Gutter Terminology

Downspout (or downpipe)

A vertical pipe for carrying rainwater from the rain gutter to ground level.


The part of a roof that projects beyond the wall that support it. The soffit and the fascia make up the two main parts to an eave.


On a downspout the elbow is the bent piece of pipe that directs the downspout back toward the house at the top but at the bottom directs the water out away from the house.

End Cap

The flat piece located at the end of a gutter section that closes off that section.

Expansion Joint

A joint in a long run of cladding, gutter or flashing designed to allow for thermal expansion & contraction. Which is not needed if you use our SnapLock Product (Hyperlink)


A type of trim that runs horizontally along the roof’s eaves, providing a base for attaching the gutters (also called the fascia board). The finished surface below the fascia and rafters is called the soffit or eave.


A material installed between the back of the gutters and the roofline used to waterproof the junction. (Recommended on all homes)


Refers to the thickness of a gutter material.


Is the section that runs horizontal on the fascia that catches the water from the roof line so the water can be carried toward the downspouts.


It is the piece that is installed in the front lip of the gutter & fastened to the home to hold up that section of the gutter.  (The quality of hanger will determine how long the gutter will stay on the home)

Metal types:

  • Aluminum
    Aluminum is a moderately priced and rust-resistant material popular with newer installations. It comes unfinished or factory-painted. The downside is that aluminum tends to leak at joints because the metal expands and contracts too much for sealant to hold permanently. It also dents easily.
  • Copper
    Copper is an upscale material that is strong, durable, rust-resistant and nearly maintenance-free. It will weather to a brownish green (patina) with exposure to the environmental conditions.
  • Galvanized Gutters
    Galvanized gutters are strong and inexpensive for what you get, although they can rust.
  • Galvalume Painted
    Galvalume is a metal roofing product consisting of  steel coil coated with a metal alloy. That alloy is 45% zinc and 55% aluminum and looks similar to galvanized steel, but with a smoother appearance. Galvalume will resist rust, the elements and fire while providing a sturdy and protective covering.
  • Mill finish
    Mill Finish is the natural appearance of the aluminum as it comes from the rolling mill. It is “as is” with no external mechanical or chemical finishing.


Where two pieces of gutter come together at a corner and those pieces are adjoined by either a box miter or a strip miter.


The angle, or pitch, of a roof is calculated by the number of inches it rises vertically for every 12 inches it extends horizontally. For example, a roof that rises 6 inches for every 12 inches of horizontal run has a 6-in-12 pitch.


Length of a horizontal section of gutter.


The underside space between the end of the roof and the side of a home, often vented to provide circulation to the attic.

Splash Block

Concrete block placed under a downspout to help direct water away from the home.


Flat strip of metal that is secured to the house and wrapped around the downspouts to hold it in place.