9 Essential Gutter Parts Every Homeowner Must Know
If you ask the average Australian adult to point out and name each gutter part of their home, they might run into a little trouble. If you’re one of them, don’t worry, we’re not judging you because you’re not alone.
It’s totally understandable. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s not an essential part of housekeeping. Anyone who owns a house should learn a little bit more about their gutters.
You may be asking: But why?
Why we think knowing your gutter parts is a must
In our experience, a lot of homeowners have called trying to tell us which needs fixing but all we really get is a bunch of “ahh..”, “the thing…”, “you know” and other gibberish explanations.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s totally understandable and there’s nothing wrong with it.
However, if you barely know anything about these gutter parts, there’s no chance that you can identify the problem, and explain everything to your go-to gutter companies or local hardware which parts need replacement.
But if you do know each gutter part and how they work in your gutter system, you can properly assess the situation and relay the information to the gutter experts like us over the phone, and we can quickly identify which materials and tools to bring.
To help you get acquainted with your gutters, we’ve put together a bit of info for some of the main components of your guttering system. Keep reading and know your gutters like a pro!
9 Main Parts of the Gutter System
Your guttering system (and the roof) is made up of many different parts, it’s not just the single metal pipes outlining the home, they are complex systems where all of these different parts work together to keep water away from the house.
So, in an attempt to not overwhelm or confuse you, we’re going to talk about 5 parts that the majority of homes will have, which are:
Gutter end caps
Let’s dissect each gutter part and see how they play a role in protecting your home from rainwater damage.
While the entire guttering system is often referred to as the gutters, the actual gutters are the long trough or tray-like structures that sit at the edge of your roof.
Gutters are designed to catch the rainwater and debris that falls on the roof and send it to the downpipe which will then help channel that water away from the structure.
Known by a variety of different terms, like rain gutters, eavestroughs, and rain catchers to name a few, the actual gutter is one of the hardest working parts of any home.
And if this part isn’t functioning properly, it can severely impact the other components that make up the guttering system. It can also lead to significant damage to the home.
Gutters come in a wide variety of shapes, styles, colours, and materials, and can be sectional or seamless.
The fascias on the home are the long straight boards that sit along the lower edge of the roof. It’s essentially the finishing edge of the roof that wraps around the entire structure.
The word ‘fascia’ is Latin in origin and means band or strip, which gives you an idea of how it got this name.
The fascia has several roles, each of which is vital to the home:
It protects the interior components of the roof and its edge from the outside elements.
Acts as extra support for the bottom row of your roof tiles and shingles.
Gutters are installed onto the fascia
While each role is important, arguably the last one is the most important. And as you can imagine, they need to be strong and in good condition to support the gutters, especially during heavy rains.
These are mounting systems that secure your gutters onto your fascia boards. They also act as a support system for your gutters when they need to handle loads of rainwater during stormy seasons.
Depending on your budget and aesthetic preferences, there are several types to choose from:
Brackets and straps – provide sturdy support because of the wrap-around mechanism that works like a belt. This is best for K-style and half-round gutter types.
Spikes and ferrules – this gutter hanger is composed of a metal tube called a ferrule and a spike. The way it works is that the ferrule is placed inside the canal, and then the spike is punctured from the front end, into the ferrule, to the back end, and onto the fascia board.
Hidden hangers – if you want a clean look in your gutters, hidden hangers are the best option. They are a piece of metal that is installed horizontally inside the gutters. Both ends are attached to the inner walls with the other also attached to the fascia.
These are fasteners that connect two gutter pieces that are meeting at a corner of the roof line.
Gutter end caps
The end cap of a gutter is a fitting that is used to close off the end of the gutter. It is attached very precisely to the end of the gutter to prevent water from flowing out of the unsealed end of the gutter.
They are normally used in houses with gabled roofs where the gutter line doesn’t surround the house, but just ends on each side of the house.
If the gutter just all of a sudden ends with no edge, the water will flow straight off the gutter and onto the home and potentially into the foundations of the home which can lead to all sorts of nightmares.
A gutter system is not complete without a downspout. It’s a big, literally, component of the rainwater diversion system as it catches the water from the gutters and then redirects it to the dedicated water landing or into the sewer.
Downspouts are normally made in the same material as your gutters, and they come in different shapes and sizes. But what’s important is that it is sturdy and long standing enough to help your gutter system do its job.
An elbow is a piece of bent pipe that connects the main pipe that is attached to the wall to the drop outlet, or the hole in the gutters that serves as the opening to the downpipe.
If gutters have gutter hangers, downpipes have pipe cleats. They are normally a piece of metal that is screwed onto the brick wall or vinyl siding of your home.
Gutter guards are optional, but they’re certainly nice to have. In some places where a lot of trees surround the neighbourhood and the house itself, it’s a must-have.
They are meant to prevent leaves and other debris like tree flowers, twigs, and pests from going into your gutters and causing a blockage. If you live in a neighbourhood with lots of trees, installing gutter guards is definitely a must.
When it comes to looking after your gutters, even the most seasoned DIY-er can’t do it all, that’s why we recommend you work with an expert in the guttering world. And that’s where we come in. Here at Gutterline, we have more than 20 years of experience in the installation and maintenance of gutters all over Sydney.