Rain Gutters: Misunderstood and Under Appreciated

I find Rain Gutters on a home are often misunderstood and under appreciated. Particularly here in the Los Angeles area, where it does not rain very often. Many people think rain gutters are simply to prevent the water running off the roof from splashing on your head when you enter and exit your house.

Actually, the main purpose of gutters is to move water away from your home’s foundation.

What is that you say? Your foundation is concrete, so what’s a little water? Concrete is actually porous. Sure, it seems water proof, but standing water will eventually soak into the concrete that makes up your foundation, and cause deterioration. Over the long term, this can cause your foundation to crack and fall apart.

Gutters collect rain water, and then send it to downspouts, that should then direct rain away from your foundation.

Too often I see gutters that are full of leaves and debris. When it rains, the gutters get heavy and become separated from the house.

Gutter Inspection
Clogged gutter full of leaves

Another common problem is the gutters are there, but the down spouts are broken or missing. This can cause rain water to actually accumulate at the house’s foundation and cause foundation damage. And even if the downspouts are intact, some are not set up to properly direct water to move away from the foundation.

Downspout Inspection
Missing Downspout
Home Inspection of Downspout
Downspout directing water toward foundation instead of away.

So when rain is in the forecast, make sure your gutters are free and clear of debris, attached well, with working downspouts. Your foundation is counting on it!


Foundation Inspection
Stucco and foundation deterioration on home without working gutters.


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