One of the best parts about working with gutters, is the overall simplicity. Point at any part of a gutter, and the purpose of it will generally be to “Control the flow of water from the roof to the surface of the ground”. That doesn’t change much, and because it’s a simple concept, it can be very easy for us to explain a job to our customers.
Sagging gutters? They are no longer efficient in maintaining the flow of water from the roof to the ground. Need a new downspout? It will improve the flow of water from the roof to the ground. Easy. Simple. No problem.
But every once in a while, one of those gutter boys throws out a term that you don’t hear every day. It doesn’t happen often, but even we are guilty of this from time to time. Here are a few terms you might not immediately recognize.
If you have never heard this term before, we know you’re from the good old West Coast. Eavestrough is an older term that they mostly use on the other side of the country. It means gutter. The whole gutter. It’s actually two words smushed together. Eave: Another word for fascia (we’ll get to that one), and Trough: a great shape to help direct the flow of water. The eave’s trough. Get it? Let’s move on.
On a typical sloped roof, there is a vertical board that hides the edges of your rafters, and provides the surface for mounting your gutters. It is the fascia (pronounced fay-sha). Out east they may refer to it as an eave. Whatever you decide to call it, it plays a very important role for your gutters, and needs to be well maintained.
Technically speaking, a soffit is the underside of any piece of outdoor architecture. The inside of an arch, or the exposed beams of your rafters could be the soffits. But when we say soffit we are usually referring to the horizontal panels or boards that form the outdoor ceiling connecting your roof to your home.
Gutter Spike and Ferrule
A gutter spike and ferrule is an old way of fastening the gutter to the fascia board. It was a big spike and a small metal circle to punch it through. These days we don’t use the gutter spike very often, since it had a bad habit of coming loose over time. We still get to pull them out of older gutters though, so the term hasn’t disappeared yet.
Even though we haven’t seen this for a few years out here in the warmer climes of the west coast, ice damming is still a necessary concern for any homeowner. No, we don’t mean shaking your fist and cursing the weather. Ice dams form as still water freezes in the gutter. Fresh water is prevented from flowing properly, and more layers of ice build up. If allowed to continue like this, ice can actually overflow from your gutter, or cause damage to your home by being far too heavy for the fascia board to handle it. A few warm winters may have allowed us to relax on the ice dam front, but you’ll hear us warn you about it plenty during the winter months.
If we ever use another term that you’re unfamiliar with, feel free to ask us for an explanation. We always feel better knowing that our customers are informed about the maintenance of their home.