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How Long Can A House Go Without Gutters?

Posted on February 13, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 5 Min.

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How Long Can A House Go Without Gutters?

Gutters are necessary to protect your roof and home from water damage. They prevent rainwater from pooling around the foundation and causing leaks inside the basement. They also stop melting snow from flowing down the shingles and siding, ruining them along with any external features on your home.

But how long can a house go without gutters? The answer may surprise you. 

At Epic Exteriors Roofing, we help homeowners have a safe and beautiful home by sharing our knowledge about the roofing industry. In this blog, we’ll explain how long a house can go without gutters and still remain in decent shape.

How Long Can Your House Go Without Gutters?

This section explains how homes in the Northern, Southern, Western, and Eastern regions of the U.S. are affected by the absence of rain gutters and the average time it takes for damage to occur. By understanding the whole scenario, you can take the proper steps to protect your home.

How long can a house go without gutters

Homes In The North: Brace Yourself For Winter’s Fury!

The Northern region of the United States is known for its harsh winter weather and heavy snowfall, which can take a toll on homes. States like New York, Pennsylvania, and Michigan are particularly susceptible to this type of weather, making homes without rain gutters vulnerable to water damage. With no gutters to channel the water away from the home, snow, and ice can accumulate on the roof, leading to water overflow and serious damage to the exterior and interior of a house.

On average, a Northern house without gutters can remain habitable for a year or two. However, it may start becoming damaged right after the season’s first snowfall. Sometimes, if the damage is so severe, it may require expensive repairs or a new gutter system if you want to stay cozy and safe inside.

Southern Homes: Heat & Humidity Are A Slow Poison

The sunny South! The warm, humid climate of the Southern United States can bring a lot of joy, but it can also be hard on homes without gutters. With states like Florida, Georgia, and Alabama experiencing frequent downpours, and even hurricanes, water damage is a real concern for homes without gutters. The rainwater has nowhere to go but down the side of the house, causing damage to the exterior and potentially even flooding the interior.

And the worst part? It doesn’t take long for this kind of damage to occur, and if you live in a storm-prone area, the damage can be worse. So, a Southern house without gutters can remain in good shape for three to four years or until the next major storm.

The West: The Battle Against Rain and Snow

The Western region of the United States is a battleground for rain and snow. States like Oregon and Washington are particularly susceptible to this type of weather, putting homes without rain gutters at risk of water damage. The relentless precipitation can cause water to overflow and wreak havoc on the exterior and interior of the home.

On average, homes in the west can go for two to three years without rain gutters. However, a seasonal storm may make it worse before that.

Homes In The East: Don’t Wait For The Next Storm

The Eastern region of the United States is characterized by frequent precipitation and snow, which can pose a serious threat to homes without rain gutters. States like New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Virginia are particularly vulnerable to this type of weather. Without gutters to direct the water away from the home, damage can occur rapidly and be significant. Protecting your home against these elements is crucial, and you need rain gutters to do that job. 

If you have a house without gutters in the Eastern part of the country, it can stay in normal condition for a few months. The situation may be more critical for homes in coastal regions since they need to withstand tropical storms.

Even after getting an idea of the importance of gutters, some people still ask, are gutters necessary? So, let’s dive into the details of what happens to a house without gutters, and how they start deteriorating and affecting your home’s condition and value, among other things.

What Happens If You Don’t Have Gutters?

A home without gutters is like a ship without a compass, it’s only a matter of time before it runs aground. When it rains or snows, the water accumulates on the roof and around the foundation, leading to several serious problems. Over time, this can significantly deteriorate a home, reducing its value and putting your investment at risk.

Roof Leaks

If you have no gutters on your house, water accumulates around the roof and finds its way into the home through the tiniest cracks and crevices, causing leaks that can damage the walls, ceilings, and floors.


Mold thrives in moist environments, and homes without gutters are the perfect breeding ground for this dangerous fungus. Mold can cause serious health problems, and can be difficult and expensive to remove once it takes hold.

Structural Damage

When water accumulates around the foundation, it can cause the soil to erode, putting the foundation at risk of settling and cracking. This can lead to severe structural damage, and potentially make the home unsafe to live in.

Affects Homeowner’s Insurance Policies

Without gutters, the risk of water damage to the home increases, which can impact your homeowner’s insurance policy. In some cases, insurance companies may even refuse to cover the damage if it is determined to be the result of a lack of gutters.

Potential Building Code Violations

A roof drainage system is required by some local building codes and International Building Code 2018. In such areas, failing to install rain gutters or downspouts may result in penalties, fines, or even legal action against the homeowner.

The above information makes it clear that homes without gutters are unsafe from the elements. A homeowner could also endure financial loss because insurance companies and the state count it as negligence. 

So it’s best to have a sturdy and durable gutter system on your roof. On average, gutters can last between 25 to 50 years! So it’s ultimately a smart lifetime investment. Here’s some information about how rain gutters perform their protective functions:

How Gutters & Downspouts Function To Protect Your Home

Rain gutters are a crucial component of a home’s weatherproofing system, designed to channel the water away from home and prevent damage. The sturdiest option is a seamless gutter system made of a metal like aluminum, coated steel, or copper. 

  • Seamless gutters don’t look like an eyesore on your home and come in a variety of styles and colors to match the home’s design. 
  • Gutter channels are installed along the roof’s edge, where they catch and direct the water into a downspout that carries it smoothly away from the foundation of your home. Gutters should go all around the house for maximum coverage.

Furthermore, it’s equally important to have them installed properly. This is where a professional gutter company can help. If you live near Jersey shore, we can help you choose the most suitable gutters for your home and install them perfectly.

Do You Need Sturdy Seamless Gutters? We Can Help!

At Epic Exteriors Roofing, we can help you choose the best gutters for your home while considering the climate, roof slope, and roofing material you currently have. We are one of the most skilled and expert gutter contractors and roofers in New Jersey! Our experts ensure that your gutters will be up to the task, giving you peace of mind that your home will remain protected from the elements.

Call us at (609)-342-9829 for a free roof inspection and an estimate on your gutter installation needs. We hope our blog answered your question about how long can a house go without gutters, and we look forward to fortifying your home.

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