Best Gutter Alternatives For Your Home

The gutter system is your home’s drainage and waterway for rainwater coming from the roof. It can collect debris, mud, leaves, twigs or other objects that will clog up over time. In order to prevent this issue from happening you need to replace your gutters with something of high quality which doesn’t let in any extra materials into it.

The “this old house gutter alternatives” is a blog for the home. It offers reviews and ideas for how to improve your home.

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Gutters are a must-have in today’s house design. However, an increasing number of builders and homeowners are seeking for water-displacing alternatives to gutters. Gutters easily get clogged with leaves and debris, making them ineffective, particularly if your home is located near a lot of trees. To minimize foundation erosion, homeowners are seeking for a safer alternative to climbing up a ladder to clear gutters and risking harm.  

Traditional gutters have four basic variations, each with its own set of criteria. These many approaches have been employed across the world and in regions where gutters are not an option. Here are four simple answers to any gutter issue to assist reduce the burden of finding a perfect replacement to gutters. 

Contents Table of Contents


  • Proper Grading in the Areas Surrounding Your Home
  • Dispersal Systems for Rain
  • Drip Paths in Soil Mixtures of Sand and Gravel
  • In Heavy Clay Soil, French Drains / Ground Gutters
  • Conclusion


Proper Grading in the Areas Surrounding Your Home

Keeping water away from your house, i.e. the grade of the land, is one of the most important aspects of homeownership. If your property has a negative slope, which means your home is lower than the rest of the yard, you’ll need to employ a professional landscaper to correct the grading.  

Placing a yardstick at the base of your foundation and measuring the height from the lowest point on the yardstick to the ground will ensure that the slope is at the right degree. In a downhill angle, the slope should be one inch tall vs one foot away from the property.  

Above the soil line, there should be at least four inches of visible foundation. With this recipe, you’ll be able to disseminate water uniformly and at a safe rate. You will also prevent water being redirected to a neighbor’s property, as well as any damages that may result as a result of this action, if done appropriately. 

Use these helpful reminders to get the grading correctly the first time: 

  1. For one foot of length, a one-inch downhill slope (or Rise over Run 1:(-1))
  2. Only utilize the first five to ten feet, with a maximum depth of ten inches at the furthest point from the property building. 
  3. If you don’t know what you’re doing, get a professional! 
  4. If your property’s grading isn’t done appropriately, it might result in floods and legal issues. 
  5. Check with your local city planner or permits office to see if there are any municipal codes in effect in your region. 

For additional information on correct grading, see this video from Partners for a Cleaner Environment. 


Dispersal Systems for Rain

The design concept behind Dispersal Systems for Rain will vary by company. However, the main idea is to break down the rain droplets by interrupting the path of the droplets. The system diverts rainwater by creating a contact point, whether a flat blade or a cluster of correctly angled aluminum triangles. The rainwater hits the device and is delayed through dull blades and pushed forward away from the property. 

The device, which is installed on the property’s eaves, is seldom blocked since it requires very little maintenance. Using a rain dispersion system also has an environmental benefit: less rainfall is directed into municipal processing facilities, which helps to prevent overburdening city resources. 

During the winter, some of these devices may even aid avoid ice damming. However, as in most cases, adequate grading and planting vegetation in the scattered water’s ultimate resting spot are essential.   

There are, of course, other Dispersal Systems for Rain that you’re probably already familiar with such as rain chains. Japanese invented the copper cup system that uses a series of copper made cups and chains to break up, slow down, and divert the rainwater usually into a type of rain barrel for collection purposes.

Drip Paths in Soil Mixtures of Sand and Gravel

The drip path’s sole purpose is to collect water and allow it to seep into the earth via the rocks. One major caution is that if the foundation has open fissures, this water displacement mechanism might create floods within the residence. 

Around the whole property, an eighteen-inch-deep path should run parallel to the roof angled edge. Crushed stone should be used to make the route, which should be at least one foot wide. This strategy is only applicable to sites with buildings built on mostly sand and gravel soils. The soil type permits significant volumes of water to be dispersed quickly.

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If there is a blockage, this water distribution mechanism necessitates heavy-duty maintenance since removing the pebbles to clear it is a labor-intensive task. After a storm, cleaning the drip routes on a regular basis will reduce the need to dig up the rocks to remove debris when the stones get blocked.  

If you’re considering employing a drip route, here are some useful hints:

  1. Non-Woven Geotextile Fabric should be placed on any rocks below the top three inches. 
  2. Check your property’s soil type. 
  3. Maintain a high property rating. 
  4. Plant your favorite plants along the path’s side.
  5. Larger stones should be used to line the walkway.
  6. Plant your favorite desert plants along the route. 

In Heavy Clay Soil, French Drains / Ground Gutters

This approach diverts water into a collecting area or roadway in the same way that the drip route does. The french drain system is a set of subterranean pipes that channel water to its eventual destination, the road, through an underground system. 

Again, proper grading is required, and an eighteen-inch-deep trench is required all around the property, just like the drip path. The canal’s slope must also be one-quarter inch downward for every foot of length. To assist prevent blockages, exposing drain spouts should be placed at the tallest locations. 

The french drain collects rainfall in the same way as a drip path does, with the exception that the underground pipe contains holes in the bottom that allow the water to enter the tube and be distributed when it reaches the desired level. Water may flow into the earth below the level without harming the foundation. 

The biggest difference between a drip route and a french drain is the amount of area needed to construct each. You can approach near to the foundation with a drip route, and everything will operate as intended. With the French drain, however, you should be at least two to four feet away from the foundation. The route only has to be eight feet wide instead of twelve feet wide, which is the width of the submerged pipe.


Not every house is suited to handle gutters, and not everyone wants to deal with gutter cleaning on a regular basis. Gutters were created as a backup plan for properties that couldn’t employ any of the standard approaches. They became well-known as more contractors began to employ them as low-cost alternatives to the above-mentioned labor-intensive procedures. The best approach to keep water away from your house depends on the soil type of your land, but any of the strategies listed above should suffice.

Check out our other posts on how to keep pine needles out of your gutters, chlorine alternatives, and how to conceal pipes on your exterior wall for more information.


The “removable gutters” are an option for your home that allows you to keep the gutter clean and avoid clogs.

Frequently Asked Questions

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