Rain gutters, also known as gutter guards, are necessary on a house to avoid damage to the exterior of the house from water splashing up and to prevent soil erosion. A gutter guard should be inspected and cleaned every year. The best time is in the fall, after the trees have dropped their leaves. Gutter guards, which are perforated covers, can be installed to prevent leaves from accumulating and clogging the gutters. Also available are wire strainers that install at the top of the downspouts to prevent downspout clogging. Gutters can be cleaned by hand or with a leaf blower. The brackets that fasten the gutters to the house should be inspected annually, as should the joints for any leaks.


When gutters over flow the water can wick back up under the shingles and cause damage to the roof sheeting. Also water hitting the ground and splashing up on the side of the house can stain stucco siding and paint or start the deterioration of wood siding. Water from the downspouts should be directed away from the house foundation.