As a rain gutter installation company in the dry LA climate, one question we encounter is “do I even need rain gutters on my home?”
The answer to this question is “probably.”
The following factors should be taken into consideration:
1) Existing Water Diversion / Stream Formation
If water from your roof naturally collects into a couple streams, it’s possible to manage that runoff with water diverters or ground features that keep your foundation safe.
2) Roof Overhang
We’d suggest that a minimum roof overhang of 6 feet is necessary if you’re considering going without gutters.
3) Ground Slope
Houses are typically built in a manner that gives them some degree of slope intended to divert water away from the foundation. However, on its own this is generally not sufficient to divert enough water to make rain gutters necessary. Assess the natural water flow around your house – if pools of water form near the house, rain gutters are needed.
4) Ground apron and drainage
A concrete or gravel apron can be an effective means of diverting water from the house’s foundation into a drainage system (natural or manmade).
5) Average Rainfall
A huge factor in whether or not gutters are necessary for obvious reasons. Southern California is definitely toward the lower end of the spectrum where rainfall could be manageable if all of the other factors are also in your favor. However, abnormal weather patterns seem to be becoming something of a norm (LA got an entire year’s worth of rain in 4 months this year) so it seems unwise to bet the house on historic patterns.
To sum up, all of the above factors need to be lined up clearly in your favor if you’re considering whether going gutterless is an option. Certainly none of these on their own are sufficient to make gutters unnecessary.
Keep in mind that you’re not just dealing with the water that you see. We’d suggest that you speak with a gutter installation specialist or a trusted, independent housing contractor for their expert opinion.