What is the purpose of roof gutters?

installing roof gutters

“Are rain gutters really necessary?” 

What roofing contractor hasn’t been asked that before? When providing quotes on roofing, it is usually a question asked to the homeowner if they want to add a rain gutter system, and they often comeback with this question. So, are they really necessary or are they just a finishing touch for the roof line?

At first thought, you may think about how people with gutters complain about having to clean and unclog them. They seem to attract insects, nesting birds, and rodents. They can’t hold much water and they need repair and reattaching frequently. So, if they aren’t necessary, why would you want rain gutter system installed on your home? 

Rain gutters are controversial, and they aren’t mandated by law. What good are roof gutters and downspouts? They are attached along the roof edge of your home, and come in different materials, including aluminum, copper, or vinyl. The fundamental function of a rain gutter system is to redirect water through a channel system that send the water in a direction that reduces erosion around the foundation of a home. 

 A rain gutter system catches rainwater as it comes of the roof and through the channel system, that rainwater goes through downspouts and then out and away from the house.  Besides, reducing erosion, they also minimize the chance of our basement flooding, and keep landscape from being washed away.  Some homeowners have set up their downspouts to empty into a rain barrel and use that water for watering their garden during drought weather. 

When Is a Rain Gutter System Necessary?

  • Red clay: This is a rich ground matter that can be a challenge to work with, and if rainwater can get to the foundation of your home, red clay is like a pipeline. It will carry the rainwater to the same spot and wash it out. A rain gutter system allows you to redirect that water with a drainpipe and gutter line away from your home.
  • Upward Sloped Landscaping: When a home is at the bottom of sloping land, rainwater pools up and below ground level around foundation. A rain gutter system will redirect that water towards sloping side going down and keep runoff away from landscaping. 
  • Roof Overhang: Roofs that fit close to a house allow rainwater to pour off the roof near the foundation. This can create numerous problems with frequent rains, like creating trenches where the rain steadily hits the ground. This rainwater is absorbed into the ground and begins to cause extensive damage. A rain gutter system will keep this and having a waterfall at each entrance of your home from happening. 
clearing roof gutters

What to do if you have no gutters?

With the purpose of a roof gutter explained, you may see the benefits and wonder what you can do if you don’t have any. We have found six possible solutions when you don’t have and can’t afford a rain gutter system:

  • Rain Chain
  • Rain Dispersal System
  • Landscape and Lawn Grading
  • Drip Edge
  • French Drain
  • Drip Path 

So, roof gutters or not, we answer a few more questions:

Should gutters match roof or house?

A rain gutter system and the siding are visible from the street with the siding being the dominant feature. Most homeowners choose a rain gutter color that to their accentuate and trim the outline of the roof to add visual appeal and maintain their color scheme. Some homeowners prefer their gutters to be obscured and take away from the roof or siding’s contribution to the home’s curb appeal.

Then there is the option of spicing things up and go with contrasting colors for your rain gutter system. Choose a color that is totally foil to the siding color so that they pop, adding a visual allure of sorts to the curb appeal. Regardless which way you choose to go, don’t be random with the colors. You want a hue that is that you will like looking at for a long time! Ask the roof gutter experts that you choose to work with, they have seen it all and can make suggestions.  You also need to take into consideration any POA restrictions in colors for a rain gutter system.

Are Seamless Gutters worth it?

Seamless rain gutter systems are easier to maintain than the traditional snap together style. They are long sections that connect at the corners and downspouts.  They are more expensive, you’ll do yourself a favor getting a few different quotes, but the maintenance and upkeep after installation are much easier. They are less likely to come loose in mid gutter run like sectional gutters do.

roof gutters

Closing with Most Popular Question: Can I install my own gutters?

Installing your own rain gutter system will definitely save you money. However, there are difficulties with consequences that you should know and watch out for, like the fascia, soffit, and wood rot.

Your house may have crown molding, or a trim board fastened to the fascia, directly under the bottom row of shingles. This needs to be removed or you must add a strip of wood running continuously under it to have a flat surface for the rain gutter system. Before you hang your rain gutter system, you must address this and then prime and paint the bare wood before installing the gutters. Give us a call at (214) 612-6696 for help with a roof gutter system in McKinney, TX.