Gutters 101: Purpose of Gutters – Are Gutters Necessary?

Last Updated on January 25, 2022 by Kimberly Crawford

Before asking yourself if gutters are necessary, do you know their work and how they should appear in your home? Most homeowners don’t see the need for channels since they can’t handle large water volumes. You’ll find that some roofers can also advise you against installing gutters in a bid to reduce the building cost.

But in the real sense, channels are necessary to protect your house from stormwater. Or guard the roof against the rain. They also protect the building’s foundation from excessive rainwater. Remember, for the gutter to function properly, you should maintain its cleanliness. It would be best if you didn’t look at them as mere roof decoration with no value to your home.

Read along to have an in-depth insight into gutters. It will enable you to understand why they’re necessary or not.

Related: Types Of Roof Vents

why rain gutters necessary

What Is A Gutter?

rain gutters

A gutter is a tube at the roof’s edges that move the rainwater away from the house. Some homeowners prefer putting gutters all around the house. Others install them in strategic areas that receive more water.

If you have these channels in your home, the house’s foundation will remain strong. The material composition of gutters is aluminum, plastic, or copper. And they come in different sizes and shapes.

Related: Vinyl vs steel vs aluminum gutters

What Is the Purpose of Gutters?

Gutters are an important part of the building. It helps in water redistribution, making the foundation strong and free from damage. If your home is in an area prone to heavy rains, you need to install gutters.

It will help you redirect the water to a safe place away from the building’s foundation. If you don’t have drains in your house, it will be hard to redistribute rainwater. So, they’ll enter the home, making it crack.

With cracks in your house’s basement, expect leakages. Your home will also be prone to floods whenever it rains. If the rainwater damages your house’s foundation you’ll put up with repair expenses.

Gutters can also help enhance your home’s beauty. Drains will prevent the splashing of rainwater on the walls. When it rains, water hits on the soil then bounce back on the walls. If you don’t have gutters, this will make the walls dirty and muddy. But with gutters acting as a drain, no mud will spill on your walls, hence save you on regular maintenance.

Remember, soil erosion can interfere with your home’s landscape. If you have sidings or paintings, know that the rainwater will peel them off. All these will make you understand why gutters are necessary.

Another importance that points to why are gutters necessary is when the rainwater force itself through the windows. When water leaks through these openings, your health and that of your family will be at risk. Even if you fix the strong windows with time, they’ll yield to pressure. In the end, they’ll have openings that allow rainwater through. Water leaking through the openings means molds will start growing in your house.

Gutters or No Gutters

Are gutters necessary? Depending on the area of your house, gutters can be of use or not. If you live in an arid region, installing gutters will waste resources. But if you stay in an area full of heavy rainfall, then there’s a need. The gutters will protect your building from damage. Ensure your gutter system is functional so that you don’t do frequent repairs.

Why Do Houses Need Gutters?

If you have a house that you’d like to stay in for ages before doing major repairs, consider having gutters. One of the reasons why channels are necessary is that they’ll prevent soil erosion in your home. If the building is on a raised ground meaning each time it rains, you’ll be losing more soil. With frequent soil erosion, your house foundation will start cracking. It can also lead to a sinister landscape.

Houses need gutters to protect the garden bed where you plant your flower or shrubs. With no channels, your garden will have constant soil erosion. Rainwater can also disappear with the plants on the garden bed.

Without gutters in your house, water will interfere with the sidings. After some time, it’ll be exposing it to dirt, resulting in rotting or staining. The stains will make your siding lose its aesthetic, making your house unattractive.

Are Rain Gutters Really Necessary?

Are Rain Gutters Really Necessary?

Most homeowners don’t see the need to install rain gutters. But in a real sense, rain gutters are necessary since they’ve benefits for your house. First, rain gutters protect the soil around your home as they prevent soil erosion especially if the land slopes upwards.

The channels are also necessary to protect your house’s siding where the roof fits next to the walls. No rainwater on the sidings helps in maintains its beauty. Remember, gutters are important in preventing flooding around your home. If your house is in an area of red clay soil, it’s good to install channels. The soil type is prone to redirecting water at the same spot every time it rains. So, it can’t protect the building’s foundation.

But, there’s no legal requirement for your house to have gutters. So, you can view it as extra expenses depending on your location.

When Are They Optional?

Suppose your property plays the role of gutters; there’s no need to have one. If your house is in a place where the landscape flows downward, you also need no gutters. Also, if your compound is concrete all around, there’s no need for these channels. The concrete will act as a protective layer to the soil.

Gutters are also optional when you live in a dry place where rainfall is seldom seen. It should be optional also if your roof has a long extension.

What Can I Use Instead of Gutters?

You don’t have to limit yourself to gutters if they don’t appeal to you. There are several alternative options that you can choose from to help in managing rainwater. You can use rain chains, ground gutters, or rain dispersal systems. There are also copper gutters, drip edges, and gradings, which you can install in place of rain gutters.

How They Work

You can consider using rain chains, which direct water from the roof to a storage tank underneath. The rain chains come in various designs and are capable of reducing the rainwater force. Even though rain chains are beautiful, they’re not as effective as gutters.

You can also install drip edges, which are metal strips put at the edge of the roof to reduce the water pressure. Drip edges also prevent the water from flowing next to the walls reducing damage. Another alternative is rain dispersal systems. It operates by dividing the water into smaller drops that reduce its force. When water flows at a slower pace, the damage reduces significantly.

You can also install a ground gutter that requires you to dig a V-shaped ditch at the place where water comes from. The trench has a waterproof lining and polythene. It also has a perforated tube at the bottom; then, gravel fills the remaining space. The ditch allows water to flow away from the buildings, protecting your house.

Pros and Cons of Gutters

Pros and Cons of Gutters

Like other roofing materials, gutters have disadvantages and advantages But for something to have economic value, its pro should outweigh the cons. Let’s look at each side of the gutters to enable you to make the right choice.


  • Gutters protect your house sidings.
  • They help in maintaining the beauty of the house
  • With gutters on your roof, you won’t worry about soil erosion
  • Gutters are capable of redirecting the rainwater to a safe place


  • Gutters are only crucial in places with frequent rainfall and not the arid or semi-arid areas.
  • If you install gutters, be ready for regular cleaning and maintenance since pests like hiding there.
  • Gutters are prone to clogging up by leaves and other objects that rainwater can bring


Why Do Houses in Texas Or Florida Not Have Gutters?

Although Florida is prone to flooding, most homes around don’t have gutters. It could be the type of soil that is mostly sandy and absorbs water fast, making homeowners see no need for them. The probability of homeowners in these areas cutting on building costs by excluding gutters can be another reason.

But if you live in either Florida or Texas, where there are more rains, you might need gutters. Unless you have a useful rain diverter or your roof overhangs, giving room for water to flow far from the foundation.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Gutters Yourself?

Installing gutters yourself is not hard since most of the materials are available in any hardware around you. If you want to install the gutters by yourself, the cost of the materials depends on the quality and place of purchase, which is what makes it expensive. But since you’ll be the laborer, budget only for the materials, which cost $10 per linear foot.

How Often Should You Replace Gutters?

If you install gutters in your home, don’t worry about a regular replacement since they can last up to 20 years. But for them to stay that long, ensure that you do maintenance often. Don’t let dirt and pests destroy them.


You shouldn’t be a doubting Thomas to ask if gutters are necessary. But rather understand the reasons why they’re essential in your home. It’s wise to know that gutters can protect your house foundation and prevent soil erosion. If you want your home exterior sidings to maintain their beauty, install gutters.