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  • Writer's pictureMatt O'Dore

Gutters 101 - Accessories and Terminology

Updated: Feb 23

Gutters surrounding windows on a roof

  • 5K: Same as the 6K gutter but 5 inches across the top instead of 6 inches.

  • 6K: A type of gutter that has a profile that measures approximately 6 inches across the top and has a depth of about 3.5 inches. The "K" in the name refers to the shape of the gutter, which has a flat bottom and angled sides that flare outwards towards the top. One advantage of 6K gutters is that they can handle moderate to heavy rainfall, making them suitable for many residential and commercial applications. They are also relatively easy to install and maintain, and can be made from a variety of materials, including aluminum, steel, copper or vinyl.

  • Fascia style: A flat-faced gutter that is taller than the 6k gutter but holds less volume. Mostly found on new construction because they can be installed without drip metal flashing.

  • Half-round: A type of gutter that has a semi-circular shape, resembling the letter "U" when viewed from the side. It is one of the oldest styles of gutters and was commonly used in historic homes and buildings. Half-round gutters are typically made of metal, such as aluminum or copper, but can also be made of vinyl or other materials. One advantage of half-round gutters is that they have fewer corners or crevices for debris to accumulate in, making them easier to clean and maintain than some other types of gutters. They also have a classic, decorative look that can add curb appeal to a home. However, because they are not as deep as some other types of gutters, they may not be able to handle heavy rainfall or large amounts of water runoff as effectively.

  • Downspout: A component of a gutter system that channels rainwater from the gutters and directs it away from the house's foundation. It is typically a vertical pipe or tube that extends down from the gutter to the ground level or drainage system. The downspout plays an important role in preventing water damage to the home's foundation, walls, and landscaping by guiding water away from these areas.

  • Gutter cover: A great way to protect your gutters from leaves, debris and other materials that can cause them to become clogged. Gutter covers come in many different styles and designs that are suited for different climates.

  • Splash block: A water diversion device that helps prevent soil erosion and directs water away from buildings. It is typically placed at the end of a downspout, where it helps to divert the flow of water away from foundations. Splash blocks are usually made of concrete or plastic, with a half-round shape that allows for efficient dispersal.

  • End cap: A component of a gutter system that is used to seal off the end of a gutter run. It is typically made from the same material as the rest of the gutter (such as aluminum, steel or vinyl) and is designed to fit securely over the end of the gutter, preventing water from leaking out.

  • Elbow: A component of a gutter system that is used to connect the vertical downspout to the horizontal gutter. It is typically made from the same material as the rest of the gutter (such as aluminum or vinyl) and is designed to change the direction of water flow from vertical to horizontal.

  • Hidden hanger: A type of fastener used to attach gutters to a building's fascia board. It is typically made from durable materials like aluminum or stainless steel and is designed to be hidden from view once the gutter system is installed, providing a clean and seamless appearance. Installed with screws instead of nails to prevent them from backing out over time.

  • Gutter scoop: A tool used to clean out gutters filled with debris.

  • Gutter sealant: A type of adhesive used to seal gaps and leaks in a gutter system. It is typically applied with a caulking gun and is designed to create a watertight seal that prevents water from escaping through small holes or cracks in the gutter.

  • Gutter spikes: Also known as gutter nails, are a type of fastener used to attach gutters to a building's fascia board. They are typically made from steel or aluminum and are designed to be driven through the back of the gutter and into the fascia board. Gutter spikes are a common and cost-effective way to secure gutters to a building.

  • Drip flashing: A type of metal flashing that is installed at the edge of a roof where it connects to the gutter system to direct water away from the underlying structure. It is designed to prevent water damage by directing rainwater safely into the gutter system instead of wicking behind the gutter or up under the shingles onto the plywood decking.

  • Gutter reducer: A device used to connect two different sizes of gutter systems together. It typically consists of a tapered piece of metal or plastic that fits over the larger gutter and reduces it down to the size of the smaller gutter, allowing for proper water flow into underground drains.

  • Gutter wedge: A small, triangular-shaped piece of plastic or metal that is placed between the gutter and fascia board or rafter tails to angle the gutter more level. This is only for homes with rafter tails not cut perpendicular to the ground.

  • Downspout leaf filter: A device installed near the bottom of a downspout above where it attaches to an underground drain pipe. It contains a metal screen filter to prevent clogging stormwater drains and can be cleaned out by using your hand at ground level.

  • Rain chain: A decorative alternative to a downspout on a gutter system. It consists of a series of linked cups or other shapes that hang vertically from the gutter and guide the flow of water downward into a basin or onto the ground.

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