The Origin of Gutters
In one form or another, gutters have been a practical addition to buildings, for thousands of years. All gutters have a single purpose: to capture rainwater flowing from the roof and deliver it safely to the ground through downspouts, thus sparing the building and its foundation from water damage.
A precursor to the development of modern gutters, in the early years, gutters were troughs placed at the bottom edges of roofs. The trough was placed at a downward angle above the door of the home. There it would capture some of the rainwater pouring off the roof and channel it into a waiting rain barrel.
The rain barrel idea was developed into extensive systems of troughs leading to cisterns holding fresh water for drinking, cooking and bathing, as have been discovered in the ruins of homes in Europe. (Interestingly this idea is once again gaining in popularity as Rainwater Harvesting has become an important piece of environmental conservation programs.)
Modern Day Gutters
A more recent solution to the problem of drawing water away from the home was to build wooden troughs or gutters into the roof itself, which eventually had to be lined with lead, because this method can cause damage to interior walls and ceilings. However, these integral gutters are still used in many European countries.
By the mid19th century, the gutters were constructed of metal (most often lead and eventually steel) and moved to the edges of the roof where they became external attachments to the eaves or fascia.
Eventually, the wood, lead and steel gutters of yesteryear, have given way to durable and lightweight aluminum gutters.
If you need gutters on your home, keep browsing through this site. Before you choose a new gutter system, you should know what's available and how each system works, and why LeafGuard® Brand Gutters are the best gutters you can install on your home.