Whether you are looking to upgrade your entire gutter system, or just need to replace a couple rain gutter parts, this guide covers it all. In this article we are going to explain all the parts of a gutter system including:
- Main gutter parts
- Gutter accessories
- Gutter hardware
- Downspout materials
- Downspout styles
- Downspout parts & accessories
- Downspout elbow
- Gutter guards
- Roofing eave
Let’s walk you through all these gutter parts and their role.
Table of Contents
Parts of the Gutter System
Rain Gutters Parts
First and foremost, let’s present the different parts of a gutter system here. As you can see in this gutter parts diagram, there are multiple components that make up a gutter rain system including:
- The gutter cover – or often called gutter guard and leaf filter which will block falling leaves and other debris from reaching the base of the gutter and prevent recurrent clogs.
- The gutter lip – which is the edge of the rain gutters
- The gutter face – the most visible part of the gutter
- The gutter hanger – the hidden hangers or nails that will support your gutters and attach them to the fascia of your house. Gutter hangers are essential to keep your gutters balanced and prevent frequent repairs.
Vertical pipes that lead the water from the gutter to the ground level, are known as Downspouts. In addition to that, they are also known as water spout, down pipe, drain spout, or drain pipe. Gutter downspout parts include downspout elbows, seams, etc.
In addition to your main gutter system and the different gutter parts, there are essential gutter accessories. In short, you need to pay attention to mitters.
Outside Miter Box
When you have 2 sections of gutter that come to a corner on the outside of the home, they are joined together by a miter box. For example, it is called an outside miter if the corner is on the outer edge of the home. Miter boxes are corner joints for gutters. The 2 gutter sections slide into the box like sleeves.
Inside Miter Box
When you have 2 sections of gutter that meet at an inside corner, they are joined together by an inside miter box. Likewise, the 2 sections of gutter slide into the sleeves of the miter, then they are sealed.
Strip Miters perform the same duty as miter boxes. However, the only difference is that they are a small strip instead of a big box. They are a small sleeve that covers the seam. Also, strip miters can be used for inside or outside corners.
Gutter Splash Guard
Some homes have issues where water splashes up and over the gutters. Likewise, the technicians can add splash guards to the existing gutter, so the water splashes back into the gutter. For example, water will splash over the gutter if it’s under a roof valley.
All the different types of hangers, nails, screws, and brackets that mount the gutters to the wall, are known as gutter brackets.
Gutter hangers are the mounting hardware used to hang half round style gutters. However, unlike most other ways to hang gutters, these hangers are mounted to the fascia board “before” the gutter. Finally, once the gutter hangers are properly installed, you can drop the gutter into place and secure it.
Screw-In Hidden Hangers
The new industry standard for K-Style gutters, is Heavy Duty Aluminum Screw-In Hidden Hangers. They clip onto the lip and backs of the gutter and pull it uniformly to the wall. In conclusion, that combined with a self tapping threaded screw makes these last a lot longer than traditional gutter spikes.
Gutter Spikes are gutter nails that go through the outside of the gutter and into the fascia. It should be noted that over time they pull loose and need to be re-nailed or “tightened” back into place. However, you can only tighten gutter spikes so many times before the hole is too wore out. Therefore, they will no longer grip and come loose frequently.
Gutter Screws are the same exact thing as a gutter spike. Likewise, they also go through the outside of the gutter and into the fascia board. The only difference is a Gutter Screw is a giant threaded screw, instead of a giant nail. Moreover, you can replace loose gutter spikes with gutter screws. Because they will catch hold where the nail couldn’t find any grip.
A Ferrule is a spacer that goes around the gutter spike or gutter screw, inside the gutter. It’s basic function is to space out the gutter and not allow it to cave in from tightening of the hardware. In conclusion, using Ferrules insures that the gutter is the exact same width all the way across the home.
Gutter Covers/Gutter Guards
Brush Gutter Guards
Brush Style Gutter Guards are one of the least recommended styles available on the market. They are basically a long round brush that gets placed inside your gutter. Brush Gutter Guards trap debris and block the flow of water, which are two things you don’t ever want going on in your gutters.
Foam Gutter Guards
More commonly known as the “Foam Insert”. These are another of the least popular styles of gutter covers. Likewise, their name speaks for itself, it is a foam insert that goes in your gutter, instead of on top like most covers. If not cleaned regularly, plants can take root in your foam insert and grow. Also, mold is a common problem with these.
Gutter Screens are the most common type of gutter cover because they are the cheapest and easiest to install. They come in many shapes, styles, and materials but they all provide the same coverage. They are good at allowing all the water into the gutter. But, with the larger sized holes they allow a lot of smaller debris into the gutter system, such as pine needles and seeds.
Waterfall Gutter Covers
Designed with layers of channels, these gutter covers allow the debris to flow right over the gutter and onto the ground. However, smaller debris like pine needles are known to get stuck in the channels and block the water from entering the gutter system. For instance, you will have waterfalls all around your house once this happens.
Micro Mesh Screens
Micro Mesh Screens are a 2 part system. The bottom layer usually features an offset vertical slant system designed to allow water in and keep debris out. Sometimes the bottom layer is just a simple gutter screen. The top layer is always a mesh screen, usually made of metal, that keeps the fine debris and particles from the slits. In conclusion, these perform well against pine needles and seed pods.
Reverse Curve Gutter Guard
Reverse Curve/Surface Tension gutter guards have more common names such as “Gutter Helmet” or “Gutter Hood.” They are designed to allow all the leaves and debris to fall to the ground, while collecting as much water as possible. The water doesn’t always flow into the gutter and often cascades right over the edge, earning this style the nickname “Waterfall.“
Perforated Gutter Covers
We rate this as the top performing and longest lasting style of gutter cover on the market. Hence, this is the only style of gutter cover that we even work with anymore. For example, it performs the best against smaller debris such as pine needles or even shingle grit. The perforated holes allow the maximum amount of water to flow into the gutter system, while keeping out almost all debris.
Gutter Helmet Colors
Some gutter covers come in a variety of colors to match your gutter parts. While other brands might only come in one color. Keep in mind that most styles of gutter cover are not visible from the ground, therefore the color is not important.
Although not technically part of the gutter system, the components on the roofing eave are equally as important. These parts make sure that water doesn’t get behind your walls or under your roofing shingles.
Drip edge is tucked under the roofing shingles on the roof edge and leads the water into the gutter. It’s purpose is to make sure no water goes under the shingles or behind the gutter.
Fascia Board and Rake Board
Most gutters are mounted to this trim board that is called fascia board. It covers the gap left on the edge of the roofing rafters. The purpose is to make sure water and pests aren’t able to get into your attic and walls. Over time water will damage your fascia board and cause it to rot. In the photo below you see fascia board that starting to pull loose from the rafters. We included this photo because it shows you the functions of the fascia board. (cover rafters and mount the gutters)
Rake board is similar to fascia board, as it is the exact same type of wood. The only difference is rake boards are slanted and used for roofing peaks. In the photo below you see rake board and if you look closely you will see the drip edge strip that runs across the top.
Fascia Wrap and Rake Wrap
To prevent water damage to your fascia board and rake board, you can choose to have them wrapped in materials like aluminum or vinyl. This new protective shield will help your fascia board or rake board last 2 to 3 times longer than unprotected wood.
Was every term you were searching for covered? Moreover, do you have any suggestions for new terms to be included in our glossary? Let us know in the comments.
If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment. We’ll get back to you!
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Frederick, MD 21701
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