A man standing on a ladder, removing leaves from a home's rain gutters.

Rain gutters are important to maintain the integrity of your home and will help avoid flooding and damage to the foundation of your house. Though there are many options, it is important to have a professional help install them to ensure the water goes where it needs to be so that you aren’t caught in a bind when the storms come.

Traditional Rain Gutters

Rain gutters are a u-shaped trough made of metal, vinyl or copper that is designed to collect water from your roof and direct it off, away from the house. More importantly, they keep water away from the foundation of the home. The water travels through the gutter, through the downspout and then typically on the ground surrounding your home. However, there are more decorative options such as splash blocks that will sit at the edge of your downspout and will direct the water coming out in the direction you choose or need for your specific house or situation.

Modern Changes

Rain gutters are fairly standard, however, if you are looking for a more modern approach to a downspout, a rain chain might be a good alternative for you. Rain chains could be a more attractive option for some homeowners. Rain chains can be drained into a water feature on the outside of your home and make for a great water show to watch the rain drip down your chain during a rainstorm.

Why Do You Need Them?

Rain gutters keep the water off of your house and will also help collect leaves, debris, and small animals. Allowing the rainwater and snow to consistently hit your house and run down the exterior of your home could cause long term damage. In addition to not having rain gutters, not having your downspout placed correctly could the water pool next to your foundation. Standing water can cause basement flooding, building damage and landscape erosion.

How Often Should You Maintain Them?

Most experts recommend cleaning rain gutters twice a year. Once at the beginning of the spring season and once at the beginning of fall. This allows you to collect the leaves that may have fallen in there and also gives you an opportunity to notice and assess any damage that has been caused since the last time you were up there. Ensuring that your gutters are working properly, especially during wet seasons of the year, will help you avoid flooding and other damage to your home.