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do away with gutter?  RSS feed

 
Posts: 125
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Ok, have an older house that I have multiple projects and need advice on. Have many large oak trees in front yard that partially overhang the front porch. Have a gutter that goes across the front that constantly collects leaves/acorns. Have used mesh screen over, which the leaves just collect on top of. A downspout goes out into the yard a ways. Trying to decide on trying a leaf guard or just taking down the gutter. Had some wood damage before where gunk had collected in the gutter which I got a new roof. Haven't gotten much rainfall the past few years here in Texas. 
Am planning on using rain barrels with a gutter to collect water on back of house and off my shop. 
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Posts: 56
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
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I have the same problem and I'm considering removing the gutter off the front & one side of the house, too, with perhaps just a short section on the part right in front of the door. I collect rain water on the back, which goes way to the back via a hose to add water to the pond. My house was built in 1855 & there is no sign that it had any type of gutter originally.
 
Posts: 48
Location: Southwestern Ohio
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Think about what will happen to the ground where the rain coming off the roof will hit.  Here in Ohio, with lots of rain, an indention forms, along with a built up of gravel.  Any plants in the area can die off from too much water and pounding from the of rain.

Sheets of ice pulled my gutters off after we put on a metal roof.  I don't really want to replace them because it will just happen again, so I am considering putting in something like a french drain around the house and moving plants further out away from the building. It would be way cool to have this water collect in a tank that I could pump out when needed. 


 
Posts: 254
Location: Virginia
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water is a terrible enemy of a house.  every house should have  guttering.  all water should be channeled away from the house.  the further away the better.  too much water can weaken the foundation.  cause rot on exterior and eventually work its way inside soaking insulation, causing mold and even more damage.

there is a type of guttering called K-GUARD  very expensive but will not clog.  you need this or something similar.  if its too pricey then develop a habbit of cleaning your guttters out periodically.  its well worth the effort in the short term, and definitely in the long term.

there is snow and ice guard  methods made for metal roofing.  it keeps damage to gutters  to a minimum or none at all.  worth every penny to install.  they will last forever.
 
                                
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By all means do away with the gutters.
I've never seen much use for them unless you're collecting water.  I've installed a few ground level 'gutters'  some of brick and the rest of washed (non-packing) gravel.  From there the water can be moved away from the house a number of ways but my method was underground black corrugated pipe.  Works like a charm too and there's no ladder to climb or gutters to clean.  You just need a spot away from the house that can handle the roof runoff from the pipes.
 
Cal Burns
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zenloki -
That's great. Have any photos or more details? How big and how deep are the pipes buried?
 
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Regardless of whether you have gutters or not, a 1600 sqft house will create 1000 gallons of runoff for every inch of rain.  Make certain that it has somewhere safe to go.
 
                                
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iseethelight wrote:
zenloki -
That's great. Have any photos or more details? How big and how deep are the pipes buried?



4" pipe has always been sufficient and it doesn't have to be buried deeply since it'll only carry water when its raining.  About 6" below grade is sufficient and keep in mind that eventually the pipe will surface.  Use the pipe with holes and face those downward.

Against the house either trench or box in an area of sufficient size to collect roof run-off.  The pipe is buried under the gravel and directly on top of an impermeable liner,  either 6mm black plastic or epdm pond liner.  The idea is to catch and hold the water here until its moved off by the pipe.  You definitely don't want water hanging out around your foundation.

Of utmost importance is getting the drainage correct so employ a level.

I don't have any pictures to share but I can draw a diagram if that will help.  If you have any other questions don't hesitate.
 
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Gutters are important if you don't have any the rain will splash against your wall and the windows. make sure that the gutters drain in the right direction. I don't know how high your house is but is it so difficult to clean the gutters out every now and then? And I always would like to collect the water, instead of relying on town water.
 
pollinator
Posts: 4437
Location: North Central Michigan
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i have just a short section of gutter off my back porch that collects water through a french drain that drains into my pond..(buried about 60'..otherwise the water would just be undermining my back porch and decking.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1460
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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My house was built in 1937.  Hopefully it is my last fixer-upper.  Last year while my uncle was visiting I asked him to prioritize my next projects for me.  We have done a lot, mostly structural and heat/air/plumbing but we have a long way to go.  Uncle is a retired builder.

He told me my highest priority was gutters.  We had other problems that I thought would be more important such as windows that need replacing, a corner foundation problem, etc..  But he said gutters so gutters it was.

What a difference!  The windows stay much cleaner, and yes, the moisture probably caused those windows that need replacing to deteriorate.  I have had a 150 year old house with the original windows in perfect condition because they built the eaves out far enough to prevent water on the house.  Uncle also felt the lack of gutters was contributing the foundation problem even though it was not the main cause. 

I am also enjoying catching and channeling all of that water.  For the first time one of my criniums bloomed that has never bloomed before - I was ready to get rid of it.  But it is sitting at the opening of the downspout.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1460
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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Not that it is terribly pertinent to this thread but here is a pic of the crinium that just bloomed at the base of one of our new downspouts.
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Posts: 71
Location: East-Central Illinois
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South Carolina wrote:
Not that it is terribly pertinent to this thread but here is a pic of the crinium that just bloomed at the base of one of our new downspouts.



Ooh, I love it - so pretty!
 
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This is a question I've been wondering about for several years. I have an old Craftsman house with multiple roof lines. I can not reach ANY of the gutters except for over the front porch. There are very old maple trees surrounding the house and in the spring it's seeds and in the fall it's leaves. I must admit I've let it go, but something needs to be done this fall, and I'm inclined for that something to be tearing off the gutters and putting up rain chains.
 
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