What is a Rain Gutter?

Learn more about the importance of a gutter system for your home.

Published April 1, 2022

Owning a home comes with the responsibility of maintaining its interior and exterior features to help ensure you aren’t left with unexpected renovation costs. With that being said, if you’re a first-time homeowner or have never lived in an area of the United States that has a rainy climate, you may be unfamiliar with rain gutters and how they work. 

And while such a simple term may not appear to be important, in reality, your gutter system is an important feature that is attached on the exterior of your home to help provide protection during stormy weather. Therefore, if you want to learn more about what a gutter system is, keep reading because we’ve put together a complete guide on everything you need to know.

What is a rain gutter?

A rain gutter is an exterior home feature that collects water during a storm and diverts it away from your property through downspouts. This helps ensure the water does not seep into your foundation and cause damage. Gutter systems sit horizontally under the edge of your roof and are typically constructed of aluminum to ensure durability and strength during severe weather conditions.

Do I really need rain gutters?

Look, we get it –rain gutters aren’t the most exciting home feature you can spend your time and money on. However, if you live in an area of the United States that experiences a wetter climate, then rain gutters are often recommended. Why? Well, without them, you may experience the following issues around your home, including: 

  • Large volumes of water soaking into your surrounding landscaping that may cause pools of flooding around your home and ruin your plants
  • Water damage on the uppermost levels of your home due to water soaking into your roof and causing it to rot and decay
  • The growth of mold in your ceiling, walls, and basement which can put your health at risk
  • Flooding in your basement
  • Cracks in your cement which can later lead to an unstable foundation
  • Insect and rodent infestations as a result of stale water

With that being said, if you live in a state with a desert climate that rarely sees heavy rainfall, you may be able to get away with avoiding a rain gutter system installation. However, it may not hurt to prepare for the worst, rather than being blindsided by damage that could have otherwise been prevented.

Signs You Need to Replace or Repair Your Gutters

Furthermore, knowing when it’s time to replace or repair your rain gutters is helpful to avoid unexpected costs and damage to your home. Therefore, the next time it is raining, keep any eye out for the following signs that could indicate there is damage somewhere along your gutter system:

  • There is water spilling or dripping over the edge of your gutters which can indicate your gutters are clogged with fallen leaves, branches, and other debris
  • Staining on the sides of your home
  • Sections of your gutter system have begun to sag downward and bend due to water being unable to drain away from your home properly
  • There are signs of water damage on the inside of your home
  • You notice cracking and holes in your gutter system
  • Your gutters have become detached from your home in certain areas
  • The seals on your gutters that connect each piece together have become unglued and are allowing water to drip through

How much do gutters cost?

Any of the signs listed above could indicate that it’s time to replace or repair your rain gutters. A common question that homeowners often have with any renovation is what the project will end up costing. However, there are a couple factors that will help determine the final cost of a new rain gutter system, which we have outlined below for you.

1. The type of material

There are several types of materials used to construct gutters including:

  • Aluminum (mid-priced)
  • Vinyl (inexpensive)
  • Zinc (expensive)
  • Steel (expensive)
  • Copper (expensive)

2. The amount of materials needed

The next factor that will help determine the end price of your new rain gutters is the amount of materials needed which is measured by how many feet you need, and the hardware required to secure it to your home.

3. The Style of Gutters

Furthermore, the style of gutters can also factor into how much you will need to pay for gutters. For example, styles of gutters include half-round, k-style, custom, and whether you want to install gutter guards to help protect them from becoming clogged due to fallen debris that can get stuck throughout the system.

4. Whether You DIY or Hire a Professional Team

While there are several home improvement projects easy enough to DIY, replacing and installing a new gutter system may be more difficult due to the precise requirements needed to ensure they function properly. Therefore, while you may be able to tackle this project on your own, you run the risk of making mistakes that could end up costing you more in the end. So, depending on your budget, you may want to consider hiring a professional contracting team that can get the job done correctly the first time.

Do gutters add value to your home?

Like most home renovation projects, installing a new rain gutter system can help increase the value of your home while ensuring your curbside appeal remains pristine throughout the year. Therefore, if you are thinking about moving in the next couple of years, then it may be worth it to budget for new gutters as it may end up giving your home more market value when you decide to put it up for sale.

Share this article

Get started with Local Home Pro now

Book a free in-home Gutters consultation.

Recommended Articles

The information, views, materials, and opinions contained in this article are for general informational purposes only, are not intended to constitute commercial, legal or other professional advice, and should not be relied on or treated as a substitute for specific advice relevant to particular circumstances.

Home Improvement Call Center Corp. and its affiliates (collectively “HI3C”) makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about any of the content of this article (including, without limitation, any as to the quality, accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose of such content), or any content of any other article referred to or accessed by hyperlinks through this article. Although we make reasonable efforts to update the information regularly, HI3C makes no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content on our site is accurate, complete or up-to-date.