It is possible for buildings to do just fine without gutters and some buildings, especially out in the country, are sometimes not fitted with gutters. Why do we need gutters and what are the benefits of having them?
• They are good for staying dry! Gutters are there to direct the flow of water that comes from the roof away from the access points of the building, and this keeps the water away from those entering the building. Even during a light rainfall, quite a lot of water can accumulate on a roof, and this flows down into the gutter and away from the doorways.
• They help homes to remain tidier and look neater – if water just runs down the walls and splashes in the ground next to the walls, the lower parts of the walls can be stained by the mud. Water splashing into flower beds and pathways can often break sensitive vegetation, erode flowerbeds, break down the mulch and make gardens look untidy. Gutters direct the water away from the walls and steers it towards a down pipe which will ultimately either collect water in a rainwater tank or a gulley.
• Installing gutters can help defend the property against decay or wood rot on the façade and roof beams. If there are no gutters, the rainwater tends to find little openings where it can enter and dampen the wood, leading to long term decay problems. Gutters which are correctly fitted and mounted will collect water away from these areas and guide it to the drains.
• Erosion can be prevented by the installation of gutters as water that drops directly onto the ground from a rooftop can erode the area where it drops. If there is a continuous stream of water during a long period of rainfall, this water can make a pathway through the garden and erode other areas as well. It can also lead to vast pools of water in the garden which will drown vegetation and cause mud patches.
• Basements are kept dry by gutters – it is very important to channel all water away from the walls of the basement, and to prevent the soil around the foundations to be soaked through. Without gutters, rain will collect in unsuitable areas and even if the water cannot be seen from the surface, it can sink into the ground around the basement which will cause basement walls to crack and finally flooding may happen. A basement full of water is very difficult and costly to remedy!