Why You Need Gutters: Don’t Learn the Hard Way

You probably don’t spend much time thinking about your gutters. They are easily forgettable and don’t attract much attention. At least not when they are functioning correctly. If they ever fail, however, you will quickly realize just how much your home needs them.

Gutters play a fundamental role in keeping your house safe and sound. They let your roof and yard drainage system function properly and move water away from your home without causing damage. Here are some of the reasons gutters are a vital component of your roofing system:

Protect Your Foundation

Without gutters, all the rain that hits your roof’s surface runs off the roof’s edge, creating a small waterfall. This water lands with significant force at the base of your home. It doesn’t take long before that leads to considerable erosion. Erosion can damage your foundation or wear away the soil around it. Either of those conditions can quickly lead to expensive foundation problems.
Your gutter system directs that water out and away from your home and its foundation, preventing damage.

Preserve your landscaping

In the same way, runoff damages your foundation, and it can ruin your lawn, landscaping, or decorative planting beds. Water landing in a focused area as it cascades off the roof will create a trough in the dirt below. This water can also kill your lawn or damage whatever plant material bears the brunt of the water. It can also create an uneven surface. Trenches created by the force of falling water can be hard to spot in tall grass, but if you catch one wrong and lose your footing, you’ll be painfully aware of their existence.

All that water collecting in one small area can also cause rot or other issues for growing plants. Most landscaping plants aren’t designed to grow or thrive in a swamp, but with a high volume of water dumped on them repeatedly, that’s the situation they have to endure. Just as an overwatered houseplant dies, so will outdoor plants constantly inundated with runoff. Your gutters spread the water and slow the force with which it hits the ground, protecting your plants.

Keep Driveways and Sidewalks Sound

By diverting runoff to the ground instead of driveways and sidewalks, your gutter system prevents stains, erosion, and cracking of your paved surfaces. Repeated assaults from high-velocity falling water will damage or destroy the concrete or asphalt surfaces that provide beauty and functionality to your home.

It may seem like these hardscape elements of your home are solid enough that water shouldn’t affect them. And they will certainly stand up against some water. But the effects of runoff accumulate over time, eventually leading to soil erosion under the driveway, causing cracking or wear-down of the sidewalk where it is hit repeatedly with falling water.

Water adequately directed away from sidewalks and driveways also avoids unsightly staining or mold.

Save your Basement

If a runoff isn’t directed away from your home, it quickly filters through the saturated soil that sits against the buried foundation walls of your home. Eventually, it will make its way into your basement. Whether that’s a sudden influx of water or slow seepage through the walls, this will damage your house.

Mold, mildew, unpleasant odors, and destroyed structural features are all possibilities when water gets into your basement. You may also have to deal with ruined carpets, damaged furniture, or destroyed finishes. Using a gutter system to carry water away from your home can prevent these issues.

A wet basement is more than just an annoyance. It can be expensive, time-consuming, and stressful to repair. It can even be hazardous to your family’s health. Thankfully, a properly installed gutter system can help keep your basement dry.

Prolong Your Siding’s Life

While siding protects your home from water, it isn’t intended to withstand a waterfall. But that’s exactly what it has to do if it must bear the constant onslaught of all the water that runs off our roof.

Your siding may become home to mold or mildew if it is constantly wet due to water running off the roof. Not only is that unsightly, but it can also decrease the lifespan of the siding. Without gutters, you can expect to clean your siding more often and replace it more frequently. You may also have to deal with water getting behind the siding. That can damage your home’s structure, drywall, flooring, and furnishings.

Even if you are only vaguely aware of their existence, your gutters are working hard to protect your home, roof, yard, and family. Treat them with the respect they deserve, maintaining them and keeping them free from buildup. You don’t want to learn the hard way about all the things that can go wrong without your gutter system. If you aren’t sure your gutter systems are functioning properly, residential roofing contractors can perform a roof inspection to ensure your roof and gutters are doing their job correctly.

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Why You Need Gutters: Don't Learn the Hard Way