Do I Really Need Gutters? | Dustin Johnson Exteriors & Roofing

Short answer is yes. Gutters are an absolutely vital part of any house.   People often wonder if gutters are actually needed. Without gutters, the rain would fall off the roof, yes, but instead of being lead to designated safe areas away from the house, it will drop down right alongside the house.  This can and will cause a whole host of issues. In this article, we will discuss the reasons a house needs gutters, and also address a few upkeep and maintenance ideas you want to keep in mind.


Picture of Do I Really Need Gutters?First we are going to discuss why gutters are so important.  One of the main, and possible most important issue is that not having gutters causes the collecting of water right against the house. Many people think ‘Well, if I do not have a gutter system, the rain is just going to drain right off the roof, just as it would with a gutter system, right?” That is a big no. The gutter systems are specifically designed to collect and divert water away from the house, especially away from the foundation. Your gutter system is your homes main source of soil erosion control for your foundation. Having the water just drain right off the roof will cause the water to collect right around the foundation, leading to many and eventually costly problems which may amount to more than the price of putting up a gutter. The water will begin to erode the soil that is surrounding the foundation, eventually causing cracks. This will also cause more water collection, leading to possible leaks going into the basement, crawl space, or it will just begin to fill over a concrete floor.


Once a leak starts, believe it or not that is still just the beginning of any possible problems.  With a leak, you are already going to have to look into the issue of the water eroding the soil, finding and patching any leaks in the foundation.  This is because the water will often dig in and erode at the whole area, leading to pricey fixes of the foundation. Now, once the water is inside this will lead to rotting of the interior of the house, even within the walls which becomes a very costly fix.  Other than the rotting, the moisture inside the house can lead to mold growth, moist air leading to condensation forming on the interior of the windows. This happens especially in the winter when you use the heat because the water that has entered the house will evaporate into the air, and then collect on the walls, windows and everywhere.  It is extremely important to keep the interior as dry and leak free as possible.


Other issues include water getting underneath the shingles on the roof.  If the water is not properly diverted, this will occur and will lead to roof damage such as wood rot, and any materials that lie between your house and the shingles could be damaged as well.  Aside from roof damage, the water running down the side of the house can do a decent amount of damage as well. The water can get underneath the siding of the house, if the house has siding. This can cause additional rotting and other issues due to the fact the moisture will get trapped between the siding and the house itself.  This will also increase erosion in some places. For example, a brick house may have erosion and then have a “rusting” effect that may occur afterwards.


Here we will discuss exactly what it is the gutter system will do to help prevent the above issues.  The gutter system is designed to collect and divert water flow away from the roof, siding, and most importantly the foundation.  When it is raining, the water will drain down the roof, being collected into the guitars that hang just under the edge of the roof.  The water will then flow into one of the many downspouts, that will run the water down and away from the foundation, often into a designated path.  This is what prevents most of the issues we have talked about in this article.


Now that you have a better idea of importance of a good gutter system, keep in mind that gutters also causes clogging when full of leaves and other debris so maintenance is extremely important to prevent any unnecessary issues and extra costs.  The decision on what type of gutter guards to purchase on the market depends on the type of trees you have around your house because if you have mostly pine trees, then you will have to worry on the pine needles getting through the mesh of your gutter guards.


As you can see, having a functional gutter system can prevent water damage to your roof which can cause rot and also cause deterioration and mold to the shingles, soffit, fascia and masonry.  It will also prevent moisture in the windows caused by condensation, damaged sills or interior walls. The gutter system will also prevent water along the foundation which can cause erosion, further damaging your foundation and causing basement flooding.