Do you really need rain gutters?

Or are they an unnecessary expense that people are in the habit of putting on their homes as mere tradition?

There aren’t actually very many homes left in Onondaga County that don’t have gutters already installed, but even if your home already has them and all you want is an upgrade, is it really needed?

In this blog post from Iron Horse Gutter Works, we would like to go over some of the reasons why residential homes in Syracuse need gutter installation.

Not every home needs gutters. If you live in an arid climate, you can get by without them. However, here are some of the conditions that make it not just a good idea, but very important for you to have gutters.

1. It rains a lot.

Syracuse, New York, gets about 41 inches of rain per year, according to US Climate data, which is more than Seattle (37 inches), Portland (36 inches), or the US average (39 inches). The more rain you get, the more sense it makes to have gutters, and here in Syracuse, we have plenty of justification for making sure that your home is equipped with the simple infrastructure to carry the water from your roof into the drainage area that you have prepared for it to go.

2. You don’t have an awning or porch over your front door.

Even if you did live out west where it barely ever rains, we’re sure that you’d be annoyed on those times when it did rain if you had to run through the rain and stand under a waterfall that was cascading off your roof in order to unlock your door. We’re not sure why anyone builds houses without any kind of awning, porch, or roofing over the entry doors, but they do exist. In cases like these, it sure is a lot cheaper to get gutters installed than to alter the basic architecture of your home. Gutters catch the rain that’s flowing straight down the slope of your roof and carry it off to the corners of your house, where it can drain into the appropriate place, not right on your head.

3. You have landscaping that keeps getting damaged by the drip line under your roof.

If you enjoy delicate plants or flowers, it’s a good idea not to plant them under the drip line of your roof in the first place. However, keep in mind that anything, even hardier bushes and shrubs, that you plant under the drip line will suffer a constant barrage of rain. The larger the square footage of your roof, the more water it will collect and channel off the slope. You’ll provide protection for the ground under the dripline of your roof by installing gutters.

4. The overhang of your roof is too shallow.

If your roof has only a shallow overhang, the water that flows off the edge will fall to the ground too close to your home’s foundation. Many foundation experts recommend that your roof should have an overhang of at least 4-5 feet if you’re not planning to use gutters, in order to keep too much water from going into the soil near your foundation. Moisture penetrating your foundation is going to be much more costly to correct than installing gutters. For best results, your downspouts should remove water at least 10 feet away from the base of your house, if possible.

5. The slope of the ground causes water to flow towards your foundation.

You can’t always choose the configuration of the hills and the grade of your lot, but if the topography of the ground is causing water to pool or flow too near your foundation, you could be in trouble. Why risk increasing the hazard by letting all the water from your roof fall straight down to the ground around the base of your home? Note that if your home is standing in soil that stays wet due to improper drainage, you probably shouldn’t just install gutters and think you’re fine; you might want to consult a foundation expert about whether or not you need to implement a more sophisticated drainage system in order to protect your home.

Learn What To Do With Runoff

6. Your area requires the use of gutters.

If city code requires you to have gutters on your home, you shouldn’t be without them. Here in Syracuse, our city code doesn’t necessarily require gutters, but it does stipulate that roofs shall be properly drained. Here’s the applicable bit of what Syracuse city code says about your gutters:

  1. Roofs and paved areas, including yards and courts, shall be properly drained. Storm drainage shall be conveyed to an adequate and approved system of storm water disposal where available. Storm drains shall be discharged in such manner that water will not flow onto sidewalks or adjacent properties.
  2. Where a drainage system may be subject to backwater, suitable provision shall be made to prevent its overflow into the building.
  3. Leaders and gutters, if used, shall be constructed of noncombustible material, except that plastic or wood leaders and gutters may be used for buildings not more than three stories high.
    (Property Conservation Code, Pt. 0, Section 27-52 (d)).

In other words, gutters are not absolutely required, but adequate storm drainage is.

Make sure that your home has the right roof drainage by calling the Top Rated Local® gutter installation company in Syracuse. Iron Horse Gutter Works is here to serve you. Contact us today for a quote.