When many people consider why gutters on a house are important, they consider the rainwater and runoff that would otherwise collect in a basement or crawlspace. This is a genuine concern, but when a house does not have gutters, other damage and problems will undoubtedly occur. It is important for a house to have gutters, not only to help keep water out of a basement or crawlspace, but to also prevent concrete damage, landscaping damage, and liability claims.
The landlord that built the home I am living in did not add gutters to my house or any of his other rental homes, and although he saved money on materials, and even though he never has to worry about gutter maintenance, his lack of concern has caused damage to his property. He obviously does not think that gutters are important. I do not know his reasons for not adding gutters to any of his houses or why he thinks they are not important. A large newer section of his house does not have gutters either, but since living in this rental home I have discovered the damage that will occur as well as why gutters are extremely important. The following damage that has occurred to my rental home validates why gutters on a house are very important.
Costly Concrete Damage
Who would think that water running off a roof could damage concrete? After all, concrete is rock-hard, and water runs off hard surfaces. It is important to add gutters to a house because in time, water will significantly erode and etch any concrete below the roofline. On the house I rent, the water pours off the roof in a heavy stream where the garage and living quarters meet. During heavy rains the water pressure is heavier than it is in my rented shower that is worse for wear, and the concrete beneath the roofline is severely eroded. Years of pounding rainwater has caused permanent damage, and it forms an obvious line across the driveway. Gutters are important because they would have prevented thousands of dollars in damage to concrete that will eventually have to be replaced. Even areas where the rain simply drips off the roof and onto the concrete have been etched. The exterior of the home is just about maintenance-free because non-existent gutters do not require maintenance, but it is has been damaged.
Landscaping Damage and Liability
Since water can erode concrete it very easily erodes landscaping, and this is another reason why it is important for a house to have gutters. The location of the runoff is very evident around the house I rent. Water has created a deep trench around the perimeter of the house, and I have twisted my ankle a few times. This trench also makes it difficult to mow since the wheels become caught in the rut. I can see how someone might break their ankle in this eroded area, and this is an important consideration. The trench is somewhat difficult to see when the grass is the least bit long, and this creates important and very serious liability issues.
Gutters are important because someone could become severely injured when stepping into the trenches created by natural runoff, but the overspill also damages landscaping. I can never plant flowers, bushes, or anything else in the area directly beneath the roofline. Not only would plants become waterlogged, but the rain would also erode the soil away from the roots.
These are just some of the important reasons why a house should have gutters. Because of a lack of gutters, the rental home I live in requires two sump pumps, and when it rains they run continually because the water seeps through the cinderblock foundation. The cost of two sump pumps had to be greater than the cost of gutters. In addition, I have to pay for the electricity to run the sump pumps, but this is not a concern of the landlord. He chose not to add gutters to his rental homes to save himself money and labor, but in the end his frugality and obstinacy could cost him in more ways than one.