A History of Rain Gutters

By Stacy Mellete

Rain gutters are an essential component of any home. But it might surprise you to know that these gutters have been around since ancient times. Designed to collect and move water away from your roofing and foundation, gutter systems are crucial in protecting your home from damage. 

In this post, roof repairs contractor St. Pete FL expert Affordable Roofing Systems breaks down the history of rain gutters.

A History of Rain Gutters

B.C. Era and the Roman Empire

Rain gutters were first recorded around 3,000 B.C. to 1,500 B.C. During that time, gutters were made from drains that were covered in bricks made of burnt clay. When the Roman Empire came into power in 27 B.C. to 14 A.D., the drainage system of roadways was revolutionized. They were built higher in the middle, enabling the rain to flow into “gutters.” Then, the Romans introduced this system to England around 47 A.D.

The Norman Empire

It was during the Norman Empire, which spread between the 10th and 13th centuries, that people saw the integration of gutter systems into architecture. Many homes, buildings and churches were rebuilt with stone roofing and parapets that gave way to gargoyles. If you ask your roofing contractor in St. Pete FL, these gargoyles were basically gutters since they expelled the excess water through their mouths.


Cast iron became widely available in the 1700s, so manufacturers decided to make gutters out of this material. Later in the century, wood was made into V-shapes and fastened to wealthy homes and public buildings as gutter systems.

20th Century

The 20th century saw new technologies and materials that revolutionized gutters. In the early 1900s, with the introduction of rolling machines, builders were able to create half-round steel gutters that were placed on the edges of buildings. By the 1960s, seamless aluminum gutter machines were invented. Aluminum gained popularity over steel as it was strong, lightweight, and easy to manipulate.

Affordable Roofing Systems is a family-owned roofing company in St. Pete FL known for providing top-notch services. Our expertise covers roof installation, roof repair, gutter systems, and more.

Call us at 813-542-8462 or fill out our contact form to request a free estimate. We serve customers in Tampa and Clearwater, FL.

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Your roof has an important job to do to keep your home dry, but it can also be an impressive home feature.


Our stone coated steel roofing system is available in a wide range of styles including Tile, Shake, Slate, and Shingle, and in a variety of colors. We’ll help you to choose one that will fit your home’s style and your budget.


As the most-used roofing type across North America, asphalt strikes a balance between price and durability, with a life expectancy of up to 20. Shingles are available for those who want affordable, genuine slate roofing.


Tile roofs offer unparalleled value when cost per year of use is factored in. While upfront costs are higher, customers who choose a clay or concrete tile roof will enjoy the aesthetics and quality for a lifetime.


Metal roofs today come in a wide array of colors and finishes. Innovations in metal roofing technology have significantly enhanced the performance of metal roofs.

TPO Membrane

TPO can be installed to any scale with some of the world’s largest building utilizing TPO roofing systems – it comes in strips typically 8ft 10ft and 12ft wide that are heat welded on site.

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