The Origins of Gutters

May 23, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Do you ever think about the history of gutters or ask when were gutters first used? They have an alluring story you might be interested in reading and surprised to find out the outcome. 

Gutters first made their entrance into the world sometime between 3000 and 1500 BC. The Harappan tribe first came up with the primitive idea of crafting drains out of burnt clay and connecting them to their toilets. At that time, they used bricks to cover them. 

The Romans then adopted the concept and built gutters to stop the rain from falling directly on their roads. They used the idea at some point between 27 BC and 14 AD and then perfected it and taught it to one of the lands they conquered. That area of the world is now known as Great Britain, and they picked up the know-how from the Romans in 47 AD. 

The art of building gutters all but ceased from 50 AD to 1500, and then the Norman Invasion prompted a revival in 1066. Church administrators came up with the idea of restructuring their buildings and adding elaborate gutters that led straight into a gargoyle’s mouth. The gargoyle would then show its distaste for the water by spitting it out. The architecturally brilliant creations captivated the masses and remained a standard until about 1240.

In 1240, the British created the first downspout with easily attachable gutters. The idea was to protect homes from fires by designing tilted roofs and attaching gutters to them. 

The recycled lead market catapulted between 1536 and 1541 due to the surplus of materials the British left when they closed down most houses of worship. England initiated the separation because they no longer wanted to associate themselves with Rome’s church. 

The Americans used wooden gutters in the 1700s that they usually attached to roofs with cast iron brackets or wooden pins. That style evolved into the use of cast iron downspouts in the 1800s.

The 1900s introduced rolling machines to craft half-round gutters, and by the 1960s, aluminum gutter structures were born, and the population grew to love them quickly. The gutters’ final evolution happened in about 2010, and that’s why we have the marvelous structures of today. 

That’s the history of gutters in a nutshell. As you can see, each version of the gutter is slightly different from the last and improved to provide additional services.

You can protect your home by cleaning your gutters periodically. It’s a part of maintenance and pest protection practice that you won’t want to ignore. Having regular gutter cleaning will prevent buildup and backups and keep the water draining appropriately. Your chances of having issues with water leakage and damage will be slim to none if you maintain good cleaning practices. 

Now you know all about where gutters came from and how society adopted their use in current trends. Now you can dub yourself a proud gutter expert and spread the information to others who wonder about their history.  

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