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10 Gutter Facts Every Homeowner Should Know

Gutter and downspout of a house with a blue sky and white clouds in the background.

Gutters are an indispensable component of your roof. They direct rainwater away from your house and help prevent basement flooding and other moisture problems. Unfortunately, they’re usually not given a second thought until there’s an issue. That’s why maintenance/cleaning and occasional inspections are extremely important.

The gutter experts at Town Building Systems have compiled a list of gutter stats and facts homeowners should know so they can be more familiar with these important roofing systems.

1. 99% of Gutters Fail

Approximately 99% of all gutters are known to fail at some point, even when they’re properly fixed on the roof. This is why regular gutter cleaning and maintenance is so important, and why it’s crucial to schedule gutter repair the minute you notice signs of an issue.

It’s also advisable to inspect your gutters every few months, especially after heavy rain.


Banner with red background and white text that reads, "Approximately 99% of gutters are known to fail at some point even when they're properly fixed on the roof."


2. Late Summer Is the Time To Invest in Gutter Guards

Debris and leaves start to build up in fall, so it’s best to install gutter guards before peak fall foliage. We recommend investing in gutter guards in late summer or early autumn.

Once leaves start to fall, it can be a chore to clean gutters consistently enough to prevent damage. Gutter guards will make a big difference in keeping your gutters clean and clear

3. Seamless Gutters Can Last for Decades

No gutters last forever, especially if they’re not installed properly or maintained regularly. But some gutters have longer life spans than others. Traditional gutters are more prone to breaking down or getting clogged, which leads to replacement much earlier than seamless gutters.

Stainless steel and aluminum seamless gutters last longer than other gutter styles — between 15 and 25 years for aluminum and up to 50 years for steel.

4. Poor Gutters Are the #1 Cause of Basement Flooding

Did you know rainwater runoff is the top source of basement flooding? Making sure your home has the right gutter size and that your gutters are cleaned regularly is the key to preventing this.

If your gutters are in bad shape, repairing or replacing them right away can save your basement or foundation from serious flood damage.

5. You Can Customize Your Downspouts

Gutter downspouts are necessary for any gutter system. Downspouts redirect water away from areas like sidewalks, foundations, gardens and decks.

You can customize your downspouts to make them more effective — splash guards can be added to slow the flow of water and reduce erosion, and gutter extensions can direct water to flow further away from the home to the right spot. Ask a gutter specialist what the best downspout design is for your gutter system.

The corner of a home's brown roof with brown gutters connected to downspout.


6. Most Standard Homeowners Insurance Policies Don’t Cover Flood Damage

In many cases, homeowners insurance won’t cover rain flooding unless the water enters the home through a window or roof that was broken in a storm. You should check your policy to clarify what it covers. Regardless of your coverage, it’s important to have high-quality, effective gutters.

A properly installed, well-maintained gutter system will redirect heavy rain away from your home and prevent flooding — potentially saving you thousands on repairs that your insurance policy might not cover. 

7. You Need One Downspout for Every 20 Feet of Roof Line

Most homeowners think you only need one or two downspouts, but not having enough can lead to damage and erosion. A typical home needs one gutter downspout per every 20 feet of roof line to provide adequate protection.

A gutter specialist can suggest the right number for your roof size and the average rainfall of the area.

8. Standing Water Leads to Pests

Standing water is a common problem for gutters, and this can lead to mosquitos and other pest problems. If you notice water in your gutters on a consistent basis, you should schedule gutter repair ASAP.

A gutter expert can locate and fix the source of the issue, which is usually clogged downspouts or improper gutter pitch.


Red banner with white text that reads, "Standing water in gutters is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Be extra careful during rainy seasons."


9. Attic Insulation Can Prolong the Life Span of Your Gutters

If your attic isn’t already insulated, it’s a good idea to insulate the entire attic, including the floors and ceiling. The added insulation will ensure your attic’s temperature is maintained so the snow melts evenly on your gutters. The amount of insulation you’ll need depends on the climate of your location.

10. DIY Gutter Installation Isn’t as Easy as It Looks

You can buy gutters and downspouts at any big-box home improvement store and watch a how-to video online, but repairing or installing your gutters isn’t as easy as it looks. Improper gutter installation can lead to flooding, erosion, mold and pest infestations.

Trying to repair or replace your own gutters can even lead to injury. Each year, there are over 164,000 emergency room-treated injuries and 300 deaths in the U.S. caused by falls from ladders. It’s best to rely on a professional to install your gutters.

Choose Town Building Systems for Gutter Service in Buffalo, NY

Whether you need gutter repair, are interested in installing gutter guards or have concerns about your current gutters and want to replace them, turn to Town Building Systems. We provide top-notch gutter services throughout Buffalo and surrounding Upstate New York. 


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International Association of Certified Home Inspectors


They were quick, efficient and very easy to talk to. These guys deserve a raise. Awesome job!! Joseph M.
They were very professional about the job and made sure that everything that I wanted done was done they did some great work, and I would highly recommend them. They also cleaned up very well after they were finished ... Gregory L.
Outstanding people, outstanding customer service! I highly recommend Town for any job or service that you need! Wendy S.

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