What Is the Purpose of Gutters?

Laurie Meekis

Gutters are attached to a house along the eaves of the roof. They are used to catch rain and channel it away from the structure.


Gutters are installed to prevent water damage to the foundation of a house. They also keep mud and water off of the side of the building and out of basements and crawl spaces.


The rain runs down the roof into the gutters. From there the water runs along the gutters to an opening. The opening drains into a long downspout that takes the running water away from the house.


To keep gutters working at optimum level, it is important to clean out any growth or accumulated debris that may be blocking the channels and preventing the water from running into the downspout. Backed up gutters can push water into the house or over the edges.


Rain gutters are made of different materials. They can be made of vinyl, wood, galvanized steel or aluminum.


Not all houses need gutters. According to Hometips, homes with overhangs that are broad enough to drain the water away from the home do not need the expense of a gutter system.