds, overrun trees, flood driveways, and create all kinds of problems.

Gutters very neatly collect all of the water running off of your roof, and they guide it to the location of your choice. With this, you can prevent ponds from forming in places where you don’t want them. You can prevent rivers from running in areas where they cause the most damage. 

You get to control the flow of water in general, which allows you to prevent more problems than we can hope to list here. Control is your friend in this case.

Managing Erosion

We mentioned erosion earlier, but that was in regard to the foundation. The truth is that erosion can happen anywhere that water is free to run. So even if you don’t end up with a sinking foundation, unguttered roof water often causes erosion in lawns.

Basically, the running water can wash away grass soil, flowers, or anything else that you planted on purpose.

Fixing erosion is a large, expensive undertaking. It’s certainly a lot easier to prevent the problem with a proper gutter system.

Catching Debris

Cleaning gutters is something we tend to think of as a frustrating chore, but it’s easy to overlook how the existence of that chore is actually doing you a favor. Especially when it’s stormy, debris can collect on your roof. That includes dirt and sand, leaves, branches, and other things. Without gutters, a heavy rain will wash that debris into your lawn and right around your house. The gutters catch all of that, and it makes it that much easier to control the debris.

You might be thinking that this is just changing one problem for another, but there’s one case where catching debris is extremely important: driveways. The branches and problems that your gutters prevent from emerging on your driveway can protect your tires and make driving and parking safer in your own home.

Preventing Water Damage

Something that’s easy to overlook is what happens to a building when it gets wet. Now, rain storms are aptly named. As storms, they usually include wind, and that means that no building stays perfectly dry in the rain. That much is inevitable.

But there’s a night and day difference between rainfall hitting the side of a building and the torrent of water that runs off of a roof. That difference is enough to overcome the design elements in your building that are there to prevent water damage.

To keep the lecture short, building walls are designed so that they can withstand a fair amount of water and dry out efficiently. But without gutters, you’re turning the walls of your building into a waterfall, and it’s too much. You’re going to end up with water damage.

That damage can make walls soggy. It can destroy insulation. It can compromise the integrity of the walls. More often than any of that, when the walls can’t dry out properly, they grow mold.

Gutters dramatically reduce how much water runs on your walls, and it’s enough to prevent all of these problems.

Custom Gutters With Alpine Sheet Metal Systems

Gutters are an affordable way to prevent serious and expensive problems. Best of all, you can get custom gutters that are designed and fabricated specifically for your home or building. Just contact Alpine Sheet Metal Systems, and we’ll discuss options to get your building fitted with the perfect gutters.

ASMS Sheet Metal Fabrication

About Jeff Folsom

Jeff Folsom is the founder and president of Alpine Sheet Metal Systems, a key player in North Texas’s commercial construction sector, specializing in roofing and architectural design. He also leads Alpine Roofing Construction and Alpine Thermal Imaging Systems, expanding his influence across the U.S. Residing in Dallas, Jeff enjoys travel, auto racing, and boating in his free time.

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