Do I need gutters?

In light of the seemingly endless rain, here is a question I've been wondering. Do we need gutters? We don't have them, nor do we have problems with leaking in the house. I've heard differing opinions - Gutters are good because they redirect water from the foundation, and gutters are bad because they contribute to ice dams in the winter. What is the general consensus?
Donna
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Gutters dont make ice dams, warm attics do, gutters keep the roof water from dumping excessive water at the buildings edge, leaking into the basement, or even just raising humidity in the basement, I finaly fixed a gutter last fall that never drained from a sag, this is the first year I have not used my dehumidifier in the basement, Excessive water will damage a foundation over time. Figure if it rains an inch maybe an equivilant of 10 inches or whatever may be dumped at the foundation from the roofs area .
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m Ransley wrote:

Ice dams can happen in cold climates under the right conditions, i.e. warm attics, sagging or poorly installed gutters.
Gutters mean that visitors to the house do not have to walk thru a sheet of water falling off the roof.
Gutters mean that you do not get an erosion line in the soil where the water falls off in sheets to the soil.
Gutters mean that spots do not develop in the mold that grows on concrete walks and driveways (all climates)
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Imagine a line going straight down to the ground from the edge of your roof. What's on the ground where that straight line points to? Make a list and tell us about it.
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Front of house:
Planting beds, front door/porch Sides of house: Grass Back of house: Grass, brick patio
Except for the front bed, the rain doesn't disturb the grass. It does make the mulch in the front bed look untidy, but that seems like a small reason to invest in gutters, if there isn't a larger one.
Donna

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Any valleys in the roof? That is where two sections of roof come together? This will concentrate the falling rain, and make a problem area.
If you have a simple roof, and enough drainage then no.
The problem of water falling over doorways can be fixed by putting a small guard in the shingles at an angle, over the doorway. This re-directs the sheet of water from falling on someone standing at the door. I saw this one on TOH, for a house that didn't have gutters.
-- If I had something to say, this is where I'd say it.
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John, I appreciate all the help you're offering me.

The house has grown over the last 70-odd years, so we have a bedroom addition, a dormer on the second floor, a breezeway-cum-office.... all kinds of odd additions where the roofs of the various parts have joined. What should I be watching for in these areas? What would be a problem area?

Oh, what a good idea. We have siding, so I'm assuming that adding this would be even easier with siding. Thanks.
Donna
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A problem area would send down too much water in the rain, either messing up the lawn, or flooding the basement, something like that.
-- If I had something to say, this is where I'd say it.
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If there's no splattered soil or mulch in the garden beds, then you're all set. However, when I go into a commercial establishment during a downpour, and get soaked because they didn't care enough about their customers to install gutters by the entrance, it pisses me off in a big way. It's a stupid thing to overlook.
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What
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When I hit the lotto and build my dream house, it won't have gutters. It will gave bigass overhangs, and about a 10 degree grade for the 10 yards surrounding the house. I <hate> cleaning gutters.
But, having said that- it depends on your roof slope, your overhangs, the number of valleys, and most importantly the grade and pitch and type of soil and surfaces in your yard. If you don't get ponding close to the foundation in heavy rain, and if the yard doesn't stay wet, you may not need them. In this subdivision of 40-some 1960s cookie cutters, about half have gutters, and half do not. A lot of no gutter houses do have some sort of water diverter over the doors and front walk, so people don't have to walk through a waterfall getting in and out.
aem sends...
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Gutters etc. also keep water (and dirt) from splashing up against the house. Think "wood being regularly soaked."
Back when, metal gutters were simply not available. They are now, and cost very little.
J
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in buffalo ny some thoughts: WHO will be doing the work? WHAT is the ordinance requirement for your town? what does your roofer say? WHERE: for what climate? not so many roof gutters in the desert climate of las vegas, for example. how much rain/snow will help with your answer. WHEN you install the roofing and/or gutters consider automatic heaters if icing is a problem. the quantity of attic insulation directly affects the icing. WHY not check with the neighbors similar homes and see how they deal with rain and icing successfully.
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My first house was a 1905 with some additions, small but very high, with rather steeply pitched main roof. No gutters. Over time, a cut line had developed on the porch roof where rain fell from that main roof. I also had minor moisture problems in the basement. After patching the porch roof a couple times, I re-roofed it. Never did install gutters, but in retrospect think I should have. The main roof was really due for replacement- but the buyers and their inspector never mentioned it. Re: cleaning gutters- first thing I did in my new house was clean out clogged gutters/downspouts. Next thing was install gutter guards- no problem since.
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