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Gutter leader heads are additional components attached to the top side of downspouts, primarily as a protection against overflow at the roof’s edge. It can also serve as a decorative element to gutter systems. In this blog, rain gutter guard expert Gutter Helmet® of Western North Carolina shares a closer look at gutter leader heads.

How It Works

Gutter leader heads are known by many other names, such as conductor heads or collection boxes. They are installed at the top of the downspout, which essentially functions as a funnel. Having this component allows airflow into the downspout, preventing vacuum lock that would otherwise cause an overflow. Large gutter leader heads allow runoff from more than one downspout to be routed into one location.

Gutter leader heads can be made from the same material as the gutters themselves, be it aluminum, galvanized steel or copper. Gutter leader heads are available in virtually any style and size. While there are pre-built products that can be purchased online, gutter contractors with customization capabilities can build one from your own design. Gutter leader heads can be installed on both new and existing gutters.

Do You Need Gutter Leader Heads?

Considering its primary function, your first consideration should be whether or not your gutters are overflowing. More than a few homeowners elect to have gutter leader heads for the headroom, in case of unusually heavy rainfall. A gurgling sound in the gutters indicates vacuum lock, which means the air inside the downspouts is not being displaced fast enough for the runoff to flow efficiently.

Gutter leader heads also have aesthetic benefits and can add visual interest to otherwise plain-looking gutters. It is possible to have complex designs custom-built for this purpose, which can have a similar effect as the columns typically seen on Federal-style architecture. If you are not sure whether or not you need gutter leader heads, consult your local gutter contractor.

Gutter Helmet of Western North Carolina is your leading provider of rain gutter guard systems. Give us a call at (828) 237-3001 or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Mill Springs, North Carolina, and the surrounding areas.