What You Should Know About the Anatomy of a Gutter System
There are dozens of home parts and pieces that you will likely never need to know about. However, your gutters are not one of them. If you avoid these home exterior parts, you could end up with extensive water damage to your roof, walls, or foundation. So, when assessing or choosing your gutters, here is what you should know about the anatomy of a gutter system.
The namesake of the equipment and drainage system, the gutter is the rounded half tube that extends the length of your roof. This piece is the critical part of the gutter system since it both collects and directs any water or debris it catches. Gutters cannot work alone; they need end caps to block liquids from leaving the concave catcher. Though the gutter is typically a straight piece of metal, there are ridged pieces called elbows that connect gutters around corners and other angled spaces.
The Leaf Protector
The gutters and end caps serve to collect rainfall; however, they can also collect unwanted debris such as leaves, especially during the fall. You may not be able to avoid some trees from dropping unseemly amounts of foliage into your gutter system, but you can install leaf protectors to limit the amount of debris that enters your system. These porous sheets of metal affix over top of the gutter pipe, allowing liquid to fall through their holes while stopping larger items like leaves from getting through.
The downspout is the piece of the gutter system that moves the water vertically down your home. The gutters catch the water and the downspout releases it to a controlled area of the ground. The downspout is critical to your gutter system since it allows you to place the catchment somewhere away from the foundation or other flood-prone areas. Like the gutters, downspouts require an elbow to move around corners and release the water from the side of the wall to the ground.
The Drip Edge and Fascia Bracket
Every gutter must attach to the roof in some way. Otherwise, it would not be able to catch anything! The drip edge is the part of your roof that covers the corner between your roof and your exterior walls. There are many reasons why drip edges are important, but they are critical to the anatomy of the gutter system because they allow rainfall to flow seamlessly into the gutters. Next, the fascia bracket holds the gutters up to the edge of the roof where it can collect the water. These brackets screw into the structural fascia of your roof and hold the gutters in place even amidst the strongest winds.
This is just the beginning of what you should know about the anatomy of a gutter system. Each of these pieces of advice is essential to the proper functioning of your water drainage system. If you have any gutter issues, investigate them yourself or call in a professional to address exterior damages or problems.