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Do You Need Gutters on a House?

Have you just bought a home? You might be wondering, do you need gutters on the house?

You don’t just need gutters; you need the best gutters that fit your home’s design with a downspout to direct water away from the house. If they are professionally installed, they can also bring out the fine clean edges of your roofing design. 

However, as much as gutters are good, they can also be hazardous if damaged or clogged, and you need to be wary of these instances.

This article will give you a detailed insight into when roof gutters are necessary, why roof gutters are important, and how you can avoid running into problems with gutters.

Read on to find out more.

Does Your House Need Gutters?

Well, your house may need gutters but not always. There are a few factors to consider when determining whether a roof needs gutters or not.

  • First is the home’s location. Do you often receive rainfall where you live? Is the rainfall significant enough to warrant the installation of gutters?
  • Second, does your home experience any drainage-related issues? Do you often find pools of water around the backyard after a rainfall? How close does it get to the foundation of the house?
  • Lastly, consider the build or design of the house. Some designs are not meant to have gutters and instead have other options of doing away with rainwater.

More details on these are presented in the sections below.

A metal, black gutter on a roof covered with ceramic tiles. Close up shot.

What Do Gutters Do?

Roof gutters are installed to capture and direct rainwater away from the house.

Without gutters, water runoff would build up and make unwarranted pools around the foundation, which could cause water damage to your house and soil erosion in the landscape.

However, gutters need regular maintenance to prevent them from clogging and causing a host of other costly problems.

When Are Gutters Not Necessary?

As aforementioned, a roof does not always need gutters, and there are instances where gutters are unnecessary for your home.

Regarding the beauty brought about by the presence of gutters, some home designs are more appealing with gutters installed, while others look better without them. 

Therefore, in which instances would you not need gutters around your roof?

Homes in Arid Environments

Houses and Neighborhoods! Desert Architecture Home with Xeriscape Landscape!

It is common for homes in arid environments not to have gutters installed around their roofs since there isn’t any significant rainfall.

Roofs with Significant Overhang 

black roof ceiling

As mentioned before, some home designs don’t need gutters.

Some homes are designed with steep roofs with long roof overhangs, thereby enabling snow and rainwater to slide off easily and land away from the basement and foundation of the house.

If overhangs stretch beyond the house’s edges by a foot or two, your home will not likely experience much effect due to rainwater. However, your landscaping might feel the impact of too much water.

Old Homes

big old farm house on a valley with mountains on the background

In the old days, gutters were not as popular as today. Most older homes, say over 75 years, often do not have gutters. 

Depending on the make and design of the house, some old homes were not designed to have gutters and are not likely to look better with gutters installed.

Homes on Hills

House on the hill in the foggy morning,wooden house

A house atop a hill is not likely to have drainage issues. For them, the rainwater often finds its way downhill without necessarily causing any major problems with the surrounding landscaping or the home’s foundation.

Benefits of Installing Gutters

Prevents Basement Mold or Flooding

basement flooding

Too much water in the soil leads to soil saturation and pools of water. The pooled water and heavy soil can put pressure on the foundation or basement walls.

With time, the basement walls might crack due to this hydraulic pressure, and water will trickle in. Depending on the level of cracking, flooding could occur.

But even a small trickle of water is enough moisture to promote mold growth, which is hazardous to your health.

Prevent Soil Erosion


There are reasons houses are built on slight slopes, and the gutters are installed with downspouts to direct water away from the home. It is simply to guide water away from the house’s foundation easily.

However, suppose you let rainwater run off the roof without gutters?

The water is likely to cause a significant impact on the surrounding soil around the foundation, slowly displacing the soil and eating into the foundation.

If this is not immediately controlled, you might end up with uneven floors and cracked chimneys or walls.

Protect the Siding

man cleaning the roof roof and gutters

As we know, rainwater often cleans debris off the roof. The debris can get stuck in the siding and stain if gutters aren’t fitted.

Runoff water is also responsible for wood rot around the home. Wood rot quickly leads to holes and cracks in the wood, inviting pests and mold, which in turn cause significant damage.

Therefore, if your home is wooden, you need to devise a way of getting rid of rainwater quickly. 

Protect Plants

garden beside house

Most gardens survive on nutrient-rich soils for them to thrive and flourish in. If you let rainwater carry away the nutrient-rich humus and topsoil, this could also mean the end of your garden.

Even if the erosion seems insignificant, the little pools will slowly drown your plants.

When Should You Install Gutters?

Do you have water problems around your home? Do you suspect it is because of the lack of gutters? You may not be far from the truth.

If your house doesn’t have gutters, here are a few signs that warrant the installation of gutters to solve your water problems.

Basement Flooding

Does your basement get a lot of flooding whenever it rains?

Although some basement flooding problems are due to lousy landscaping and how the basement is built, water runoff due to a lack of gutters is a sure way of letting more water in through holes and cracks in the basement walls.

Therefore, installing gutters could help do away with the runoff water by channeling it away from the house with downspouts.

Mold on the Siding and Basement Walls

mossy wall

Water is getting in if you see rotten or moldy siding around the house. You might also see mold in your basement, which is the same problem.

To address this, you need to install gutters that will drain water away from the house as far as possible to let the soil around the house and basement dry out.

Presence of Unwarranted Troughs Around the Home

Small Irrigation Water Channel Of Tropical Farming Environment

You might notice troughs or divots developing close to your house’s foundation or around the garden, which might be due to too much runoff water. 

Such troughs are often difficult to fill because they are the path the water will always choose, so no matter how you try refilling them, it just won’t work.

The only way to restore this is to install gutters around the house, and this will at least help direct water away from the home and protect your foundation and landscaping from water damage.


As much as gutters are suitable for your home, you need to keep them in good condition with proper maintenance and good practices, like installing gutter covers to prevent debris and stop birds from nesting in the gutters. 

If you want to install gutters, find a professional to do it.