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What are Boxed Gutters?

January 11, 2019

Box gutters are typically known as built in gutter systems are typically found on older or historic homes. Unlike their counterparts, aluminum gutters, they are a part of the roof’s overall structure.  Box gutters typical consist of wood framing with a lining made of sheet metal for protection. The 3 most common metals used for the lining are copper, galvanized steel, or stainless steel.  Lining the inside of the box gutter allows water to flow with ease to the downspout. Box gutters are typically wider than the gutters found on your home or commercial building, as they measure over one foot wide.  Since they are wider than your typically gutter, they rarely clog or experience overflow.  If you choose copper or stainless steel as your gutter box lining it will require very little maintenance over time compared to their counterpart the galvanized steel gutter box system.  If you choose the galvanized steel gutter box linings you will need to perform maintenance and paint them every five years, and you should clear them from debris every so often to prevent them from rusting and accumulating corrosion.

​ 9 Performance Factors for Boxed Gutters:

  1. If your gutter box is leaking it will require you to fix the leak with wood. Be careful when considering quick or cheap fixes such as applying caulk, rubber or tar.  This is ultimately not a good long-term solution and can prove to be problematic over time.
  2.  Always remove the old metal gutter lining before installing a new lining, and never install a new lining over an old one.  By removing the existing lining before installing a new one you will be able to see any wood that could potentially need to be replaced, therefore removing the factors of leaky gutters in the future.
  3.  If you live in an area where you experience winter, you will also want to install an ice and water membrane on the roof and gutter box. The reason for this is because gutter boxes create the perfect conditions for ice dams.  These conditions are usually caused by poor installation and ventilation in combination with overhangs at the eves. Make sure you find someone who is experienced in installing gutter boxes to help prevent this in colder climate areas.
  4.   Always use stainless steel outlet tubes and not galvanized outlet tubes because they are very hard to maintain because they are too small to paint. Stainless steel tubes are slightly costlier but are maintenance free.
  5.  You should always install red rosin paper over the wood before installing the sheet medal. We do not recommend roofing felt for projects such as these.  Rosin paper is a sheet that is installed between the metal and wood of the gutter box. Thermal movement is an important consideration when installing gutter boxes, because cooper and stainless steel will expand, and contract faster based on the weather conditions verses galvanized steel.  Expansion joints should be installed as well on these systems as well to help improve longevity.
  6.  Box gutters should always be secured under the roofing system. To secure these gutters you should use fasteners that are hooked to anchor cleats along the face of the gutter. By securing the gutters this way you reduce on the overall structure of the gutter and create longevity of the system long term.
  7.  Your hook strips should always be one gauge thicker than the material of the lining. Your average thickness of the metal liner ranges for a gauge of 26 to 24 of metal thickness.
  8.  Roof cement or caulk should never be used to seal gutter boxes. You should always make sure they are riveted and soldered on the gutter seams, corners, and any other outlets of the system.
  9.  A lot of homeowners choose galvanized steel over copper for the gutter lining due to the cost of copper. If you choose to go the cheaper route always remember that after installing the galvanized steel lining you must paint them with a direct to metal primer followed by an exterior paint.

For more information on boxed gutters and commercial gutter installations please call the experts at Legacy Gutters at (719) 464-8945 or send us an inquiry. We would be more than happy to schedule an appointment to come speak with you and help you with all of your guttering needs today!

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