Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Gutter may refer to:
  • Rain gutter, a narrow trough or duct which collects rainwater from the roof of a building and diverts it away from the structure, typically into a drain.
  • Street gutter, a depression which runs alongside a city street, usually at the curb and diverts rain and street-cleaning water away from the street and into a storm drain. 

Street gutter
A street gutter is a depression running parallel to a road designed to collect rainwater flowing along the street and divert it into a storm drain. A gutter alleviates water buildup on a street, allowing pedestrians to pass without walking through puddles and reducing the risk of hydroplaning by road vehicles. When a curbstone is present, a gutter may be formed by the convergence of the road surface and the vertical face of the sidewalk; otherwise, a dedicated gutter surface made of concrete may be present.
Depending on local regulations, a gutter usually discharges in a storm drain whose final discharge falls into a detention pond (in order to remove some pollutants by sedimentation) or into a body of water.

Gutters were a frequent talking point of English playwright Oscar Wilde, who said that all of humanity lived in gutters and attributed the worth of an individual to whether they were lying face down or face up in said gutter.

Not all streets have gutters, and they are most often found in areas of a city which have high pedestrian traffic. In past centuries when urban streets did not have sanitary sewers, gutters were made deep enough to serve.

Rain gutter
A rain gutter is a narrow channel, or trough, forming 
the component of a roof system which collects and diverts rainwater shed by the roof. It is also known as an eavestrough (especially in Canada), eaves channel guttering or simply as a gutter.

The main purpose of a rain gutter is to protect a building's foundation by channeling water away from its base. The gutter also helps to reduce erosion, prevents leaks in basements and crawlspaces, protects painted or stained surfaces by reducing exposure to water, and provides a means to collect rainwater for later use.

Rain gutters can be made from a variety of materials such as cast iron, lead, zinc, galvanised steel, painted steel, copper, painted aluminium, PVC (and other plastics), concrete, stone, and wood. More information on copper rain gutters is available.

Water collected by a rain gutter is fed, usually via a downspout (traditionally called a leader or conductor, from the roof edge to the base of the building where it is either discharged or collected. Water from rain gutters may be collected in a rain barrel or a cistern.

A rain gutter may be a:
  • Roof integral trough along the lower edge of the roof slope which is fashioned from the roof covering and flashing materials.
  • Discrete trough of metal, or other material that is suspended beyond the roof edge and below the projected slope of the roof.
  • Wall integral structure beneath the roof edge, traditionally constructed of masonry, fashioned as the crowning element of a wall.


Eddi Haskell said...

You can also talk as if "your mouth is in the gutter" using bad profanity.

I grew in New York City where the word is pronounced gut-tah (no hard r at end) and I remember my mother yelling at me out the window to "stop playing in the gut-tah" since it was the dirtiest part of the street to play in. She wanted me to play on the sidewalk.

Christo Spyker said...

You were one step ahead of me, Eddi. :-)