Rain gutters may seem like they are an outdated addition to modern houses, but the truth is that rain gutters still serve the important purpose that they were originally designed for: to channel rainwater off of the roof and prevent roof damage, to adequately channel the rainwater to a drainage area instead of letting water collect near the house, and to keep water from making its way under doors or into the house via weak spots.
While it is true that you see many less rain traditional rain gutters on homes these days, the rain still needs to be channeled in a way as to protect the home from any of the occurrences that traditional rain guards protected-from. Modern roofs and drains, however, channel the water away in ways that do not necessitate unsightly rain gutters that take a lot of time to clean-out and maintain.
Tile Roofing and Self Channeling Roof Types
In the American Southwest, you tend to not see many — if any — rain gutters on homes. In Arizona, California and Nevada the need for rain gutters lining the exterior roof ledges are not necessary because many of the roofs themselves are built to channel the water away from the house themselves. In the aforementioned states, you will see many houses built from stucco and having tile roofs. Not only are these roofs built at specific angles — and drainage is calculated and considered during design processes — but the tile roofs themselves make up a set of sloped channels that speedily force the rain off of the roof and onto the ground below. While these roofs negate the need for rain gutters, extra planning must be done to make sure there is drainage for the water once it is on the ground.
This type of system uses small gutters, that are barely visible on the roof, to wick the water to a certain point where it is funneled downward and into a ground drain. While this is a less visible form of gutters, many types of these gutters can quickly get overcome with large amounts of rainfall, and can run into problems with excessive debris.
Rainwater Collection Options
A favorite of those in the “Green Energy” movements, rainwater collection systems allow the water to be funneled off of the roof of a home, and channeled into storage barrels for future use in gardening, reused in home appliances, or to be filtered for drinking water.
Drip Path Gutters
With a drip path gutter system, the rain is still often channeled along the roof edge to a specific point, once at that point the water is channeled off of the roof onto a concrete slab that runs at a grade — like a concrete path — to where the water is finally allowed to collect, away from the house. This often seen in homes that are built along a steep grade, or naturally have a very flat yard.
There are many options for rain removal systems for your home; make sure whatever system that you are considering will be a full solution for preventing against damage in both moderate rain, and in severe whether and torrential rain.