Rain gutters are shallow troughs that collect water as it pours off of a house and feed into downspouts that direct the water away from the house's foundation. If gutters aren't in place, rain quickly pours off of the roof, splashing dirt onto the house and washing away soil.
Rain gutters run horizontally along a roof's edges and are attached with brackets. The gutters must slope slightly toward downspouts, which are located at each corner of the house. Gutters should slope 1/2 inch per 10-foot stretch. Gutters that cover a space more than 40 feet long should slope toward downspouts at each end.