Regular rain gutters are such low-tech structures, it’s hard for many homeowners to take them seriously. To many, it is often not even clear why they exist. Homeowners’ forums frequently get questions from members who wonder why they can’t just get rid of their rain gutters once and for all.
Here’s why your house has rain gutters
As low-tech as they are, rain gutters perform a vital function — when it rains, they keep runoff from the roof from running down your walls, and dripping close to your foundation. Water exposure of either kind can ruin your home’s structure.
When gutters become clogged with leaves and debris, they stop working. Water from the roof runs down the walls and moistens the soil outside the basement. In winter, clogged gutters are worse than no having no gutters at all. Water backed up in gutters can freeze, and form ice dams that can cause serious damage to roof shingles.
Functional rain gutters are important to the structural durability of a house. When these gutters clog, it isn’t a situation to take lightly.
Your first aim should be to clean those gutters
Cleaning rain gutters is never fun. In many cases, getting up on a ladder to clean gutters is even dangerous — most homeowners do not wear harnesses or support their ladders well. Finding a handyman to do the job is a sensible plan. It’s even more important however, to find a way around this troublesome chore.
Investing in modern rain gutters
Homeowners have long lamented the stubbornness of the rain gutter clog problem, and wondered why no one ever came up with a solution. Gratefully, innovative solutions do exist today. One of the most effective ones applies the principle of fluid surface tension.
The sealed rain gutter system
Leafguard of Michigan was one of the earliest promoters of the sealed, surface tension gutter design system. It offers an elegant solution to the problem. Sealed systems are fully covered designs. The only opening on the guttering is a narrow slit on the side. Since the top remains fully covered, no debris gets in. Water is conducted into the slit as it adheres to the gentle curve of the lid as it leads into it.
Switching to better design
Clog-free gutters have been phenomenally successful at solving an old, intractable problem. These systems are lightweight, use modern hardware to attach to roofs, and rarely need maintenance, if ever. Switching can be a great investment both in the house itself, and one’s personal safety.