Going out on a limb, you likely don’t think about your gutters often. They simply sit on the edge of your roof, collecting leaves and needing to be cleared. Gutters and their downspots play a crucial role in protecting us from water. Along with water damage prevention, gutters keep us safe during icy winter months by diverting water runoff from already icy sidewalks. If you’ve ever wanted to learn why gutters are a vital part of your home, look no further! Gutters divert water, prevent ice buildup, and protect your landscaping. 


water diversion


The primary function of gutters is to collect and divert water. But why is this so important? Its a simple answer. It comes down to the very base of the home, its foundation. Gutters steer water away from the home. Without them, rainwater cascades straight down off the roof to saturate the soil directly around the foundation. Water pooling in this area increases the risk of water infiltration, which can cause major structural damage. Given enough time, the resulting moisture will cause cracks, leaks, and in extreme cases lead to foundation settlement.

When gutters collect rainwater and snowmelt to move it away from the home through their drainage systems they prevent water from pooling directly around the foundation. A lack of water pooling not only protects the structural integrity of the home but also reduces any risk of other water damage issues such as basement flooding or leaks.


sidewalk ice buildup prevention


Ice sidewalks are incredibly dangerous. Falls and stumbles can cause serious harm. It is for this reason that gutters are critical in the winter, even without any rain present. The very same gutters and water drainage systems that move water away from the foundation also remove water from sidewalks and walkways. As snow melts on the roof, gutter systems take it away from the home past the sidewalks. They also move water away from the edges of the roof.

If the water remained on the roof edge, it would create ice dams. Ice dams and water buildup cause water to drip straight down off the roof edges to freeze on the sidewalk below. Less water runoff means less potential for ice formation. A lack of icy conditions makes it easier for us to safely navigate outdoor spaces.


landscaping protection


In addition to everything already reviewed by this blog, gutters ALSO protect any installed landscaping features from water damage. When gutters aren’t present, rainwater and snowmelt have free reign. Water rushes through the yard, eroding soil, damaging plants, and creating large unsightly puddles where you never wanted them to be. 

Gutters being present move rainwater and snowmelt AWAY from the home. Free reign is removed and the water goes where you want it to. You even have the option to collect it if you wish. Controlling water runoff not only protects landscaping efforts but also any exterior furniture or features such as decks and patios. Happy to not redo landscaping efforts every year? Say thank you to your gutters.


We may not spend a lot of time thinking about gutters, but maybe we should. They provide our home with safety and security through water diversion, clear winter sidewalks, and protection of landscaping efforts. Take care of your gutters. Clean them regularly, and inspect them for flaws. Regular gutter maintenance will prevent a large amount of problems in your home. Fix the easy problem, not your foundation.


At House Help MN we understand the importance of a home and how big of a decision it is when it comes to buying or selling, and that not every situation is the same. That is why we follow a strict code of ethics and are transparent with everything we do. With 20 years in the real estate industry, we will walk you through multiple options and help you every step of the way. We will find a solution that is right for you and make the process quick and as easy as possible.


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