Let’s answer a preliminary question. “Why aren’t there gutters on most homes here in the South?” With wide overhangs and sandy soil, the conventional wisdom is that gutters are not needed because the rainwater will empty to the ground far enough away from the house and go into soil that will easily absorb it. That is sometimes true, and yet you have not addressed the problem of rain hitting hard surfaces like concrete driveways and walkways and decks and splashing back onto wood. Plus, let’s face it — people building a new home are most interested in their granite countertops and hardwood flooring that they don’t want to even think about the boring subject of managing rainwater.
The goal is to capture the rainwater falling off the eaves of your structure and control it, sending it where you want it to go. On its own, rainwater comes off your roof in a concentrated form and falls to the ground. The rain then does the following:
- Splashes onto hard surfaces and then hits your structure
- Washes out your mulch and pinestraw in the landscape beds
- Invites termites to wood that’s gotten wet
- Weakens the foundation of your structure
- Those raindrops keep falling on your head at your front door, back door, side door, and garage door.
There have been homeowners who have spent thousands and thousands of dollars replacing rotten doors, windows and wood trim because they hadn’t spent a few bucks on a good gutter system. So, they go through all that grief and then invest in gutters. Pay me now or pay me later! That rainwater coming down hard onto your concrete drives and walkways and rear wood decks will cause problems. Maybe you can catch it before it causes damage.
You spend big bucks on your landscape beds and then welcome that unrestrained rainwater to wash it all out. What were you thinking? Gutters are the least expensive way to effectively collect that water and send it away from your foundation. Smart homeowners are connecting their downspouts into underground 4 inch pipe and sending it where they want it to go. We often connect a short run of the 4 inch pipe above ground and send the water down the driveway or simply out of the landscape bed.
Even if you have a maintenance-free facade, there is a wood “bottom sill plate” behind that stucco or siding. Termites love moist wood. And if you’ve never heard of the Formosa termite, Google it and see. This very serious contender for the structure of your home can fly. And that he will do, to get to your wet fascia and soffitt (unless of course, you’ve collected that rainwater before it drained out over your eaves). So even though you’ve got a termite plan, how will your premium be affected if you file a claim?
Houses settle over time. There’s nothing like an inordinate amount of rainwater against your foundation to cause its premature and unnatural settling. If you are noticing that interior doors are difficult to close or your interior walls are exhibiting cracking, these are signs of foundation issues. Most homes have a ten year warranty on their foundation. How old is your home? Why take chances when gutters are the least expensive and most effective way to control the rainwater?
Who wants to have rain water pouring down on them as they come in the front or rear door? Or attempt to traverse in and out of a garage during rain? Lots of homes have this issue as well as splashback damage. So, this is one of the reasons we have gutters all the way around up north. And more and more of the Beaufort, Hilton Head, and Savannah homes I visit are investing in gutters for this very reason.
Oh! And what about RAINWATER HARVESTING?
Here’s another thought that you might consider. Harvesting that rainwater coming off your roof and re-using it to water your plants or wash your car. Even flush your toilets! You’d be surprised how many people ask me about rain barrels, and we custom install lots of them while their new LeafGuard system is going in. If you get irritated whenever your water bill goes up because you’re properly watering your lawn, perhaps allowing us to send all of the rainwater coming off your roof into cisterns and pumping back through your irrigation system would be another reason for a clog-free gutter system.
By the way, just as all tissues ain’t Kleenex — all “leaf guards” ain’t LeafGuard. The Englert LeafGuard system is last gutter system you’ll buy and is the only patented, one-piece, clog-free gutter available.