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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.

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.

The most widely used gutter material is aluminum. Aluminum gutters are very lightweight and can come in a variety of different colors. Although aluminum gutters are light, it’s best to have gutters professionally installed to make sure they’re safely and securely put into place.

Copper gutters are known mainly for their aesthetic appeal and beauty. However, with great looks comes a great price. Steel gutters will need to be maintained more often because they can easily rust if left unattended. Vinyl gutters are good for DIYers because they’re a very lightweight option and inexpensive, however, of all the other gutter materials, vinyl gutters are most prone to cracking.

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.

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.

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


  • Sectional gutters are good for DIYers and are available at any home improvement store.
  • Pipe cleats are the fasteners that connect the downspout to the side of your home.
  • The elbow on a gutter system is the piece that connects to the end of the downspout so water can efficiently drain away.
  • “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.”

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