How to Install Blown in Attic Insulation
Do you ever wonder why your energy bills end up being so high in Cincinnati? It’s highly likely that you don’t have a properly insulated attic. When your attic doesn’t have the recommended level of insulation, you lose heat in winter, end up with a hotter home in summer, and make it difficult for your heating and cooling systems to work efficiently. Your money ends up escaping through the attic, and your energy bill goes sky high. In fact, many homes only have half the recommended insulation value in their attics. The amount of insulation is rated using an R-value, where a higher value of R means better insulation. R-38 is the minimum recommended amount, although going up to R-60 can make a significant impact on the comfort of your home.
Blown in attic insulation is one of the most common ways to increase the insulation in your attic, and the one that we recommend for the Cincinnati area. It’s also important to have proper ventilation alongside this insulation. You gain many benefits from putting this material in your attic. The biggest advantage comes from the energy efficiency that you gain. While you have to pay upfront or financed cost to put the attic insulation in, you end up getting a return on your investment in a few short years due to the energy savings on your bill. Attic insulation also keeps your house quieter, as it creates a sound barrier between your home and the outside. If you have a busy highway at your front steps or neighbors that love to keep their parties running into the morning, blown in attic insulation can help create a quieter environment. This type of attic insulation also prevents moisture from building up in your home.
Blown in attic insulation gets it name from the way that it’s installed in your home. It’s literally blown or sprayed into the attic. Due to this application, it’s able to fit into all of the nooks and crannies that a typical attic has, rather than having odd gaps and holes throughout the insulated area. When the gaps are closed off, the air is ventilated in a controlled fashion and performs the job that it’s expected to do in keeping your home comfortable.
Types of Blown-in Insulation
There are several types of material commonly used for blown in insulation. The exact material selected for your residential attic insulation project depends on your current needs and the level of insulation that your home needs to keep it comfortable in Cincinnati weather.
Loose-Fill fiberglass is a loose form of insulation that is developed from glass fibers. This material has excellent insulating properties and works well for attic insulation applications. Due to its creation from glass, it works well to minimize the risk of moisture and to prevent the development of mold and mildew. The loose fill may be contained with a netting material to prevent the fiberglass from floating in the area, as it is dangerous to inhale.
Cellulose blown in insulation is created out of corrugated cardboard, wood, and newspaper. While you might be concerned that this is a fire hazard waiting to happen, the cellulose material is actually treated with a fire retardant before it’s used as insulation. This type of insulation first came into use in the 1920s, and has been proven as an effective insulating material in countless installations over the decades. If you’re wanting to go with an environmentally friendly attic insulation material, as recycled materials are used in it. While there are some chemicals involved, such as boric acid, it still provides an excellent way to have a greener home. This versatile insulation offers a great value for residential homeowners in the Cincinnati area. Cellulose is frequently recommended by insulating professionals as an excellent insulation material at a good price point.
Much like the loose-fill fiberglass, cellulose insulation in loose-fill form may go into netting or a membrane to keep it in place. Cellulose can also come in a stabilized form or a wall-cavity spray. However, both of these types have some moisture added to the material, which may be a concern to a homeowner.
Spray-in foam is a material that often comes to mind when someone mentions attic insulation. This polyurethane foam is blown into the attic and then it expands to fill crevices and cracks in the attic. One of the biggest advantages of the expanding foam is that it tightly seals the attic so that the air flows out through the proper ventilation path. However, working with this type of insulation requires extensive experience, so it’s important to work with insulation installers that have familiarity with the material.
Any type of blown in installation offers a major speed advantage to the installation. Depending on the size of your attic, it may only take a few hours to completely install the insulation. When you want to realize the cost savings of better insulation quickly, or you prefer to not have contractors spending long hours in your home, blown in installations are a great choice. Since it’s so difficult to retrofit other types of insulation to a home that’s already built, blown in insulation also provides a much easier way to improve your attic insulation or to replace old insulation.
How Much Insulation Do I Need?
