Eavestrough vs. Gutter – Is There a Difference?


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Rainy days can make you feel gloomy as you snug up in bed, waiting for the rain to stop. You may worry about the lightning, thunder, or hail that may accompany the rains, but more worrying is the mess it could create around your porch from uncontrollable splattering. Having an eavestrough or gutter around your roof will usually leave you more confident by collecting and channeling the rain on your roof. 

gutter and eavestrough

When renovating or constructing a house, it may be confusing to describe what you want using the correct terminologies. While some people call the structures attached to the eaves of a roof an eavestrough, others call them a gutter. It could be that eavestrough and gutters mean the same; however, there is also the possibility that they are different.

In this article, we will analyze some of the characteristics of both to know if there is a difference between an eavestrough and a gutter. 

What is an eavestrough?

An eavestrough is a structure attached to the end of a roof (eaves) to collect and direct rainwater. Its function is to prevent wet stains on the walls or reduce splatters. Attaching an eavestrough to your roof can reduce puddles and raindrop impressions around the outside of your home by channeling water to nearby drainages.

What is a gutter? 

As with an eavestrough, a gutter is a channel prepared for the drainage or free flow of liquid. The term is also used to classify any drainage system that runs along the sides of the road or conveys water from a house to a drain. 

Leaving a house exposed to rainwater can damage the walls and seep into the foundation of a house, causing moisture that can provide a conducive environment for mold growth. In the winter, houses without gutters have foundations that are exposed to rainwater. A damp foundation can reduce the effectiveness of heating systems by absorbing the cold in the foundation caused by rain. 

Is there a difference between gutters and eavestroughs?

Considering the meaning of both, it is evident that both eavestrough and gutters mean the same thing; however, there is a little difference. While eavestrough is restricted to only the roof of a house, gutter transcends to involve surface and ground drainages.

This means that gutter is a more general term than the term eavestrough. We can thus say that an eavestrough is a type of gutter. Notwithstanding, both terms can still be used interchangeably. 

Also see: Are Rain Gutters Really Necessary On A Normal Single-Family House?

Types of gutters and eavestrough

Gutters can be classified into different types based on their style, shape, and material. Let’s look at some of these types based on their classification.

Types by style

  • Seamed or sectional gutters

Seamed gutters come in small sections that can be easily connected. Each part is about 10 feet in length and can be connected to form one long column that connects to a building’s eaves with hangers. 

This type of gutter can be fixed without the help of a professional and is quite affordable; however, they have the disadvantage of leaking easily.  

Seamed or sectional gutter
  • Seamless gutters

As the name implies, seamless gutters do not have sections and are measured according to the building length where they will be fixed. This type of gutter looks smoother and comes in a variety of colors. 

Unlike seamed gutters, this type is less likely to leak and can be a bit more expensive.

Types by shape

  • Half-round gutters

Half rounds are semi-circle-shaped gutters that are attached to the roof. This type of gutter allows for the free flow of water and is easier to maintain but can be pretty tricky to fix due to its roundness. 

Fixing it requires the use of brackets to hold it into place. It isn’t the most fashionable looking on the list but indeed serves its purpose well. 

  • K shape gutters

This type of gutter derives its name from the shape when you look at it from the side. They are one of the most commonly used gutters and are easier to fix when compared with the half-round gutter. 

K-shaped gutters are more challenging to clean and can clog easily with dry leaves, but they look adorable. 

K shape gutter
  • Fascia shape gutters

Modern homes prefer this gutter due to its classy look and seamless style. This type of gutter is very durable, with no leak-prone seams. The material used in making this gutter is also rust-proof so you can sell it if you no longer need it. 

One downside is that it is pretty expensive, but that cash will be worth it if you spend it on the fascia shape gutter.

Types by material

  • Aluminum gutter

This is one of the most commonly used materials when making gutters. They have different thicknesses, with lighter variants being cheaper than heavier ones. Aluminum materials are rust-proof and long-lasting although, they tend to bend easily. It is crucial that you get professionals to fix and maintain this type of material.

  • Stainless steel

Gutters made from stainless steel are strong and durable, which is excellent during intense weather, but they look less decorative. They are also cumbersome and can be quite noisy during rainfall.

  • Vinyl
Vinyl gutters

Vinyl gutters are resistant to denting and bending and are much easier to install than others. They are also decorative and lightweight, but they appear to be the least durable of all materials as they are prone to damage caused by changes in weather conditions. 

Similar: Vinyl vs Aluminum Gutters, which is better?

Bottom line

Whether you call it a gutter or an eavestrough doesnt really matter. What matters is getting one that appeals to your style, fits the purpose, and ensures that your surrounding stays dry and strong. 

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