Are rain gutters required by code?

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Gutters are not required by the International Residential Code (IRC) or the Residential Edition of the Florida Building Code (FBC), with two exceptions:

1) If the roof overhang (eave) is less than 6 inches.

2) If the home has a footing and foundation wall (not a thickened edge concrete slab foundation, like most newer homes) and is in an area that has expansive (clay) or collapsible soils.

    This does not mean that gutters are not recommended, because they are. Gutters, when installed properly, get the rain water away from the perimeter of the house. This avoids foundation problems. They don’t occur immediately on a new home, but accumulate over years of gradual soil erosion. There is also the issue of splash-back rain on the base of the siding on a home without gutters, and that wet ground next the home encourages subterranean termites to move in closer and start exploring for a way up into the wood of your home.

     A code-required ground slope around the home of 6 inches down in the first 10 feet is yet another way that water is directed away from the home’s foundation. To learn more about it, go to our blog post How much is the ground required to slope away from a house?

 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Here’s links to several of our other blog posts about RAIN GUTTERS:

Does a house need gutters to pass inspection?

• Is it alright for a gutter downspout from an upper roof to empty onto a lower roof? 

Should I put gutters on the house? 

Does a home inspector check gutters?

Why do roof edges start leaking? 

• What is the average life expectancy of rain gutters?

      Visit our SITE and ROOF AND ATTIC pages for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.  

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