What is the Purpose of Gutters?

While there are several good reasons to install a gutter system, the main purpose of gutters is to safely transfer runoff (rain and melting snow) from the roof to the ground, far enough away from the foundation of your home that it won’t do any harm. Most types of residential buildings in the Vancouver area need gutters. The amount of annual rainfall that the lower mainland receives combined with other weather-related factors emphasizes the importance of gutters and downspouts and how they protect a homeowner’s property from serious water damage.

Diverts Water

Gutters channel rainwater to the downspouts where the runoff exits the system away from the foundation. A home could possibly survive without gutters if rainfall was “normal” all the time. But rainfall in the Vancouver area can be unpredictable – torrential downpours, heavy rain, and sleet. Excess water from these kinds of weather conditions can wreak havoc to house and property. When downpipes do their job right, proper water distribution protects the landscaping around your home, reduces the chances of a flooded basement or crawlspace, and decreases the amount of damage a foundation is vulnerable to.

Prevents Soil Erosion

Water freely falling from the eaves lands on the ground and can pool in areas where it can’t be absorbed into the earth. Places in the soil that have been washed out, particularly near the base of the exterior walls, lead to the foundation shifting or cracking if nothing is done to correct the problem. Landscaping that becomes consistently oversaturated can be an eyesore and detracts from a home’s curb appeal.

Prevents Mold Growth

When there aren’t any gutters, the amount of rainwater home exterior elements is exposed to increases exponentially. Even with the most energy-efficient windows and the best siding materials, constant rain making direct contact with glass panes and siding panels will eventually find ways to gets into your home. Water on interior walls or embedded in insulation or damp patches on exterior walls (siding) that don’t completely dry up are susceptible to mold growth. If mold becomes invasive, it poses a serious threat to a family’s health and well-being.

Protects Surfaces

Gutters protect the finishes associated with a home’s exterior from advanced exposure to rainwater. Siding, window trim, door trim, and hardware all have finishes intended to protect the materials these products are manufactured from. Reducing the amount of moisture the exterior of your home is exposed to prolongs the life of the siding and other exterior finishing elements.