Here’s What Rain Gutters Do, and Why They’re Worth It

Highlights

  • Rain gutters serve multiple purposes, including protecting the foundation of your home.
  • Repairing the problems rain gutters prevent, such as water damage and erosion, can cost up to $5,000
  • Keeping rain gutters clean will ensure they function properly.

Your rain gutters provide an essential function—guiding water away from your home, so it doesn’t get damaged. Regardless of how gently or infrequently it rains or snows where you live, rain gutters play a crucial role in keeping your home and your property protected from water. Here are all the things that rain gutters do.

Protect Your Foundation

When rain gutters guide water away from your home, they protect the foundation from water damage. If water were to hit the foundation every time it rained, the water would cause erosion over time. Eroding foundations can lead to basement leaks and structural damage, and foundation problems aren’t cheap. Foundation repairs cost homeowners an average of $4,530, so keeping your foundation protected will save you money in the long run.

Prevent Interior Flooding

Along with damage to your foundation, rain can cause flooding in your basement. According to HomeAdvisor, the average water damage restoration cost is between $1,200 and $5,300. Your gutters can save you from this costly repair.

Stop Fascia From Rotting

Two elements of your roof system are the soffit and fascia. The soffits are the underside of the roof overhang, but the fascia covers rafter ends, creating a surface along the edge of the roof. Fascia boards serve several purposes, including protecting your home from water hitting it directly and keeping pests from getting in between your walls and roof.

If your gutters get clogged and overflow when it rains, the water can hit the wooden fascia. It only takes a few hours for the fascia to start breaking down, so we can’t overstate the importance of gutter cleaning. The average cost to replace fascia boards and soffits is around $2,300, and your gutters protect you from this costly problem.

Help Avoid a Cracking Driveway

Rain gutters that divert water improperly, or the absence of rain gutters entirely, can allow water to pool in puddles on your driveway. Eventually, that water will cause cracks and bowing, where the soil underneath the concrete swells and lifts the concrete up. Driveway repairs cost between $1,000 and $3,600, and even patching is a costly task.

Prevent Landscape Erosion

Photo: CatLane / Getty Images

You put a lot of effort into your landscaping, and it would be a shame if water washed away all your hard work. Gutters divert water away from your plants and shrubs, so it doesn’t knock them over. They also keep water from causing dips in your yard. 

Provide Pest Control

Bugs love water—especially mosquitos. Without a gutter system, you run the risk of having standing water on your property, around your foundation, and in your home. Do yourself and your patio guests a favor and hire a gutter cleaning service to keep your gutters in good working order, so they don’t clog up with standing water.

Keep Your Exterior Clean

If water can just roll down your roof and onto the ground, the chances are that it’ll splash up onto your siding at some point. And when you have puddles on your lawn or landscaping, those splashes will carry dirt onto your house, making it look messy. If your gutters work like they’re supposed to, they’ll help keep your home looking clean and pristine.

When Don’t You Need Rain Gutters?

Though rain gutters serve many purposes, there are some circumstances when you might be able to do without them. You may not need them if:

  • Your geographic area doesn’t experience a lot of rain or snow.
  • Your home has gotten along without gutters for a long time without damage.
  • The ground on your property naturally slopes away from your home.

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