The nuns always said my mind was in the gutter, and here’s the proof.
Not all houses need to have gutters, and very few houses need them all the way around. Because gutters can be hard to maintain, it’s best to let water run off your roof and deal with it at the ground level, being sure to create enough slope away from your foundation to ensure that water doesn’t pond around your home or get under it to cause soil expansion/foundation problems. In areas of your home where it’s impossible to re-reroute the water on the ground, gutters are needed to move the runoff to a point where it can be poured onto the ground and carried away by the contour of the landscape.
At our house, we only have gutters on four spots where the roof runoff needed a little help. Like everyone else, our gutters always got filled with tree debris, then clogged completely when a storm came along. I often found myself out in a storm cleaning out the gutters until one stormy day when Necessity met Invention. Our gutters and downspouts were totally blocked, and it was raining buckets. I needed to solve the problem fast, or we could have had a flood on our hands. I grabbed a hammer and banged the ends out of the nice gutters and FLOOSH!, all of the water and crud washed out in a mad rush. I took the ends off of all of our gutters that day, and it worked beautifully.
Later, we installed new gutters that are half-round, 6” wide. They have open ends and no downspouts. We created “splash areas” in the landscape beneath the gutter ends to handle the concentrated water flow and contoured the landscape to allow the water to get away from the house.
I still clean the gutters out from time to time, but I don’t have to any more. Even when they’re pretty full, they still carry the water off the roof and when a downpour hits, they flush themselves right out.
I don’t think many people are hip to this trick (the gutter installers were totally puzzled), but it might be worth a try for your house.
We had a nice little storm come through today and I shot this video to show you how it works. The gutters haven’t been cleaned in six months or more, and they were dumping crud out quite nicely!
Click on the "play" icon in the video to see how it works...