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Gutter History 101: The Development of Gutters

Gutters have always played an important role in protecting homes from moisture damage. Their long and varied history is a testament to their essential function. 

Want to learn more about gutter history? All American Roofing, your local roofing contractor, gives a quick overview: 

The Indus Valley Civilization 

The use of gutters dates back to 3,000 B.C.- 1,500 B.C., the period when the Indus Valley Civilization—one of the world’s three earliest urban cultures and civilizations—was flourishing. Back then, gutter systems were primarily composed of drains covered with bricks made from burnt clay. 

Roman Empire 

The Roman Empire created more sophisticated gutter systems. Drainage systems on roadways were raised near the middle to allow water to flow to the gutters and drains. 

Here’s an interesting fact about the slope of modern gutter systems: In general, gutters should be pitched half an inch for every 10 feet. The slope can also affect the size of gutters: The steeper your roof, the faster water slides down, and the larger your gutters’ capacity. Calculating the correct pitch for your gutter system can be tricky and the consequences for not getting it right are quite significant. If your gutter’s slope is too steep, water can overflow. And if it’s too low, water might stagnate in sections of your gutter system. That’s why it’s best to let a professional contractor from an experienced roofing company handle the gutter installation. 

The Norman Empire 

During the period between the 10th and 13th centuries, gutters systems incorporated into a building’s architecture started becoming common. 

The 1700’s 

Thanks to the availability and affordability of cast iron, the use of gutters made from this durable material became more widespread. 

The 20th Century 

Several technological developments, most notably the invention of metal rolling machines and the widespread use of rust-resistant aluminum, gave rise to more durable gutter systems and gutter accessories. 

All American Roofing has nearly four decades of experience and offers a wide range of professional roofing and exterior services. To request a free consultation, call us at (405) 787-0400 or (918) 583-0100. You can also fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Broken Arrow, Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK, as well as the surrounding communities.