Date published: 02/06/2024

Importance of gutters for the preservation of a co-ownership building

Imagine returning home after a heavy rainstorm, only to find water damage in the common portions. This scenario underscores the importance of properly maintained gutters. Gutters are an essential element for your co-ownership building, helping to protect it against climatic hazards. Without gutters, the building is exposed to water infiltration risks that can damage common areas and cause significant damage. A blocked gutter may sag, allowing water to infiltrate through the roof. If your gutters overflow, they no longer redirect water far enough from the building, thus overloading your foundation drain. Not to mention, your flower beds can also be damaged.

Benefits of gutters:

  1. Protection against water infiltration: Gutters direct rainwater away from the building’s foundations, thus preventing infiltrations that can cause structural damage and humidity problems. Without this drainage system, water can accumulate around the foundations, leading to infiltrations that weaken the structure and increase the risks of mold and humidity inside the building.
  2. Prevention of erosion: By directing water away from the building’s base, gutters help prevent soil erosion around the foundations, which is crucial for maintaining the building’s stability. Erosion can weaken the foundations and cause deformations or subsidence, thereby compromising the building’s integrity.
  3. Preservation of facades and walls: Without gutters, rainwater can flow directly along the walls, causing damage to the facade, stains, and infiltrations into the walls. Prolonged exposure to humidity can lead to the formation of cracks and the degradation of exterior finishes.
  4. Protection of outdoor spaces: Gutters protect landscaping and outdoor areas by preventing water accumulation that can damage plants and surrounding structures. Effective rainwater management preserves the aesthetics and functionality of gardens, walkways, and other outdoor spaces.
  5. Protection of roof integrity: Gutters prevent rainwater, snow, or ice from accumulating on the roof, which could cause issues such as wood rot, leaks, and structural damage. Proper water drainage through gutters prolongs the roof’s lifespan.
  6. Preservation of facade appearance: Without gutters on the roof, water running down the walls can cause stains, discoloration, and damage to your building’s facade. Gutters channel water away from the exterior walls, preserving their appearance and integrity. This also protects against water infiltrations that could compromise the building’s very structure.

Connecting gutters to a percolating well

An effective technique involves connecting the gutter to a percolating well. This section of excavated soil, filled with clean stone of 20 mm (¾ inch), is linked by an underground conduit to the gutter. A geotextile membrane covers the stone before the soil and lawn are replaced. This method reduces the risk of problems for residences, eases the burden on sewage treatment plants and municipal sewer networks, and encourages sustainable construction practices.

Diverting water with other arrangements

If a percolating well is not possible, other methods can be used to divert water collected by the gutter:

  • Vinyl deflector pipe at the base of the downspout. 
  • Plastic or concrete rainwater deflector to protect the lawn.
  • Inclined downspout to direct water further away on the ground.
  • Rain barrel to collect water for watering flower beds or a garden.


As noted by renowned lawyer Me Yves Joli-Cœur, gradual damage caused by water infiltrations or repeated overflows may not be covered by the insurance policy of the syndicate of co-owners. If your gutters are poorly installed and cause mold damaging your walls, you may not be compensated by your insurer. You will need to carry out the corrective work at your expense. Preventing problems is therefore essential!

For any additional information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Georges Fallah, Architect
Member of the Quebec Order of Architects (MOAQ)
President of G.A.P.Immeubles inc
Tél. : (514) 946 8807
Fax : (450) 478-4932
Courriel : [email protected]

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