Every homeowner understands how gutters serve a function, but few understand exactly how important that function is. Gutters do look nice, they serve as a line between the roof and the body of your house, but they are more than decorative. As you realize the convenience of how they keep rain from pouring directly over the edge of the roof you begin to understand the real purpose of the gutters. They direct rainwater and assure it goes where you want it to be.
How and Why Gutters Work
Gutters have an actual design and architecturally fit the plan layout of your house. The first thing to understand about gutters is they aren’t level, although they appear to be from a distance. Gutters are intentionally designed and hung to be out of level so the water will flow in the direction you want it. In conjunction with your downspouts and specialty drainage systems your house may or may not have, the gutters move the water away from your foundation, the basement walls, and planting beds along the side of your house.
The importance of such a function is those areas were not designed to withstand a steady, annual flow of water. Of course the structural aspects of your house and foundation can withstand a heavy storm once or twice a year, but they weren’t designed to hold up against a steady flow throughout the year. Gutters move the water out and away from your house and disperse it in such a way as to not harm your property.
The obvious damage you see after is when your gutters get small dents and scratches over time. That can be an eyesore and a reason to replace them if needed, but cosmetic damage isn’t a major concern. When the gutters suffer heavy storms and are knocked out of their proper alignment you have a situation you need to be aware of. Water pools in the center of the gutter and potentially pours over the edge instead of flowing to your downspouts and properly draining through your lawn.
Gutters can look nice and serve a cosmetic function for your house, but they do more. It’s important to remain aware of how and why they serve their intended purpose. Just as you have other key elements of your home’s design inspected regularly, your gutters also need to undergo routine maintenance to assure the value of your home over the long term.