Fun Facts about Gutters

There’s nothing fun about gutters, especially cleaning them and keeping a gutter system properly maintained. But perhaps you’d like to add some gargoyles to your roof or gutters to your car! Here are some amusing and fun facts about gutters you might not know.

First Appearances

Archaeologists have discovered that ancient civilizations throughout Asia and Europe, as early as 3000 B.C., used materials such as stones, bricks, and wood to create a drainage system designed to divert water from one place to another.

Roman, Greek and Egyptian civilizations used water spouts attached to the edges of roofs to direct water to the ground. They frequently took the shape of animals’ heads, typically the lion.

Gutters during the Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, the French incorporated gargoyles into several styles of architecture, particularly Gothic style buildings. Gargoyles were designed to direct water from the roof away from the walls where moisture would harm the masonry. While gargoyles took many different shapes, they all have similar characteristics – scary faces, devil wings, long claws, and a menacing air about them. When it looks like a gargoyle but doesn’t spit water, it is known as a “grotesque.”

Gutters made of Wood

Before the 19th century, most gutters were made of wood. Historically speaking, wood was a common construction material because it was readily available and easy to work with, requiring few tools. Today, just the opposite is true – wood is one of the most expensive materials and not practical for the production of gutters systems.

One Person’s Treasure

Most gutter professionals are happy to entertain you with stories about the “weird” things they have discovered when cleaning the gutters. You’d expect balls of various kinds, but gutter cleaning techs have found a wide range of toys from Frisbees to dolls to racing cars to LEGO creations. Some pros reported finding high heeled shoes, sneakers, and lunch boxes.

Gutter System for Cars

Until they disappeared in the mid-80s, cars came with drip rails or rain gutters that kept rain and snow off drivers and passengers while keeping the upholstery free from damp. Sounds like a really good idea, right? The reason they are no longer used on cars is a combination of style and fuel economy. Die-hard designers claimed that the drip rail messed with aerodynamics, reducing fuel economy. One-piece body sides commonly used in the manufacture of automobiles eliminated the place where the drip rail once was located