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Old 02-01-2010, 08:15 PM   #1
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Rain Gutters

We are house hunting and have noticed quite a few neighborhoods with houses that do not have rain gutters. I am used to houses with basements and all have rain gutters. All of these houses are block foundation with crawl spaces. Is it ok not to have rain gutters?


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Old 02-01-2010, 09:21 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ronneyens View Post
We are house hunting and have noticed quite a few neighborhoods with houses that do not have rain gutters. I am used to houses with basements and all have rain gutters. All of these houses are block foundation with crawl spaces. Is it ok not to have rain gutters?
It's ok if the area is graded appropriately and you live in a dry climate, but it never hurts to have them.


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Old 02-03-2010, 04:46 PM   #3
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Block foundations are very porous and prone to seepage. Not leakage, seepage. That's when the moisture is transferred through the porous cement block and into the building. Having said that block foundations can be treated on inside and outside to help prevent this seepage. personally I find interior treatment to be nothing short of a band aid approach if not also treating the exterior, so that's something you're going to want to look into gutters or not. It's probably not as big a deal if it's a crawl space and not living space.

Gutters might not be necessary based on the grade of the landscape. Which way does the water flow? For example at the front of my house my landscape actually slopes towards my house, this causes the water to pool against my foundation... and I have gutters. This is something I intend to fix this year with various landscaping projects, but it's something you're really going to want to pay close attention to.

Also another thing to look for is the ovehang width. How far is the edge of the roof away from the wall? I see some higher-end houses in heavily wooded areas with 3' overhangs that do not have a gutter system. These houses have been specifically designed not to have a gutter system. The landscaping is properly graded with a good slope away from the house. Further more the fascia board is often on an angle, not a verticle up and down. This angle helps drain the water away from the fascia board as it drips off the roof so that it does not rot out the fascia board over time.

Having said that though, personally from my point of view I'd probably want gutters no matter what if I had a block foundation. That's just my personal prefrence. But it's a very broad opinion and as I said above there are many variables.
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:38 PM   #4
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Previous comments adequately address the grading issue. I removed most of the gutters from my colonial house because they collected leaves, then the water did not drain, which in turn froze, causing a variety of problems. Since my grading is away from the house, and I do not have any problems associated with roof water entering my basement, I elected to remove the gutters about 6 years ago. I have had no problems since then, and I do not have to clean the gutters, which is a huge plus.

If you plan to collect rainwater, you have grading issues, or you like the appearance of gutters, that would be a reason to keep them or put them in. Otherwise, I would get rid of them.
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