Rain gutters can be unattractive and costly, not to mention a real challenge to keep free of live oak and cedar debris. So how important are they here in San Antonio? Can homeowners really take it all off and go gutterless?
Much of the answer depends on a home’s construction. If a home has long roof overhangs, lacks a steeply pitched roof and has excellent slope at grade that adequately protects the foundation, it may be a candidate for skipping the gutters. But extra care will need to be taken to minimize water damage during the storm bursts that our area is prone to get. A sloping concrete apron extending at least 6 inches past the roof overhang can be poured, or layers of gravel or stone can be arranged to catch rainwater in conjunction with a drainage system above or below ground.
For the rest of us, gutters make it easier to come and go without getting drenched at the door, and keep depressions from becoming ponds during a deluge. Rain gutters aren’t exactly glamorous, but they are unsung heroes when it comes to protecting a home’s siding, windows, doors and foundation from rot and water damage.
There are a huge variety of gutter materials out there, ranging from relatively inexpensive and strong vinyl to beautiful, long-lasting (and pricey) copper. And many homeowners have added gutter guards to decrease maintenance. All types of gutters work about as well, so homeowners can pick the material that best compliments their home’s aesthetics—and their budget.