Gutters are not just an accessory. They are a critical part of your home with quite a hefty role to fulfill. Gutter systems, or leaf protective systems, safeguard your home’s walls and foundation from water damage. They accomplish this feat by diverting water off your roof, into the downspouts, and away from the home via a gutter extension.
While these three components sound like they make up the entire system, there’s actually more to the story. And each component is just as important as the other. Find out more in our guide to understanding the basic parts of leaf protection systems.
Basic Gutter Components
From the gutter itself to end caps and downspouts, every part of the gutter system plays an important role in protecting your home. Here’s an outline of the basic components of a leaf protection system and their functions.
The gutter itself is a trough of sorts that collects rainwater and melting snow. This water is then sent off the roof, protecting the shingles, plywood, and beams from sustaining water damage.
These covers protect the gutters themselves from getting clogged with debris such as leaves, twigs, and even birds’ nests. To ensure optimal protection, gutter cover installation is typically done by professionals.
Another protective component against clogs are end caps, which close off the ends of each gutter.
When one gutter segment isn’t enough, you must add others. Slip connectors join these segments together to create one single piece.
Flashing protects your home’s fascia and soffits. They do so by preventing water from splashing or collecting behind the gutter itself.
Have you ever seen a home with a sagging gutter? Unsightly, unhelpful, and even dangerous, sagging gutters are essentially useless. Gutter hangers are installed to keep gutters attached to the roofline so that sagging isn’t an issue.
This critical part of a leaf protection system takes the water from the gutter and whisks it down to the ground. Downspout straps are also used with this component to secure it to the wall of the home.
Gutter extensions work by carrying the water away from the foundation of the home. They are usually long enough to release water a few feet or more away from the foundation, often into a garden.
Now that you understand the basic parts of leaf protection systems, you can have a better appreciation for your home’s gutters.