Most of us are quite familiar with newer styles of homes. When we think of older homes, we rarely think of whether or not they had gutters. It’s easy to think that gutters are a newer invention, and certainly there have been newer advances in gutters in the last few decades.

Ancient Gutters

The truth is, however, that gutters go back thousands of years. In fact, gutters are so old that we don’t even really know when or by whom they were invented. (We do have historic reason to think that gutters were brought to Britain by the Romans…)

Some of the features of these ancient features seem today like decorative, artistic portions of the buildings. Take the photo below as an example.

Those gargoyle the structures on ancient castles and cathedrals were often part of gutter downspout systems! These helped to redirect water from the roofs of these buildings and redirect the water away from the building. For some more examples, take a look at this blog post.

Why did these enormous buildings of stone need gutters? Haven’t they lasted for thousands of years? Part of why these buildings have lasted so long is because of gutters! Gutters are especially important for buildings of stone and masonry. Without gutters, the water from the roof can drip along the sides of the stone, gradually eroding the mortar that holds the stones together. This can lead to collapse of even the largest, strongest buildings.

A documentary called “Resistance Through The Ages: Mont-Saint-Michel” about the famed Mont-Saint-Michel describes the many stages of construction the mount went through. At one point, a significant portion of the cathedral collapsed, and the documentary suggests that ineffective, dilapidated gutters were in part to blame. Effective gutters are absolutely necessary for these massive stone constructs to last for centuries to come!

Gutters today

Most of you probably don’t live in an ancient castle, though that would be amazing. Still, if those buildings need gutters, you can probably understand that your home needs them too. After all, you want your home and yard to stand the test of time, even if you aren’t worried about what it will look like in a thousand years.

Gutters are very important for your home. They help protect your siding and trim from water damage. Gutters redirect your water to prevent landscaping washout and water damage to your foundation. We can also design your gutters to blend in with your home as seamlessly as possible (unless you want to go the gargoyle downspout route). You may not want to think of the cost of gutters just yet, but consider the potentially greater costs of not having them.

Gutters have lasted for thousands of years. That can only mean one thing – they really matter. Think of other inventions that have lasted that long – wheels, pillows, coffee. These things stand the test of time. Make sure that your house can stand the test of time as well. Call us today for a free gutter estimate!