First Home

Water damage can be cosmetic, mild, or structural. Cosmetic refers to unsightly streaks down the walls, or doors, or mold on the roof. Mild damage can be damp patches on the roof, walls and ceiling that can weaken the material.

Structural damage can be when large areas of the walls, roof and even foundations are damaged to a degree that there is a danger of part of the house falling in. Gutters can help prevent all of this damage to your home. Make sure they are installed properly by professionals. 

Avoid damage to the roof

If the gutters along your roof are flat, water can’t run away and they will fill up and eventually overflow over the side, or dam up towards the roof. 

The gutters should slope very gently, which means only about ¼ inch over about 10 feet. If they are not pitched away from the house at the correct angle, they can send the water back where it shouldn’t be, rather than safely towards the downpipe.

Your gutters can help you avoid water damage to the roof. If the water pools in the gutter and onto the roof, it can cause the shingles to rot. Enough lasting damp on the roof can eventually cause leaks. In winter, when the water on the roof freezes, an ice dam can be formed, which will cause more damage. If you notice any damages, it’s best to request professionals for help in replacing or cleaning it out. If you’re on the hunt for high-quality gutters and supplies, visit

Keep water from pooling around the perimeter of your house

Gutters are also meant to keep water from running or dripping down the side of the house and pooling around the perimeter. The danger here is that the water can seep into the foundations, which can weaken them. The foundations could sink and cause part of the house to crack.

Randomly falling water can shift the soil, causing it to erode away from the house. With some of the surrounding soil potentially creeping away from the foundations, they could settle, which can also cause them to crack. Or there may be other foundational damage.

Help prevent water damage to the ceiling

Another form of water damage that gutters can help to avoid is weakening of the ceiling. If the gutters get blocked, the water will dam up and run onto the roof, and will inevitably find a place to run down. This is likely to be a small leak into the roof.

From there, the water will either drip onto the ceiling board itself, or could run along a roof beam and then find a way down to the ceiling. 

The ceiling board is not designed to be water resistant. If it does get wet, the board will absorb the moisture over time. The damp area will spread and the ceiling will rot. The best case scenario is that you’ll have to replace a ceiling board; the worst case scenario will be that the ceiling collapses and causes a whole lot more damage.

Keep water from affecting the siding

Your house may be clad with some kind of siding. Some of these are made up of slats, which form natural crevices that can hold small things – and water. 

Essentially, siding is made of materials and treated so that it is water resistant. It can, therefore, withstand being spattered or even hit by rain. However, if enough water dribbles down the siding, it can be caught up between the slats and damage the siding. If this stays there, it will stagnate. The best conditions for mold to grow in are dark, damp places – so mold is likely to grow in these spaces. With mold comes rot, which will eventually cause damage to the siding itself. 

Siding is only a cover, which means the moisture and mold could get through to the wall underneath. Especially if the walls are made of wood, then the water that is trapped can get into it and eventually cause structural damage to the house.

Good guttering will keep water from running down the walls, and therefore, it won’t get trapped between the slats of the siding. This is another way that gutters help to avoid water damage to your home.

Keep mold, moss and bacteria at bay

One of the greatest contributions of gutters to your home is keeping your house healthy. This may sound strange, but it’s all to do with mold and bacteria. 

Most molds grow best in areas that remain damp and aren’t well ventilated. In fact, those conditions are perfect for them to thrive. If water pools anywhere in your home and becomes stagnant, then these conditions are created – and mold will find a home.

When mold is growing, it attracts a range of bacteria, which will grow and even thrive. The spores from these bacteria can get into your home and may affect your health.

Keep your gutters clear and in good condition

The long and short of avoiding water damage to your home is to look after your gutters. Make sure they are not sagging, otherwise the water will simply dam up, because it can’t run anywhere.

You must also check for any weak spots in the gutters that can form leaks. If this happens, then the water will drip or run onto the walls or roof, and not away from the house. 

Perhaps the key to healthy gutters is to keep them clear. Don’t let the gutters get clogged with anything. The most likely things to get stuck in a gutter are organic (leaves and twigs). Not only can these dam up the water, but they will absorb it and eventually go rotten. Moss and similar plants can now grow and will block the gutter even more effectively.

We hope you found this blog post on First Home: The Role of Gutters in Preventing Water Damage useful. Be sure to check out our post on Must-Haves If You’re Looking To Purchase Your First Home for more great tips!

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