Looking at the many early 20th century and older homes in the Cincinnati region, one notices several beautiful aspects such as stained-glass windows, soaring roof ridge lines, towering porch pillars, and ornately carved gables. A subtle but no less pleasing component of many of these homes is the box guttering system. Thousands of houses in the area have box gutters, and while many homeowners are aware of the term and know that type of system is in place on their homes, many are not quite sure how they differ from the more common aluminum seamless gutters regularly hung on eaves today.
The primary difference between box gutters and hung gutters is box gutters are a built-in part of the home’s overhang or wall structure rather than being an outside object placed upon the home. To clarify, for a roofed home, the box gutters are the edge of the overhang while on a flat-roofed home or building, the upper-most section of the wall has a formed gutter system. In either of those cases, the often wood-based box gutter system is an integral piece of the building. The gutter is then usually lined with some form of sheet metal such as tin or copper, or they may even have rubberized material, like EPDM, as the liner.
Another common difference is the size of the gutter. Box gutters are usually much wider, oftentimes a foot or more, while hung gutters, at least on homes, mainly top out at six inches wide. This can be a great advantage. Box gutters are less likely to become clogged due to that width, and they can be easier to clean as well. Also, their structural integrity adds strength making them much less likely to incur damage from debris and fallen limbs.
One potential downside to box gutters is their cost. If fully maintained, they may last for decades (or even centuries in some cases!), but often, as homes change owners over the years, they are neglected. Once this happens, there are a number of potential problems, but the worst may be deteriorated wood inside the gutters system. This means that the entire structure will need to be rebuilt. This is pricey and for most people will require a professional to effectively create a new gutter. The liner, being metal, can also become a problem if not taken care of. Rust and seam damage are common, so relining the gutter is a very usual repair that needs to be made.
A box gutters is a beautiful and protective element of older homes. If maintained, they will last many years and be a productive and pleasing part of the house. Whether needing normal cleaning or a complete rebuild, Fusion Roofing and Restoration professionals can provide premier service.