The main purpose of a rain gutter is to protect a building's foundation by channeling water away from its base. The gutter also helps to reduce erosion, prevents leaks in basements and crawlspaces, protects painted or stained surfaces by reducing exposure to water, and provides a means to collect rainwater for later use.
Rain gutters can be made from a variety of materials, the most common being PVC
Water collected by a rain gutter is fed, usually via a downpipe, from the roof edge to the base of the building where it is either discharged or collected. Water from rain gutters may be collected in a Rain barrel or a cistern.