May 07, 2024

Are Gutters Necessary? (2023)

Tamara Jude is a writer specializing in solar energy and home improvement content. She has a background in journalism and an enthusiasm for research, with more than six years of experience producing and writing content. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, attending concerts and playing video games.

Dana Getz is a seasoned editor with nearly a decade of experience writing and editing content. She has a background in journalism and worked as a fact-checker for prestigious magazines such as New York and Chicago. She holds a journalism and marketing degree from Northwestern University and has worked across numerous categories within the home services space.

Many homeowners don’t realize the importance of gutters. They safeguard your property from costly water damage by directing excess rainwater away from your foundation and siding.

We at the Guides Home Team have heavily researched gutter systems and compiled our findings in this guide. We’ll explain how gutters work, when they’re necessary and when they’re not. We’ll also recommend some of the best gutter guards to keep your gutter system working properly.

Compare rates from installers near you.

Rain gutters direct excess stormwater away from your home. They’re installed along your fascia board, or the trim that runs along your roof’s edge. Rainwater collects in your gutters’ channels and moves down the sides of your home in sectionals called downspouts. The water travels out of the downspouts and safely away from your property.

Without gutters, excess runoff could damage your basement and foundation or wash away your landscape.

A gutter system can save you thousands of dollars in water damage repairs. Most homeowners need them for the following reasons.

Gutters are necessary for most homes. However, there are some situations when they’re unnecessary, outlined below. Consult a gutter contractor if you’re unsure whether your home needs gutters.

Installing or replacing gutter guards can cost anywhere from $800 to $2,000, get a quote from a top provider.

Gutter installation averages between $1,000-$5,000. Get a quote from a top provider.

Gutter cleaning costs can run you anywhere from $115 - $450 depending on several factors. Get a quote from a top provider

Once gutters are installed, they require maintenance to continue working. In particular, homeowners must clear out clogs or ice dams.

Large leaves, pine needles, twigs and even pollen can flow into your gutters along with rainwater. Over time, this debris accumulates and clogs your gutters, preventing water from flowing through. Blocked drains overflow and cause water damage, staining, erosion and other problems.

You can install gutter guards (also known as gutter covers) to prevent clogging. These guards form a barrier to block debris from entering your gutters. They still require occasional cleaning, but they significantly reduce the frequency.

Ice dams are frozen ridges that build up along your roof after a snow storm. The heat from your home — usually the attic — partially melts the snow on your roof. This melted snow runs down your roof and refreezes again, forming heavy ice blocks that prevent the remaining snow from falling off your roof. As the ice dams defrost, water seeps into your home.

A common misconception is that gutters cause ice dams. If you do have issues with ice dams in your gutters, you’ll need to have your attic inspected for possible heating leaks. You can also install gutters with a heating element to defrost ice dams.

The short answer is yes. Gutters are necessary to protect most homes’ foundations, basements, attics and surrounding landscapes. There are only a few instances when gutters aren’t necessary, such as if you live in a dry climate or on a hill.

Once installed, it’s imperative to keep your gutters well-maintained and clog-free. We recommend investing in gutter guards to keep out debris. LeafFilter’s stainless steel micro-mesh guard is our top choice. It keeps out even small debris such as pollen, pine needles and shingle grit.

We also recommend All American Gutter Protection for its ongoing deals and discounts. Both companies offer gutter installation services.

Use the tool below to find gutter installation companies in your area. Get quotes from at least three companies to compare services.

In most cases, gutters are necessary to protect your home from water damage. You may not need to install gutters if your roof has long overhangs, your home is surrounded by concrete, or you live in a dry climate or on a hill.

Most homeowners don’t need gutters around their entire house. It depends on your roof layout and the length of your overhangs. You’ll need to install gutters in areas with little to no overhangs to prevent waterfalls from cascading from the roof. If your roof has multiple slopes, gutters should be installed under each slope for proper drainage. Areas with overhangs that exceed 10 inches don’t need gutters.

The primary purpose of gutters is to catch rainwater from your roof and direct it away from your property. Gutters also protect your basement and attic from water damage that can cause mold and mildew. Without a gutter system, your home could be susceptible to foundational and structural damage.

Gutter guards are a valuable investment for most homeowners, but they aren’t without potential downsides. For example, it is important to find the right style for your roof shape and local weather patterns. If you mismatch the type of gutter guard to your needs, you could end up with flow rate issues or small debris bypassing the guards. Additionally, some types may void your roof warranty, while others can look aesthetically unpleasing to some homeowners.

Our team created a comprehensive ratings system to rank gutter guard companies and products. We researched gutter guards’ functionality, specifications, installation process and more, as well as read customer reviews to understand the customer experience and longevity of the products.After researching, we scored gutter guard providers in these categories: gutter guard materials and product options, installation options, payment options, communication, additional benefits and reputation.The BBB ratings included in this guide are accurate as of May 2023.

Gutter Installation Cost CalculatorHouse Size (sqaure footage)How Many Stories is Your House?What Style House Do You Have? Your Estimate Estimates are based on your calculator inputs. This is an estimate, NOT an official quote.