If you ask the average Australian adult to point out the guttering system of their home, or any building for that matter, they most likely won’t have any issues doing so.
But if you ask them to point out the different parts of a guttering system, they might run into a little trouble. And if you’re one of them, don’t worry, you’re definitely not alone.
The guttering systems of the home are one of the most overlooked parts of the house – that is until something goes wrong with them! So, it’s understandable that, unless you’ve spent a lot of time on building sites or around roofing plumbers, you most likely don’t have any idea about the different parts of your guttering system.
We’ve put together a bit of info for some of the main components of your guttering system. Keep reading to become the gutter expert you’ve always wanted to be!
What are the main parts of a guttering system?
Your guttering system (and the roof) is made of 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 home. So, in an attempt to not overwhelm or confuse you, we’re going to talk about 5 parts that majority of homes will have, which are:
- Gutter end caps
- Barge boards
Keep reading to learn where you will find each of these parts and what their role is.
What does a guttering system do?
Before we dive right into each of the above parts, first let us tell you a little bit about what a guttering system actually does.
Now, as we mentioned earlier, the guttering system is easily one of the most forgotten about and overlooked areas of the home, unless it’s not working properly. And while it’s often forgotten about, it’s actually one of the most vital parts of any home.
Your guttering system works 24/7, diverting the flow of rainwater from the roof and carries it away from the building and its foundations. Without gutters, the water would drip down the sides of the house, running down the walls and pool around the base of the house. This water could then seep into the foundations of the home or even into the internal walls and cause them to rot.
Your gutters not only protect the home, but they also help to protect the landscaping around your home by capturing all of the water from your roof and directing it away from the home and garden.
In addition to all of this, your gutters also work to protect you and your family members by keeping the home safe and in good condition, it means that there is less of a chance of any person being harmed by the damage caused by water leakage.
So, now that we know what a guttering system does, let’s have a look at some of the key areas of your guttering system and the roof of your home.
What are gutters and what do they do?
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. They are designed to catch the rainwater and debris that falls on the roof and send it to the downpipe that 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.
What is a downpipe and what do they do?
Besides the actual gutters, the downpipes are probably one of the most recognisable parts of any guttering system. They work directly in conjunction with the gutters and are where the water flows through after it has been collected by the gutter.
Also known as downspouts, the most important function of the downpipe is to carry the water away from the home as fast as possible. This is to prevent backflow, particularly during heavy rainfall, and also to protect the home from water damage.
Homes can have multiple downpipes; the number of downpipes a house has is dependent on a few factors, including the size of the home as well as the weather experienced in the region.
What are fascias and why do we need them?
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 actually 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 of those roles are 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.
What is a gutter end cap and why do we need them?
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. 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 in the foundations of the home which can lead to all sorts of nightmares.
What is a barge board and what do they do?
Bargeboards are the boards that line the edge of the roof attached to the roof’s gable. Similar to the fascia they help to protect the interior components of the roof from the weather elements. They also add strength to the gables.
Bargeboards also add an aesthetic appeal to the home and when they aren’t well cared for, it can completely change the appearance of the home. While they aren’t attached to your guttering system, they do work to protect the roof from the outside elements, making them a vital part of protecting the home from water.
How to care for your gutters
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.
If you’re looking for honest, reliable service for your gutters in Sydney, give us a call today!