A rain gutter is an exterior component of residential and commercial buildings. It acts as a water discharge system and is necessary to avoid water dripping off roofs. A lot of people understand the main benefits of an effective gutter system — prevent overflow, basement flood and siding damage. However, only a few are aware of its history and how it first came about. In this post, an emergency roof services company shares a brief guide on the history of gutters.
The Roman Empire
The earliest use of rain gutters dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization of 3,000 B.C. to 1,500 B.C. Ancient rain gutters were built from drains that were covered in bricks, a product of burnt clay.
In 27 B.C. to 14 A.D., the Roman Empire came to power and revolutionized the drainage system of roadways. The road surface was built higher in the middle so rain could flow down into the gutters.
The Norman Empire
Sometime between the 10th to 13th centuries, during the spread of the Norman Empire, gutter systems were incorporated into the architecture. Homes, churches and other buildings were built with stone roofs and parapets — an extension of the wall at the roof’s edge. According to modern roof repair experts, this roofing structure gave way to the use of gargoyles, which would expel water from their mouths, acting as gutters.
In the 1700s, cast iron became a widely used and affordable construction material. Soon after, manufacturers started building gutters out of it.
The 20th Century
More building materials and technologies were invented to innovate gutter systems during the Second Industrial Revolution. In the early 1900s, metal rolling machines were introduced to the market, so builders were able to roll half-round steel gutters and use them on building edges.
By the 1960s, seamless gutter machines were invented. As well, aluminum was preferred to steel since it was stronger, lighter in weight and easy to form.
Thinking about giving your exterior home a needed boost? Turn to Carolina Home Specialists for a smooth and stress-free experience! We offer premium home improvement services — from roof replacement to window, siding and gutter installation. Call us at (336) 740-9915 to start a conversation with one of our specialists or fill out our online form for a roof estimate.