The bags of insulation material have full information about how much insulation you need for the square footage of your attic. It also contains information regarding the R-value of this insulation, which lets you know how effective it will be at keeping your home a comfortable temperature and protecting it against Cincinnati’s sometimes harsh weather conditions. It is rated on a per-inch basis. The bag also details the maximum coverage that it can achieve. The higher the R-value is, the more bags of insulation you need to cover the area. If you’re working with a professional insulation installer, then they would look at your attic to calculate how much insulation you need for your home.
What’s the Cost
The cost varies based on the blown in insulation that you’re using for your attic, and whether you’re approaching this project from a DIY standpoint or working with a professional installation team. The typical bag of cellulose insulation, for example, may cost approximately $11 to $30 on average. It would cost a few hundred dollars on the base insulation for your insulation project in Cincinnati. You would also want a ventilation mask and other protective equipment for DIY installation, along with any other tools that you need to prepare the attic for insulation. The blower that is used to blow the loose-fill insulation into your attic is specialized and quite expensive, but you don’t need to do an outright purchase on this machine. Instead, you can rent it from a home improvement store.
However, unlike working with insulation batting, blown in insulation is not particularly DIY-friendly. You have to spend a lot of your time learning the appropriate safety measures when working with loose-fill insulation, the steps for getting your attic ready for this process, the procedures for installing insulation on top of existing attic insulation, the way to use the machine, and other specialized skills. An experienced blown in attic insulation installer in Cincinnati will add labor costs to the overall price of your project, but you end up with a professional installation that is done quickly, efficiently, and properly. They already have all the tools they need for the job, plus they likely have better bulk rate pricing on insulation than you would be able to access as a homeowner.
When you work with a professional service for this type of work, you’ll end up with a high-quality product that will give you energy savings for years to come, and keeps your home as comfortable as possible. You won’t have to worry about missing gaps and cracks in the attic, or running into major problems with the insulation material. If anything goes wrong during the project, experienced professional installers will know how to address the issue so that it doesn’t impact the timeline for completion or the quality of the work. Talk to the contracting company about their process for installing blown in insulation and how long they expect it to take. They should be willing to go over the entire process with you and provide a free estimate of the work so you know what to expect price-wise.
How to Install Blown-in Insulation
Whether you choose to install your attic blown in cellulose insulation yourself or work with a professional team, the process is largely the same. You’ll want to set aside a day to prepare your attic, bring in all the necessary materials and equipment, and complete the installation. Blown-in cellulose is typically a quick installation process, so this shouldn’t be a multi-day project unless you have an attic that is exceptionally larger or more complicated to work with than the typical Cincinnati home.
The first step of the process is removing anything stored in your attic. You don’t want to get insulating material into your keepsakes and other household goods, so they need to go somewhere else temporarily. This is especially true if you opt for fiberglass insulation over cellulose, as the glass can be damaging to your items, as well as your health if you inhale it. The next step is to go around your attic and check for air gaps and other problems that could compromise the effectiveness of the insulation. While blown in insulation does a great job at getting into all the little cracks in an attic, that doesn’t mean that it’s going to fill in every single air gap that exists. By addressing common attic maintenance tasks ahead of time, you’ll have a room that’s ready for the blower to do its job.
You’ll also want to pay close attention to any areas that could put the insulation in contact with hot objects, such as lighting, hot water pipes, HVAC venting, and other house systems. You don’t want to run the risk of something starting a fire, so you’ll need to use special measures to protect these areas so the insulation doesn’t come in direct contact with it. For example, in the case of hot water pipes, you can insulate the pipes so that there’s no direct contact. You may need to bring in a professional contractor to put some of these measures in place if they require building enclosures or redoing electrical wiring. Finally, you’ll want to have some sort of barrier set up so that the spray in insulation doesn’t travel to areas that you don’t want it to, such as into the lower level through the access door.
