Does your roof need gutters? The short answer: probably, but not always. It may seem quite strange to see a house without gutters, but every once in a while you might see one. Whether your home needs gutters depends on the build of your home, where your home is, and whether your home experiences water-related issues. Here’s everything you need to know about gutters or gutter installation.
WHAT DO GUTTERS DO?
Gutters control the water that hits your roof. Guiding it into a single flow that moves away from your home. Without gutters, it's conceivable that water will overflow and will develop around your home, getting into the interior and causing water leaks after some time. Gutters can't move water away except if they're cleaned—and damaged gutters can cause more harm than not having gutters at all since they can make a pool along your roof.
Despite moving water away, gutters can also help to prevent erosion by controlling water flow. This protects any damage around the property.
WHEN you shouldn’t need GUTTERS?
Homes that are in places that don’t experience a lot of rainfall or snow often don’t need gutters, because the amount of water falling along a roof isn’t significant enough to require them. Gutters are intended to protect against water damage over time; if there isn’t a lot of water regularly, that damage isn’t going to occur.
If a home has existed without gutters for a long time and has never experienced damage, a homeowner might assume that the home just doesn’t need gutters at all. This is a reasonable assumption, but must be backed with inspections of the property.
Homes are less likely to need gutters if the ground slopes away from them. A house on a hill is not as likely to need gutters, because the rain is naturally going to flow away. A home surrounded by concrete may also not need gutters.
WHY SHOULD YOU INSTALL GUTTERS?
Gutters, as long as they’re well-maintained, provide insurance against future roof and moisture issues. In other words, they are more likely to help than to harm. In most areas, gutters are necessary, because of the amount of rainfall. Gutters are more likely to be useful in areas where the ground slopes towards a home. Unless your roofer specifically tells you that you shouldn’t have gutters, it’s a good idea to install them.
Think about it...
It is important to note that some types of roofing may not need gutters. Roofs that have significant overhang will direct water away from the house regardless, which means your home is less likely to need gutters. A significant overhang also means that installing gutters could potentially be a more complex operation. In some homes, the attractiveness of the home may be benefited by extending the roof rather than adding gutters. This depends on the aesthetics of the property.
There are gutter-less options for redirecting rain off of a roof as well, which can be discussed with a roofer. This is commonplace when the lines or the aesthetics of your home may not match with visible gutters.
If you have old gutters that need repair, it may be time for a consultation. Leaks or water-related issues could mean that your roof needs to be repaired or replaced, rather than your gutters. In unique situations, you may not need gutters—or it may be possible to invest in a gutter alternative.