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Learning Center

A property owner looking to invest in a new rain gutter system may at first be overwhelmed by all the available options. To help you out, here are answers to some common questions about rain gutters, as well as a glossary of important terms describing parts of a rain gutter system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I don’t like the look of traditional downspouts—are there any alternatives to normal rain gutter systems?

A: Practically every home or business needs a rain gutter—however, not every property needs the same kind of gutter. Depending on the design of your property, there are a wide variety of rain gutter materials and styles to choose from. A popular alternative to the traditional downspout is a rain chain—rain chains serve the same purpose as a downspout, but they’re designed to be extremely aesthetically pleasing.

Q: How much do rain gutters cost?

A: The price of a rain gutter largely depends on the length needed for your home and the style and types of materials used. A copper rain gutter system, for example, is generally going to cost more than an aluminum one. Rest assured, though, that you won’t have to break your budget to get a rain gutter installed on your property. Our experts will help you choose the best system to fit your budget.

Q: What are the different kinds of rain gutters?

A: Rain gutters come in a wide variety of colors, styles, and materials. Two of the most popular rain gutter materials are aluminum and copper. You will also have the choice to choose seamless gutters, which are less likely to develop leaks than traditional systems. Instead of a regular downspout, you may consider a rain chain—which serves the same function, but which is more beautiful.

Rain Gutter Glossary

Here is a glossary of words you should understand when researching rain gutter systems.

  • Drainage: A system of gutters and drainpipes that carry water away from the foundations of a house.
  • Drop Outlet: Formed piece that serves as the hole from which the water travels from the horizontal sections of the gutter to the downspout.
  • Elbow: A pre-finished angled piece for directing water flow.
  • End Cap: Flat, formed piece that is placed at the end of a gutter section.
  • Fascia: A flat board that runs horizontally along the eaves of a roof, typically capping the ends of the roof rafters to give the roof edge a more finished look and to provide a base for attaching gutters.
  • Gutters: Horizontal channels installed at the edge of a roof to carry rainwater or melted snow away from the house.
  • Hanger: Flat strap that is installed under the roofing material and which hold up the horizontal section of the gutter.
  • Inside Miter Box: A corner piece of the horizontal section that is deflected in.
  • Leader: A pipe that carries rainwater from the gutters to the ground, sewers, or wells.
  • Outside Miter Box: A corner piece of the horizontal section that is deflected out.
  • Pitch: The angle at which a horizontal section of gutter is tilted in order to force water to flow toward a downspout.
  • Run: Length of a horizontal section of gutter.
  • Splashblock: Plastic or concrete surface put under a downspout to direct water away from the house.
  • Strap: Flat hangers that are nailed into the house to hold the downspouts in place.