Gutter Parts and Terminology for Soffit Enthusiasts

An image of gutter terminology.

Gutter parts are plentiful. Discover what they are, the correct terminology and some other interesting nit-bits of gutter wisdom right here at Soffit.

3 min read

It's springtime, so it's raining. A lot. As a homeowner, you've been meaning to take care of those gutters of yours, but that means researching gutter parts. You started looking into gutter terminology but learned there was a lot more to it than you thought. Read on to learn more about soffit and what that means for your gutter part improvements.

What Is a Soffit?

Firstly, what is a soffit? As a homeowner, you may have heard of a soffit, at least in relation to your gutter and housing trim and exterior material. If you haven't, no worries! You don't have to be an architect to know what it means for your house.

A soffit isn't just for the exterior of your home, but the interior, too. A soffit is merely the space or between, or material connecting one object and another, like the space between your kitchen cabinets and your ceiling. On the exterior of your home, it's the space beneath an arch, balcony, or overhanging eaves.

Gutter Terminology

Now that you know what a soffit is, there are a few other parts of your gutter related to soffits that will be helpful to know when you begin working on updating and maintaining your gutters.

  • A gutter section, or a gutter, is pretty self-explanatory: These usually run five to ten feet in length and are attached to the house below the overhanging eaves; Runoff and rainwater collect in these
  • A downspout is an enclosed pipe, attached to the side of your house, with openings at the top and bottom for runoff water to flow through
  • A hanger is screwed onto your home to secure the gutter: A hidden hanger does the same thing but is inside the gutter so it can't be seen from below or the front; It has a hole in one side that is screwed into the eave and another hole is screwed into the gutter's front edge for support
  • A ferrule is a small part of the gutter, shaped like a cylinder, that keeps loose debris or extra water from overflowing from the gutter and is screwed into the eave: An end cap does the same thing as a ferrule, but is at the end sections of gutters and is a flat piece of metal
  • A miter is the cornerpiece of a gutter: These attach to gutters on either side and are connected by stripe or bay miters
  • An elbow is a bent piece of piping that goes at the end of the gutter, either at the top or bottom of a gutter to join pieces
  • A pipe cleat fixes the downspout, or the end of the gutter, to your home: It's screwed into the eave

Where to Buy Gutter Parts

Now that you're more acquainted with gutter terminology, you need a place to look for these parts and learn more about soffit materials in general.

Here at Soffit, we have some great resources for beginning homeowners or simply for those who need to know more. Be sure to check out our other posts, such as questions to ask soffit and fascia contractors.

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