A rain gutter is a narrow channel, or trough, forming the component of a roof system which collects and diverts rainwater shed by the roof. It is also known as an eavesdrop (especially in Canada), eaves channel1 guttering or simply as a gutter.
The main purpose of a rain gutter is to protect a building’s foundation by channeling water away from its base. The gutter also helps to reduce erosion, prevents leaks in basements and crawlspaces,2 protects painted or stained surfaces by reducing exposure to water,3 and provides a means to collect rainwater for later use.
Rain gutters can be made from a variety of materials such as cast iron, lead, zinc, galvanised steel, painted steel, copper, painted aluminium, PVC (and other plastics), concrete, stone, and wood. More information on copper rain gutters is available.
Water collected by a rain gutter is fed, usually via a downspout (traditionally called a leader or conductor4), from the roof edge to the base of the building where it is either discharged or collected.5 Water from rain gutters may be collected in a rain barrel or a cistern. Read more