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The Gutter Terminology You Need to Know

30 July 2020

Gutter TerminologyAre you thinking about having new gutters installed? If so, you may want to first familiarize yourself with some basic gutter terminology. This will help you better understand your gutter system so that you can make smart decisions when replacing it.

LeafGuard® of West Michigan is here to help you learn all the gutter terminology you need to know. We’ve been in business since 1979 and have become a true gutter expert in the decades since. Now, we’re ready to pass our knowledge on to you. Before embarking on a gutter replacement project, take a look at this list of gutter-related terms.

Types of Gutters

There are two systems to choose from when having new gutters installed. These are:

Sectional Gutters

Sectional gutters are made up of several sections that are installed piece by piece. This leads to the creation of small gaps—called seams—in between each section. The seams make this type of gutter system highly susceptible to leaks, clogs, and other problems.

Seamless Gutters

Seamless gutters, on the other hand, are made up of one continuous piece of material. These gutters are cut to fit your home’s exact dimensions, so there aren’t any gaps to worry about. This minimizes the risk of damage and prevents clogs and leaks. Because of their superior performance, seamless gutters tend to be the best choice.

Gutter Parts: A Gutter Terminology Glossary

Now that you know the difference between seamless and sectional gutters, let’s take a look at some more detailed gutter terminology.


This term is used to refer to the gutter system as a whole. However, it’s also the name of the horizontal trough that collects rainwater and snowmelt. If you have a seamless system, the gutter is one continuous piece. In sectional systems, multiple gutters are used.


The downspout is the vertical piece of your gutter system that’s installed along the side of your home. Its primary purpose is draining your gutters and moving the water they collect away from your home.

Pipe Cleats

Pipe cleats are a special type of fastener that’s used to attach your downspout to the side of your home.


The elbow is a piece of material that’s attached to the bottom of the downspout. Its angled design forces water to move away from your home as it drains. Elbows can also be attached to the top of a downspout, connecting it to the gutter.


A miter is used to join two pieces of gutter together. They are most prevalent in sectional gutter systems; however seamless systems may also require miters at their corners.

End Caps

End caps are flat pieces of material used to close off the end of a gutter.

Hangars & Ferrules

Hangars and ferrules are pieces used during installation. Hangars brace your gutters and provide additional support. Ferrules are metal tubes that spikes are driven through to fasten the gutters to your fascia boards.

Gutter Covers

Gutter covers are a protective feature that can be installed over your gutter system. They prevent leaves, twigs, and other debris from entering your gutters, keeping the troughs permanently clean. Certain gutter systems, like the LeafGuard® one-piece, covered seamless gutter system, are equipped with built-in covers. The LeafGuard® system features an innovative curved hood and utilizes a scientific principle known as liquid adhesion. This allows rainwater to travel around the hood, into the gutter, and away from your home, while debris is blocked from entering the gutter. As a result, your gutters will never clog, leak, or overflow, eliminating the need for maintenance.

With your newfound knowledge of gutter terminology, you can embark on your gutter replacement project with confidence. If you’re interested in having seamless covered gutters installed by an industry expert, contact LeafGuard® of West Michigan today. We would be happy to answer your questions and provide a free estimate for your gutter installation project.