Glossary of Gutter Terms

Welcome to the LeafGuard Gutter Glossary. This glossary is designed to help inform you by providing a list of important terms related to gutter guards, gutter systems, and gutter installations to help you better understand how to effectively protect your home.

A gutter bracket reinforces the hanging gutter. A large nail or screw is put through the bracket and onto a surface of the house, usually the fascia.

Gutter clogging is what happens over time when elements other than water are introduced into a gutter system, or when the system loses its pitch and the flow of water is halted.

Downspouts are the vertical pipes that connects a building’s gutter system with the end destination of the water being corralled. The downspout usually points toward a sewer, a pitched area of lawn, or a rain barrel in order to direct water away from the building’s foundation.

Drainage is the systematized removal of water from a given area. For a house or building, a large part of drainage from rainwater usually occurs via a gutter system.

The drip edge is a small “lip” placed along the eaves in order to drive water clear of underlying materials, and prevent seepage underneath.

A drop outlet is a connector piece of gutter, allowing for water to flow from the gutter system downward into the downspout or storage tanks.

Eaves are the overhanging portion of a roof. Like gutters, the eaves drives water away from the side of the house. Within a gutter system, water is corralled off of the eaves and into the gutters.

A gutter end cap prevents water from spilling out haphazardly off the side of the gutter system

Flashing membrane for the eaves is a material that prevents water infiltration through tiny areas underneath the roof eaves.

Fascia is a horizontal board located directly under a building’s roof. It is the “face” that gutters are traditionally hung from.

Foundation erosion is the result of too much water saturating the soil around a house’s foundation. The soil becomes eroded, and the foundation is then vulnerable to instability and shifting.

The gutter elbow is the bottom portion of a downspout that curves outward directing the water from the downspout away from the house.

General term for anything protecting gutters from the elements, and could include do it yourself temporary solutions as well as permanent, professionally installed solutions. Most are add-ons except for LeafGuard

A gutter hood is a solid piece locked in place that sits atop a gutter system and protects it from the elements. Most gutter hoods are add-ons to existing gutters

In a seamless one piece gutter system like LeafGuard, the hood portion is integral in protecting the gutter against leaves and debris, and facilitating liquid adhesion.

Gutter screens are plastic or metal covers for gutters with visible holes, intended to filter water through while preventing leaves and other debris from entering into the gutter.

An Ice Dam is the product of snow melting and re-freezing on a roof as a result of poor insulation or inconsistent heat. Typically, snow will melt and slide down a roof as water. When water reaches the edge of the roof, where it is colder, it re-freezes as ice and creates problematic build up, often in the form of icicles.

K-gutters are standard gutters that tend to be smaller than their U-Shape counterparts, but drain the same amount of water, and appear newer in style.

Liquid Adhesion is the principle of physics that explains how as liquids flow, they adhere to the surface across which they are traveling. In gutters, liquid adhesion is seen as water is corralled into a gutter over a surface. The LeafGuard gutter system is based on the principle of liquid adhesion

When there’s too much water for the gutter either due to an obstruction or clog within the gutter system or simply as the result of more rain than the gutter system can actually handle, the water will flow over the sides of the gutter and can ultimately cause problems for the homeowner.

Also referred to as “plumb cut fascia”, plumb fascia is a rafter beam cut with a plumb line dropped to the ground.

A rain barrel is a large barrel meant for collecting rainwater for reuse. It is place at the end of a downspout in order to collect water that flows through a gutter system.

Rain chains are an alternative to downspouts, performing the same function of directing water downward out of a gutter system. By the process of liquid adhesion, the water flows down the chain instead of dispersing.

Roof pitch is the measure of steepness in a roof, calculated by dividing its vertical rise by its horizontal span. The steeper the pitch, the faster rainwater will run off into the gutter system.

Runoff water is the build up of excess water on the earth’s surface. In the case of a home, runoff water forms on the lawn, especially when a sufficient drainage system is not in place.

A one-piece gutter is a gutter system custom fit to the size of the house. The benefit offered by the one-piece gutter is that it contains no seams, which are a point of vulnerability for water leakage.

Soffit is the area between the top of a house’s side and its roof. It is an exposed undersurface, and gutters are usually hung in close proximity to the soffit.

The splashblock is an extension from the downspout. It functions as a “gutter on the ground”, as it prevents water build up and drives the water farther away from the foundation of the house.

Square cut fascia is a cut where the tail is square to the rafter. The square cut usually consists of an angle facing inwardly toward the house on the bottom of the rafter.

Exterior trim is any component of wood that sits on a house along with siding and windows. It’s particularly vulnerable to rot, and will rot at a quicker rate without a proper gutter system in place.

Also called “u-shape gutters”, U Gutters are half-round gutters and are considered “traditional”.

Water damage as it pertains to gutters refers to an excess of water too close to the home. Damage can be sustained by the basement, the foundation, the fascia and trim, among other parts of the home.

Water flow is the process of driving water away from the house. It involves gutter protection, gutter pitch, downspout placement, among other factors.