The Constructor

Rain Gutters: What are their Components and Types?

Rain Gutters

Rain Gutters

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A rain gutter is a simple arrangement used in a building’s water discharge system. It is also called gutter or guttering, a trough or channel that runs along the perimeter of the roof, collects the rainwater runoff from the roof, and discharges it.

Figure-1: Rain Gutters

The rainwater discharged using a rain gutter system is conveyed to a drainage system using downpipes.

This article explains the working of rain gutter systems and their types.

Working of Rain Gutter System

A rain gutter system channels water out and away from the building’s foundation. As a result, it reduces the risks of:

  1. Flooded basement
  2. Damaged siding
  3. Erosion
  4. Ruining landscaping

Rain gutters are simple structures that come in different configurations. For example, a standard gutter system has the following components, as shown in figure-2 below.

Figure-2: Anatomy of a Gutter System
Image Credits: Jason Lee

As shown in the figure, it consists of a gutter, end cap, fascia bracket, downspout, downspout bracket, and elbow. The gutter captures the water that sheds off the roof. The downspout or leader conveys water from the gutter to the ground. This water is taken away as per the drainage plan.

The end of the gutter is closed using an end cap. Fascia brackets are components that support the gutters from below and are attached to the eaves.

The downspout running through the side of the building is supported using a downspout bracket. The direction of the downspout is changed using elbows.

Rain Gutter Material 

Rain gutters were traditionally made out of lead, which was later replaced by cast iron. The use of cast iron for rain gutter facilitates mass production. Later, gutters were manufactured using aluminum alloys, uPVC sections, galvanized steel, copper, stainless steel, zinc, etc.

Rain gutters are also available in different shapes and sizes. Metal gutters are found to be more durable and demand less maintenance.

Rain Gutter Designs

The commonly used rain gutter designs are:

1. Box Gutters

Box gutters are rectangular and box-type gutters boxed into the roofs, as shown in the figure below.

Figure-3: Box Gutters

2. Fascia Gutters

Fascia gutters are also called eaves gutters. Here, gutters and eaves are combined so that the gutter appears to be built into the eaves.

Figure-4: Fascia or Eave Gutters

3. Square Gutters

These are square-shaped gutters used in areas with heavy rainfall. It is fixed outside the face of the fascia.

4. Round Gutters

These are half-circle-shaped gutters that are fixed to the outside face of the fascia.

Figure-5: Round Gutters

5. Quad or D Gutters

These gutters are fixed outside the face of the fascia. They are available in different widths and profiles.

Figure-6: D Gutters

FAQ

What is a rain gutter?

A rain gutter is a simple arrangement used in a building’s water discharge system. It is also called gutter or guttering, a trough or channel that runs along the perimeter of the roof that collects the rainwater runoff from the roof and discharges it.

What are the benefits of having rain gutters for buildings?

A rain gutter system channels water out and away from the home’s foundation. As a result, it reduces the risks of:
1. Flooded basement
2. Damaged siding
3. Erosion
4. Ruining landscaping

Read More

How to Develop an Efficient Drainage System for a Structure?

What are the types of Surface Drainage Systems?

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