Gutter Parts and Terminology Explained

Just like your windows, siding and doors, gutters have their own variety of connecting parts that make them function properly. It’s important to know all the gutter parts and terms so if anything goes wrong or you just need to do some simple maintenance, you know what’s happening and how you can fix it.

gutter parts

Gutters may not seem like they have super advanced parts, but there are multiple key aspects that all play an important role in the functionality of the gutter system as a whole.

In this article, we’ll go over all the different gutter parts, materials and types and how they contribute to the gutter’s performance.

Gutter Materials

The first thing you need to know about your gutters is the materials they come in. Depending on where you live, you may benefit from one gutter material more than another. We’ll go over the different options in detail below.

Aluminum Gutters

seamless gutters

The most widely used gutter material is aluminum. Aluminum gutters are very lightweight and can come in a variety of different colors.

Aluminum gutters are so popular mainly because they don’t rust – which is an important feature to have for something that deals with water.

Since they’re so lightweight, installation of aluminum gutters can be done yourself. However, it’s best to have gutters professionally installed to make sure they’re safely and securely put into place.

Copper Gutters

copper gutters

Copper gutters are known mainly for their aesthetic appeal and beauty. However, with great looks comes a great price. Copper gutters are some of the most expensive types of gutters.

Copper also won’t rust. They will, however, need to be professionally installed because they require welds to connect the seams and joints. This contributes to the high cost of copper gutters.

They’re mostly found on high-end homes and historic restorations.

Steel Gutters

gutter terms

The most valuable trait steel gutters possess is that they’re very strong. However, one big downfall of steel gutters is that they’re not completely resistant to rust. They’ll fight it off for a while but they could start to rust after just 5 years.

Steel gutters will need to be maintained more often because they can easily rust if left unattended. They’re also expensive and require professional installation because they’re so heavy.

Vinyl Gutters

vinyl gutter parts

Vinyl gutters are good for DIYers because they’re a very lightweight option and inexpensive. However, there aren’t many color options and they’re susceptible to fading.

Plus, of all the other gutter materials, vinyl gutters are most prone to cracking. If you’re looking for the cheapest option and aren’t too worried about durability and longevity, vinyl gutters are right up your alley.

Sectional vs Seamless Gutters


The next thing you need to know about gutters is if they’re sectional or seamless. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Sectional gutters are good for DIYers and are available at any home improvement store. They get their name from the sections that make up the entire gutter system. Each section is held together by some sort of clamp or screw feature.

However, sectional gutters have some key disadvantages. With more moving parts, there are more things that can go wrong. There’s a greater possibility of installing them incorrectly. Plus, the sections can easily fall apart and cause your gutters to sag and have leaks.

On the other hand, seamless gutters are a much more reliable option. They’re custom made to your home and have no sections. Each length of gutter is one solid piece, leaving no room for parts to fall off and cause leaks.

The only downside of seamless gutters is that they need to be professionally installed. However, you’ll save money over time by not having to repair or replace them because of broken sections.

Gutter Parts

Depending on the type of gutters you have, there are different gutter parts that you should know about. We’ll go over all the gutter parts below.

Gutter sections are simply the gutters themselves. They’re the horizontal part that attaches to your home and collects the runoff from your roof. If you have seamless gutters, the gutter sections are the entire gutter on each side of your home.

Downspouts are the vertical gutter parts that allow the runoff from the gutters to drain away from your home. Downspouts can come in round or rectangular shapes.

Hangers and hidden hangers are the piece that connect the gutter section to your home. Hidden hangers are installed inside the gutter so that they’re not visible from below or front.

End caps are the piece of a gutter section that helps keep excess debris or water from escaping the gutters. Its found at the end of a section and can also be screwed into the eaves.

A miter is the fastener that connects two gutter sections on a corner.

The elbow on a gutter system is the piece that connects to the end of the downspout so water can efficiently drain away.

Pipe cleats are the fasteners that connect the downspout to the side of your home.

That’s Everything to Know About Gutter Parts and Terms

When you’re a homeowner, it’s important to know as much about your home as possible. You need to be able to figure out when something needs repairing or replacing so you can either do it yourself or hire a professional.

Your gutters may seem like a simple feature but there are many parts and terms to know about them. Water damage is a homeowner’s worst nightmare so it’s important that your gutters are in good working condition.

For all your gutter needs, look to Feldco. We’re the Midwest’s leading home remodeling company and have the best gutters for your home.

Our seamless, aluminum gutters are tough enough to withstand all the unpredictable weather. Get a free quote today for your new replacement gutters!

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