The History of Gutters: A Timeline

Today, gutters are an essential part of any modern home. They’re designed to collect and move water away from your property to prevent water damage. Did you know that gutters have actually been used for thousands of years?

The History Of Gutters: A Timeline

Today, the gutter and roof damage experts at Mass-Tech Roofing and Building Co.​ explore the rich history of gutters.

3000 B.C. – 14 A.D. 

As far back as 3000 B.C., the Harappan civilization was using water-based toilets that were linked by drains. As civilization continued to develop, the need to shed rainwater away from building foundations became more apparent.

When the Roman Empire came to power, they upgraded the drainage system of their roadways by building them higher in the middle so that when it rained, the water flowed down into “gutters.”

10th – 13th Century A.D.

Roman architecture gradually made its way to Great Britain. This included their knowledge of gutters, and prominent structures like churches were being built with stone roofs, which had built-in gutter systems. Gargoyles became a popular decorative feature at the end of these systems, which were made to look as if they were spitting out the water. Around the same time, residential gutters were developed, using cedar and hemlock wood.


In the early 1700s, a new roof would typically have cast iron gutters, since iron became a widely available and affordable material. Later in the century, wood was carved into V-shapes and fastened as gutters to public buildings and wealthy homes.


During the early 1900s, steel became the material of choice for rain gutters because of its strength and resistance to rot. Then in the 1960s, seamless gutters were invented by using a roll-forming machine and a coil of aluminum. This technology allows gutters to be made onsite and fit the exact dimensions of a structure.

If you need an honest and accurate roof estimate, there’s only one company in the area you can trust. Call Mass-Tech Roofing and Building Co.​ today at (781) 826-7663! You can also fill out our online contact form to get in touch with us.

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