Your home’s rain gutters — whether they’re slim Barbie gutters, k-style gutters, or half round gutters — protect your home from all sorts of hazardous water damage. Your roofing, siding, windows, landscaping, and foundation would all be ruined without proper rain gutter installation, especially here in Seattle. You probably knew that, of course, but there is a lot you probably don’t know about rain gutters.
Here are some fun facts you probably didn’t know about your residential gutters.
- Rain gutters as we know them today were invented in the early 20th century. However, the very first gutters ever invented date all the way back to 3,000 B.C. Ancient civilizations used wood, sticks, and stone to drain water from one location to another, and the direction of wastewater and storm runoff away from homes and cities was a major engineering achievement at the dawn of civilization. Later, the Romans were the first to use these drainage systems to drain water away from their stone roads, some of which still stand to this day.
- Citizens of Ancient Greece and Rome used to use gargoyles on their buildings to act as gutters. They would place the gargoyles at the end of a drain pipe to direct the water away from the important areas of their buildings. This was obviously before the invention of downspouts. Gargoyles were used to ward off evil spirits and rainwater at the same time! The gargoyles were replaced, sadly, in the 1200s by wood, clay, and lead.
- Professionals who install and clean gutters have found thousands of children’s toys inside gutters every year. They have found balls, frisbees, toy cars, lunch boxes, badminton birdies, Legos, crayons, and even Barbie dolls — with almost no explanation of how they got up there. And no, that’s not why they call them Barbie gutters.
- At one time, gutters weren’t used just for buildings. People used to get gutters installed on their vehicles to stop rain from falling on the driver when they exited their vehicle. They were installed on the roof of the car, and they significantly changed the car’s profile. This made them much less dynamic. Car gutters phased out in the 1980s for better airflow and aerodynamics.
While it seems that gutters are all fun and games, they are really important for the protection of your home. Remember to clean your gutters at least twice a year, and give us a call to replace your gutters if they seem like they’re on their way out.