How Do Home Gutters Work?

Home gutters help divert rainwater away from a house and prevent water damage to the building's roof and foundation.


Water gutters are installed along the roof line and eaves of a house. They gather water during rain and snowstorms. Usually, gutters are installed on a slight slope that encourages the water to run away from the house and toward downspouts that are installed at the corners of the house. Downspouts harmlessly divert the water away from the house and may even send water into rain barrels, where the water can be collected and stored for other uses.

Why Gutters are Necessary

Left unchecked and without gutters, water can drip from the eaves of the roof down walls and into the house's foundation. This will not only cause leaks in the roof, but damage to the foundation. This can be a significant issue, especially during times of heavy rain when the soil surrounding a house may be saturated. Without gutters, water can erode soil away from the foundation and damage the masonry.