Gutters play an important role in protecting your home from water damage. By installing gutters along your roofline, you are making sure rainwater and snowmelt don’t fall directly below. Rather, water falls off the roof, enters the gutters and is led to the downspouts. The downspouts allow the water to exit to an area or drainage where it cannot do damage to your home.
Without gutters, a host of problems can develop. A flooded basement, mold and mildew growth, damaged flowerbeds, muddy exteriors and even rotting areas at the fascia and soffit underneath the roof. These problems can also lead to even more issues with water damage.
It’s easy to ignore the importance of gutters when they’re working properly. But do you know how gutters came to be? Here’s a short history of how the use of gutters began.
The Early Years
The Indus Valley Civilization, which existed 3000 BC to 1500 BC, was the first known civilization to use gutters. Brick-covered drains of burnt clay were the first gutters. The Roman Empire made leaps in the development of drainage systems. They built roads with a slope that was highest in the middle to allow rain to flow into gutters. The Romans brought this technology to England in about 47 AD.
The Norman Empire
The Norman Empire rose between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. This was when gutter systems were made a part of the architecture. You are probably familiar with gargoyles that were a huge part of buildings in the past, from homes to churches and everything in between. Those gargoyles were the gutters/downspouts. The water would exit through the gargoyles’ mouths.
Cast iron became popular in the early 1700s. Manufacturers began using it to make gutters. Others also used wood by carving it into V-shaped gutters and attaching them to public buildings and the homes of the affluent. In more modern times, cast iron replaced lead as the most popular material for making gutters.
The Second Industrial Revolution
The twentieth century saw the rise of the Second Industrial Revolution. This was when more materials were invented along with newer technologies. This led to the revolutionization of gutters. In the 1900s, metal rolling machines enabled manufacturers to roll steel gutters into half-rounds. Builders attached the half-rounds to building edges.
Seamless aluminum gutter machines once again revolutionized the manufacturing of gutters in the 1960s. Aluminum is strong and easy to manipulate. It’s also lighter than steel. This is why it overtook steel as the preferred material for making gutters.
These days, other gutter materials are well-known, including affordable vinyl and luxurious copper. Budget, functionality, beauty and longevity all play a part in most homeowners’ choice of gutter material and style.
Roof Masters is a trusted gutter installation company. We also offer door replacement. Call us today at (301) 230-7663, or fill out the form here to schedule your estimate. We work with homeowners in Rockville, MD.