Setting Up the Blower
This is generally a two-person job. One person is working with the blower itself, while the other is in the attic to position the hose where it needs to go. The person at the blower machine needs to keep an eye on it to make sure that it’s working properly and to keep it well supplied with cellulose insulation, or another type of blown in insulation. The blower introduces air to the insulation so that it expands to its installed size, so this person may need to adjust the amount of air that’s getting taken into the system and blown up to the attic.
A small hole may need to be placed in the attic to feed the blower hose in, or the installation team may opt for another route to direct the cellulose insulation into your home. You’ll be informed of the exact steps being taken throughout this project so that you’re well informed. The hole is sealed after the installation is complete since it certainly wouldn’t make sense to leave part of the attic open to the air once it’s insulated.
Let It Blow
The person in the attic has a personal protective gear on so that they’re not inhaling anything dangerous, as well as gloves and protective clothing. If you’re the person in the attic in a DIY cellulose insulation installation, you’ll want to have long pants and long sleeves on, alongside the rest of the recommended protective gear. When it doubt, err on the side of safety.
You start at the part of the attic that’s farthest from the entry point and work your way around to all of the areas that need insulation. As you move the hose around, you can double-check that everything is working properly and that the material is adhering to the attic walls as intended. Since the cellulose material is light, it’s also important to avoid spraying installed insulation into the air with the blower hose. Close attention is needed to avoid this complication. Depending on the construction of your attic, you may end up with low fill areas in the insulation. Simply return to these spots so that it has a sufficient amount to provide the appropriate R-value to the home.
Skylights can prove difficult to insulate, so consider using a professional if you have these installed throughout your attic. You may need to enclose the tunnels with insulation, which may require a combination of batting and blown in options.
One thing to keep in mind during the insulation installation is that it can settle, which is something to account for, as it decreases the effectiveness of its insulating properties. When you work with a quality blown in insulation installer, they should provide a guarantee or warranty on their work. In most cases, the professionals are well-versed in preventing settling, but you could run into it if you’re doing this on a DIY basis.
Blown in cellulose insulation is wonderful for keeping your Cincinnati home cozy throughout all of the seasons. You get a quick way of improving the insulation in your attic, and it’s a relatively inexpensive project that will pay off big time in reduced energy bills for the life of the insulation. When you bring in professional installation services, you can get the results that you want through their expertise and top-end equipment.
Contact us today to discuss your blown in insulation needs to get an estimate today!
Tear Off or Shingle Over?
Homeowners in need of a roof replacement, especially if the existing roof is shingled, have a few ways to go about doing so. One route to take is to have the roof torn off prior to having the new roof installed. This provides the chance for a “clean slate” approach. Another way to have a new roof put on is to simply install on top of the existing roof. Many people choose this path as it is quicker, can be less expensive, and it seemingly allows for an additional layer of protection for the home. While some reasons to shingle over an existing roof are valid, the overall value of that choice may not be worth it in the long run.
Shingling over an existing roof does seem like a great idea, one that will strengthen an already quality roof that is simply aged and needs to be updated. In such cases, and if the roof is only a single layer already, this can be an acceptable way to go. Most states only allow for two layers maximum, so if there are already two, it will need to be torn away. With one, the homeowner can add a second layer; however, they should be warned that shingling over damaged existing shingles can cause major problems and extensive leaking, especially if leaking is already occurring.
Two more reasons to shingle over existing roofs are the cost and the time. Having a roof torn off first does add another line to a bill. As taking off a roof takes time, that cost will be accounted for in the labor portion of the bill. In terms of time, too, avoiding a tear off will mean that the new shingles can be installed quicker. In certain months when precipitation is the rule rather than the exception, such time saving measures can be great for keeping moisture from getting into the attic.
There are good reasons to do a tear off as well and avoid some of the potential head aches that can come with a roof over. As previously mentioned, roofing over existing shingles can greatly increase the chances of leaks. More shingles equals more nails and more potential openings for water to infiltrate. Also, there are weight considerations. Adding what is essentially a second roof on top of an existing roof will basically double the weight on the roof deck. While this isn’t absolutely problematic, one should check weight limits to verify that the home can absorb the added pounds.
