Commentary on Bob Vila Article about Rain Gutters
So I was reading this article from Bob Vila about the 5 types of rain gutters to consider for your home. Very informative! I really like Bob Vila. Would like to meet him someday and talk shop.
Anyway, in this article he discusses how to know if your home needs rain gutters, and which materials are the most durable. As I said, I like Bob, but he embarrassingly began his article with a bunch of filler and fluff about what exactly a rain gutter is. Seriously, bro, c’mon! LOL
“Are gutters always a given?”
He poses the question, “Are gutters always a given?” My answer is a definitive “YES” gutters are always needed on any home that sees rain fall. Not just because I sell and install gutters, but because I believe in the importance of their function and utility 100%.
Bob Vila’s Exceptions
Exception 1: Bob goes on to outline a few exceptions to always needing rain gutters. In one he says if your home has a sharply peaked roof with 12” or more of over-hang then gutters may not be necessary.
He claims the reason is that the water will fall farther from the house and not pool next to it causing structural damage. Wow I disagree! While a 12” or longer over hang does dump water father from the foundation, it will in fact still hit the ground. So where does it go from there? Back towards the house, or away from it? It depends on your landscaping. Bob does not cover water diversion and soil erosion. Rain gutters and their downspouts guide water towards an optimal path away from your home thus keeping your home dry.
Exception 2: Continuing his odd disregard for landscape, he further claims that a house higher than a yard does not need gutters. Wrong again! (Sorry bro.) He says that due to a sloping yard then water is unlikely to pool next to the house. While he’s right about that, what about the very likely event of water pooling elsewhere that might cause problems?
What if water pools in a vital walkway, driveway, floods a flower bed, or creates a temporary lake somewhere you don’t want, such as a neighbor’s yard? Can you say potential lawsuit? Given the choice I’ll always choose to pass on courtroom litigation. Plus, I barely have enough time to take care of my own yard so I sure don’t have time (or desire) for repairing the neighbor’s yard too. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound or cure, right?
Exception 3: Furthering with another reason to not have gutters he cites an example of a house surrounded by concrete. He claims no gutters necessary because “the concrete serves as a protective layer between runoff and the foundation”.
Okay sure, a protective layer, but not absolute protection! The best protection against standing water against a foundation is to NOT HAVE STANDING WATER next to the foundation. Best way to accomplish that is by routing water away using rain gutters and proper downspout placement.
Exception 4: Finally, he says that if you live in an arid climate you might opt out of installing gutters.
Might, meh. Why take the chance? Arid mean low rain fall, not ZERO rain fall. Do you have any idea what happens to an arid region in a sudden downpour? They have flash floods! The flooding is sudden and intense. And the erosion is severe. Do you want that flood and erosion right up against your house? Even it’s only occasional like once or twice a year? I certainly don’t!
To Bob’s credit he goes on later in the article to describe gutter types and different materials and he does a pretty good job of it. But seriously, the water flow part… OMG!
Okay, so, Bob Vila got some points right but he’s way off in so many other super important, and potentially costly ways. Just goes to show where is strengths are; and sorry to say rain gutters is not one of them. Apparently neither are landscape protection and hydrology (the science and study of water flow).
When seeking professional advice it’s usually better to consult with an expert about your specific situation rather than listen to a TV personality speaking in general terms. I really dig his show and I’m still a fan! But sorry Bob, the most crucial part of your rain gutter article did not hit the nail on the head.
Owner: Greg Martin
Location: San Marcos, CA. 92069
Article Source: https://www.bobvila.com/articles/types-of-rain-gutters/