Gutters are arguably one of the smallest components of a building. While they play a crucial role in water and drainage in homes, how much impact can their presence or absence have on the home?
It is not okay to remove gutters. Gutters are important to help with water management, retain the strength of the home’s structure and foundation, keep insect infestations and mold away, and increase the home’s value. However, it is okay to remove gutters in areas with no rainfall.
This article gives you a detailed explanation of why gutters are important and why you should not be removing them.
Function Of Gutters
Gutters may seem like an insignificant part of the house, but they are extremely important for the integrity of the house. They are usually placed on the roofs. Below we look at some of the integral roles a gutter plays in a home.
- Water Management – Gutters help collect water, mostly from rain, on the roofs and help adequately channel it away from the roof. They are responsible for not letting water stay in one place for too long.
- Preventing Foundation Damage – The water is properly disposed of and kept away from the house’s foundation due to water management.
If water is allowed to seep into the foundation, this can cause moisture which may weaken the structure by causing damage. This will compromise the overall strength of the house.
- Protecting The Home’s Exterior – If water can overflow from the roof, it will contact the windows, sidings, and walls. If such an event happens, water may damage these components, seep into the walls, ruin the outer coat, and make the home look old from the outside.
Reasons For Removing Gutters
Most people justify their decision to remove gutters in several ways. Some of these include easier maintenance, lower costs, better aesthetics, or specific roof design plans.
While gutters are responsible for dealing with water only, sometimes unwanted debris in the form of leaves and dirt may accumulate in the gutters and clog them.
Unclogging and cleaning gutters are essential to keep the gutters functioning properly and prevent any damage to the house. Hence, gutters are often removed for maintenance and repair to ensure they do their job well.
The maintenance, installation, and repair of gutters are expensive and may take a toll on the house’s owners. To reduce the cost of maintenance of gutters, gutters are removed.
Roof Design Plan
Each house is different and is designed in its unique way. Some homes may have roof plans which exclude gutters. These roofs may be made of metal materials or have a completely flat surface.
These roofs are designed to manage the water on their own and hence do not need gutters. In such a case, removing the gutters is a good idea.
When gutters are placed in outdoor spaces, the landscaping of these areas may require that no gutters are present. These gutters may obstruct the views or interfere with the landscaping that is done. Some homeowners decide to remove the gutters to preserve the area’s aesthetics.
Cons Of Removing Gutters
Now that we know why people tend to remove the gutters from their homes, let us explore why this is a bad idea and should not be done. Below we discuss how the removal of gutters puts your house or your health in danger.
When water is collected on the roof with no channel to flow out of, the water will stay stagnant in the same place for long periods. This water will only be removed manually or if there is ample wind and sunlight to dry the water out.
This stagnation causes considerable damage to the roof and the structure and may put the home at risk of mold.
Weakening Of The Foundation
If water overflows from the roof or does not have a channel to go into on the ground, it will begin to seep into the ground. If there is considerable rain, excessive water puts the house’s foundation at risk. Foundational damage makes the house unsafe for its residents and is difficult to repair.
Water management is crucial because allowing water to flow freely around the house may erode the soil. If your home has landscaping done in it, the rainwater will destroy it if it is not managed with the help of gutters.
Insect Infestation And Mold
The moisture that long-standing water may leave behind is the perfect breeding ground for insects and mold. These issues can be very difficult and time-consuming to deal with. They also pose health risks to all the people living in the house.
Low Value Of The Home
Buyers looking at your house can see the absence of gutters as a huge red flag. It gives off the impression of an unsafe and weak house. Such an impression may avert buyers from your home or drive the price down.
Is It Okay To Remove Gutters?
After weighing the factors contributing to the decision to remove and keep the gutters, we can deduce that it is not okay to remove them. The pros of doing it do not outweigh the cons, and the justifications for keeping gutters in the house are far more valid than the ones in favor of removing gutters.
Gutters are an integral part of the building and are installed to help it retain its strength. Their presence is mandatory.
However, removing your gutters may be acceptable if you live in an area with little to no rainfall. Moreover, gutters may be excessive if your roof is designed to manage water on its own.
Water management is the most important thing to consider; it does not matter if it is happening with the help of gutters or other components.
Alternatives For Gutters
Some common alternatives that are used in place of gutters include the following:
- Rain Chains
- Rain Dispersal Systems
- Drip Edges
Gutters are as integral to homes as good building materials. A house with a weak structure and foundation risks its residents being negatively affected by many natural weather systems and calamities.