When needing a new roof, a homeowner should definitely think about all their options before making a decision, and roofing over or tearing off is certainly one such choice. If unsure, it is wise to have Fusion Roofing experts come to inspect the roof and offer their advice about what route should be taken.
Roof Pitch: the Value of Steep and Lower Pitched Roofs
When many of us think of a roof, our first visuals tend to center more on the individual pieces on the roof: shingles, a chimney, or the ventilation. Often, the pitch of the roof, unless it is overly dramatic, is overlooked. We see it, whether it is steep or flat or somewhere in between, but the valuable and detrimental traits of each may be missed. However, when purchasing a new home or having one custom built, the pitch or slope of the roof should be greatly weighed. Depending on where one lives and the various inside and outside factors that affect a roof’s value, the pitch can make a tremendous difference regarding the overall worth of a home.
One of the first things to know is how a roof’s pitch is determined. If we take the example of a 6/12 roof, a common middle-ground pitch, we can ask what those numbers represent. Both numbers are in inches with the first number measuring the vertical rise and the second number the horizontal length. Therefore, in this case, for one foot of horizontal length (12”), the roof slopes upward six inches. A pitch of 3/12 and lower is generally considered a “flat roof” but some slope is still in play; however, with that low of a pitch, shingles are generally to be avoided as water tends to stand and eventually infiltrate the spaces between the shingles. A pitch of 9 or 10/12 and up is considered relatively steep, but some get into the high teens and low twenties, or exceedingly steep.
Once the pitch is determined, the pros of steep- and low-slope roofs can be discussed. In the case of steep roofs, a number of great benefits are involved. First, with a steep angle, any water, snow, and/or debris more easily runs or falls off. This prevents standing water or the accumulation of leaves, both of which can deteriorate a roof much quicker. Second, the space immediately under the roof tends to be larger, and this can of course allow for either more attic space for storage or even additional rooms for a larger family. Third, the larger space allows for more air flow into the upper portion of the home. This helps to keep both warm and cool air, depending on the season, moving freely.
A lower pitched roof also presents plenty of positive value as well. One of the most important for many homeowners, or homeowners-to-be, is the cost. As lower pitched roofs involve less materials due to their smaller size, they are cheaper to replace or repair when those occasions arise. Another benefit to the low-slope roof is that it is easier for a homeowner to perform self-maintenance safely. Steep pitches are much more dangerous, increasing the risk of falling; lower pitches mean a more walkable surface for cleaning off debris.
When making a final decision, it may be best to go with a middle-of-the-road pitch, one that allows for enough water and debris run-off while also being flat enough for a homeowner to perform low-risk maintenance. In either case, the roofing professionals from Fusion Roofing and Restoration can offer affordable and durable replacement roofs as well as high-quality repairs and maintenance. Protecting your roof, regardless of pitch, is a wise decision, and Fusion Roofing is glad to be of service to you in keeping your roof performing at a high level.
How Much is a New Roof?
A homeowner who receives the news that a new roof is needed often responds with a look of devastation, a fearful expression displaying distress and silently asking the question, “How much is this going to cost?” Inevitably, they tend to answer their own question in their heads, but more often than not, nearly always, in fact, their estimate far outreaches the actual cost, at least when getting a quote from a highly professional company like Fusion Roofing and Restoration. When they discover the truth, purchasing a new roof proves to be much less frightening.
So many people believe that their roofs, roofs that are usually average in terms of size and steepness, are extremely expensive, somewhere in the mid-teens to twenty-thousand-dollar range. Ouch. In truth, the average roof cost for an average sized roof (say around the 1500-2000 square foot mark, or your regular 3/2 home) should be more like $5500 to $6500 dollars depending on various choices such as shingle type and pitch. The reality is that for the most part, homeowners can expect to pay somewhere in the $300 per square (a square equals 100 square feet—1500 square feet, then, would be 15 squares), which for a 20 square house puts them at around $6000.
