Does my house need gutters?

view up at gutters on a home

So… what are gutters anyway?

Does your home have gutters? If not, maybe you’ve considered having them installed by a professional gutter services company. But have you wondered just what is the function of a gutter, or are they just for looks?  Well, they’re not just for looks – they serve an important function and purpose. 

The gutter system on your home is responsible for water management off the roof. One of the most important of all gutter services is to channel the water that flows off the roof during storms and from melting ice and snow. It manages that water flow to the downspouts, which then redirects the water out and away from your home’s foundation. 

What happens if you don’t have gutters?

Without the gutter services of a gutter system, the rain that flows off the roof will pool and puddle up around the foundation of your home. It will erode the soil and seep under the foundation, eroding the soil under there, and that is only the beginning of your problems. 

Over time, as the rain and water erode the soil around your foundation, it will begin washing your landscaping away. The erosion under the foundation can cause the foundation to sink and crack. With enough cracking and sinking of the foundation, plumbing can get broken, creating another set of problems. This can all happen because your home doesn’t have gutter services installed. 

How does a gutter work?

As we described earlier, the gutter services you should get keep water moving from the roof to the downspouts. What is the difference when considering gutter vs downspout? The downspout receives water from the gutter runs and directs it away from your home’s foundation. Okay, so if all that rain is running off the roof into the gutters, why is gutter cleaning necessary?

Oh, the problems that uncleaned gutters will create are many – and they can get expensive! With gutters that are hindered by blockage, clogged, or otherwise damaged, you can expect any or all of the following: 

  • Rainwater will slide down the exterior sides of your house, damaging the siding. Wood siding is especially prone to damage – that alone is a good reason to get gutter services! 
  • Now that the siding is wet, it will begin to rot, making it attractive to critters and insects because they can get through that rotted wood. From there, they are only a few more chews closer to being inside your house.
  • That rotten, water-damaged wood becomes weak, compromising the integrity of your home. 
  • Damaged, rotten siding is attractive to larger critters too, like raccoons, squirrels, rodents, woodpeckers, and other beasties. These all will eat that water-damaged siding and the roof rafters, creating nests and breeding during the process. 
  • When your gutter services are blocked by ice, leaves, snow, or twigs, it causes the water to back up under the roofing shingles. From there, it soaks through the decking, into the attic, down the inside of walls, and through the ceiling. 

Who does gutter repair?

If you discover a gutter leak, repairing it is essential to the safety and structure of your home. Professional roofing contractors and general handyman services can make repairs. There are companies listed on the internet that offer gutter services like installation and repairs. For the DIY homeowner, there are multitudes of videos online that can walk you through gutter repairs too. 

Having your gutters cleaned once a year by a professional will also give them the opportunity to inspect your gutter system. Like anything, gutters get worn out over time and the contractor may suggest you go through the gutter replacement process instead of getting gutter services like repairs. 

This can be because the age of the gutters means they’ll begin to require more repairs than they’re worth. The gutter runs or downspouts may be broken, rusted, or no longer attached to the house. Before you authorize gutter services like a gutter replacement, you should get two to three more quotes. Compare the details of the quotes and make an informed decision. 

Are gutter guards bad?

While their intended purpose sounds wonderful, there are drawbacks to having them installed as part of your gutter services. They can’t block everything, so there is still debris that finds its way into your gutters and creates a blockage. Then, when you have professional gutter services clean them or clean them yourself, there is the added issue of removing the gutter guards first. 

While not everyone recommends them, not everyone will dissuade you from having them installed. They are a good thing that can go bad, but they also will keep the larger stuff from blocking your gutters and they keep larger critters from building nests inside the gutters. Most experts will tell you not to install them as a value-add because they are still a questionable product. 

worker installing gutters

In Closing 

If your home doesn’t have the benefit of gutter services currently, you should get an experienced contractor to provide you with a quote. Do your research and get a couple more quotes. Depending on where you live, the size of your home, and its surroundings, you may not need gutters all the way around. Meanwhile, if you’re ready for gutter services now, you can reach out to us by calling (516) 986-3979.