History of Gutters

Today, we are discussing the history of gutters and how they have evolved into the essential home tool they are today.

From previous times

While it can be hard to pinpoint where the idea of gutters, or the idea that inspired gutters can be hard to know, it is thought that the first instances of gutter work dates back to the Romans, between 3000BC and 1500BC. Then, between 27BC and 14BC,  the toilets were linked to drains. It is thought that the Romans eventually brought these gutter systems or rainwater systems to England. Wood and lead lined wood where the materials used for these gutters. These were placed and fastened under iron plates and bars. Wooden V-shaped gutters were commonly used in wealthier homes and buildings due to their more beautiful aesthetic.

Starting in 1760, new methods of rainwater systems were introduced. Cast-iron was used and these started to show up in houses in the 1870s.

Gutter Types: History of Gutters

older type of gutter recessed in Bloomington

Cast Iron

These were first introduced in the 18th century, the alternative to lead due to their cheap material and abundant materials. These quickly became popular and even replaced lead as the main material used. The installation of cast iron was also a simpler process and no heat was required.


PVC pipes were introduced in the 1930s for the bathroom drainage systems. Easy to install, and lightweight, minimum requirement was necessary.

Finlock Gutters

industrial revolution in Bloomington and the history of gutters throughout it

These concrete gutters are used on large buildings. While they were originally used on home properties during the 1950s and 1960s, in place of iron gutters due to the shortage of steel. Therefore, they turned to concrete since there was more than enough materials. However, it was found that the concrete would dampen after joints would open and water would penetrate. Therefore, people needed to turn to another solution.

Seamless Gutters

By the 1960s, we have seen all types of gutters. To conclude the history of gutters, we come to the best and most utilized type of gutters nowadays, seamless gutters. Seamless gutters have been the norm due to their stronger and lighter metal components, better than their predecessors these are still used today. And no wonder, these are the materials that are dominant in the gutter industry. Although the gutter itself has been through many reinventions, the same functional look has remain consistent.

The design or hole in the gutter at the top of the downspout has not changed since its inception.  While the  5inch gutters were standard years ago, the newly implemented 6inch gutters are sturdier and able to grasp more rainwater and snow. The reason that 6inch is becoming the new norm is due to the fact that 5inch gutters were too small and would clog easily and often. With 6inch gutters, you are able to divert more water away from your property.

The One Drawback

gutter installations Bloomington

One thing that has deter gutters since its inception is that they clog and stop working after a while and regular maintenance is required. All types of gutters get debris from the asphalt, leaves, twigs struck in the gutters from time to time. Even the covered gutters. The main issues is not that the debris falls in the gutters at all, the issue is that eventually, all this debris will accumulate and start clogging the outlet, impeding water from flowing properly.

Regular maintenance is required for any home or building with gutters. In order to process the water and snow properly, the gutters need to be clean. Some debris will always be there, and its fine if you don’t want to constantly be cleaning your gutters, normally, most people will simply clean them out after winter time. Fall time, when the leaves are falling are normally the most frequent time that homeowners clean their gutters. Unless there are many trees close to your house, constant cleaning is not required.

While cleaning the gutters should be done periodically, you need to make sure that the outlets are clean and there are no obstructions. Another thing to make sure is that there is no damage to the outlets, if they are bent or enclosed, then water will not be able to flow properly.

History of gutters: Past and Future

With the advances in technology, exterior homes are more ready to withstand the elements than ever before. But just like any innovation, there is some upkeep. A gutter professional can provide an inspection for your home and determine if your gutters are good for the time being or if new ones are necessary. No one wants water damage to their property, this is why, ensuring you have a good, properly installed and efficient gutter system is the best way to prevent any damage.

To add gutters to your home for water protection or to simply have your gutters inspected, call Oscar Roofing to schedule an appointment with us! Call us at (812)545-1381 or (317)358-6625.