Why do so many people believe that new roofs will come with a price tag that could literally bankrupt them? Simply put, it’s because of shady companies that take advantage of people’s overall general ignorance regarding cost. Some organizations will essentially rob people who come to them in good faith to provide high quality service at a fair price. Horror stories abound, such as homeowners paying half or full price up front only to be left with an unfinished (or even completely not started) job, or piles of “unseen” costs popping up and doubling a price, or worse. Truthfully, while certain issues can arise, such as damaged wood decking underneath the roof, such issues should not decimate original quotes except in the rarest circumstances.
As a roof is such a valuable portion of a home, providing shelter, warmth, and protection from harmful weather, investing in a new and improved version should be affordable. Fusion Roofing and Restoration wants to and will give the highest quality workmanship at a price that works for any homeowner, especially considering that the company gives buyers the chance to get in-house financing. If a new roof is something you definitely need, or maybe are unsure of and wish to get an expert’s opinion, call Fusion Roofing today.
Every year, and usually twice a year, it is a good idea to clean your gutters or hire a professional service like Fusion Roofing and Restoration to come do it for you, especially if your gutters may put you at an uncomfortable height or are simply too difficult to reach. Gutter life and function are greatly diminished if gutters are neglected, so it is paramount to get them inspected and cleaned on a regular basis. Doing so should assure homeowners that their water run-off is being shed away from their homes effectively.
The sole job of gutters is to allow water flow to the downspouts, which then carries the water away from the house to prevent it from infiltrating the home above ground or affecting the foundation and basement. With clogged gutters and/or downspouts, water cannot escape, and it tends to fill the gutters resulting in spilling water near the house or even at the rear of the gutter. The water then can damage gutter boards causing wood damage and rotting. Downspout issues cause the water to remain in the gutters, and the same outcomes as clogged gutters will ensue.
Often, gutters can be easily maintained by waiting until a few rainless days have occurred and then using a ladder to climb up and scoop out any accumulated debris by hand. Pine needles, leaves, pinecones, and shingle granules steadily fill up the gutters. When dry, such debris can be pulled free using one’s hand or a trowel, if necessary. After clearing the gutter, a water hose with a nozzle or gutter-cleaning attachment should be used to flush the gutter, starting at the farthest point from the downspout opening and working towards the opening. If the downspout is clogged, removal of the downspout may be required to clear dense debris. After reattaching, the downspout should be flushed as well from top to bottom.
One way to slow or even prevent debris in the gutters is to attach gutter guards to your guttering system. These guards are mesh-like plates that attach at the top of the gutter, and while they allow water to still enter, the openings are small enough to prevent many of the problem objects like leaves and limbs to get in. While gutter guards are available at hardware and home improvement stores, getting the job done professionally by Fusion Roofing and Restoration is more often the better choice.
Gutters and downspouts provide a great service to homes by allowing water to be swept away and cleared from sitting or running down walls, which can bring many problems over time. Getting them cleaned, maintaining them, and even having guards installed by Fusion Roofing will result in long lives for not only the gutters and downspouts but also the home overall as well.
Vented and Non-vented Soffits
Some topics, while not extremely exciting, need to be talked about. Figuring out which vacuum to buy, deciding on the right pillow to use, and how long to polish furniture all fit in that category. Another important decision that boring but extremely important in terms of saving home costs is whether or not to use vented or non-vented soffits.
The soffit is the portion of the house that sits underneath the overhang created by the roof extending beyond the home’s walls. It is usually made of plywood, aluminum, or vinyl, and it can come in various widths and designs. While choosing any of the three options is acceptable, determining the inclusion of ventilation may be the most important. The soffit, when ventilated, which usually means that a series of small holes covers the panels, allows initial air flow into the attic space to allow cooling in the summer or warmth in the winter. The air enters the space and, with the aid of attic baffles, a tubular object attached directly to the underside of the roof decking but above the insulation, air is free to enter and flow upwards.
Non-vented soffits are the same panels, but they are missing the holes, or screens that are found often in plywood soffit, that allow air into the roof. One may ask that given the value of the air flow in the attic, why would anyone choose non-vented? Some roof structures do not require the air to flow from the soffits. There are vented gables, electric vents, and attics with insulation that resides directly under the roof decking. When box or ridge vents are in place, though, the vented soffits more often are necessary.
Selecting the right soffit can result in quite a bit of temperature efficiency and financial savings. When needing a soffit upgrade or replacement, Fusion Roofing and Restoration should be contacted to provide high-quality materials and workmanship.
Warranties are incredibly important for most if not all homeowners. The idea of spending thousands, or even tens of thousands, on various home components such as a furnace, an air conditioning unit, or a roof is stress inducing. Doing so without insurance or assurance against faulty materials adds a new level of fright. However, in the case of shingles, the phrase lifetime warranty is in play. While the notion of a lifetime warranty sounds wonderful to those making the purchases, there are caveats involved that must be considered as well to avoid overspending or having to ultimately buy replicate items.
The first thing to remember is that lifetime is a highly deceptive term. When many people hear that, their initial thought points towards their own mortality, which is wrong. Lifetime, to them, means their life span. Unfortunately, this is not the case, at least not exactly. It can mean the time spent at that house, or the span of life spent residing in the house where they purchased a roof. This means that the transferability of the warranty might not be extended to someone else who buys the home, though this can occur as well. However, even if one considers the possibility of buying a home and staying in it for the next 60 years, that “lifetime” warranty will not quite live up to the billing.
For one, the lifetime warranty does not usually, if ever, cover faulty installation. This means that if a roofer does a sloppy job of putting on quality or faulty shingles and the shingles fail, the homeowner may possibly not recoup expenses, even if the faultiness of the shingles is a culprit. Poor installation can be thought of as the more harmful factor. In such cases, homeowners must be sure a workmanship warranty is involved. These are usually 5 or 10 years in length and protect the homeowner against bad workmanship that may have resulted in poorly installed roof components.
Another thing to remember is that lifetime does not cover normal wear and tear due to time, and extreme weather events are also excluded. This means that those 70 miles per hour winds that rip shingles in half trump the warranty. Also, the sun damage that occurs over 30 years will not be covered. How is that possible for a lifetime warranty? The answer is that the lifetime essentially covers faulty materials. For example, if shingles are installed and 6 months later they are bubbling, something they should never really do and certainly not in that length of time, the homeowner could and should get new shingles, as long as they were correctly installed. There is a bit of a statute of limitations, though. If alga shows up on algae resistant shingles 11 years after correct installation, the homeowner cannot get new shingles. Within that lifetime warranty, there will be certain limits set, such as for alga resistance, which often is 10 or so years.
Lifetime shingle warranties can be tricky, unless people ask questions or read the fine print on the materials. One should be able to trust a quality roofing company, like Fusion Roofing and Restoration, to provide answers to questions pertaining to both manufacturers’ and contractors’ warranties.
One of the more overlooked components of a home is attic ventilation, which is usually connected in some form or fashion with the roof. Often, the ventilation requires a lower vent, the intake, which is usually in the soffit, and a vent that is higher on the roof. Two of the more common roof vent systems are continuous ridge vents, or simply ridge vents, and box vents. This blog defines the box vent system, describes how it functions, as well as recommends when to choose it over other systems.
The box vent earned its name by simply looking like a small box on the roof. It can be various colors, but it is usually black or gray to make it less distinctive. Box vents are placed over a hole cut into the roof, and while high on the roof, they are rarely placed near the ridge or peak. They are static vents, which means unmoving or non-mechanical, and while effective, they are less efficient than ridge vents as they rely heavily on natural air flow and wind.
Utilizing a soffit vent system to pull air into the attic, the box vent allows the warmed air to escape. Depending on the attic’s square footage, many box vents may be required to work well, however. For very large attic spaces, several box vents may be lined up along a roof. Additionally, for roofs with multiple surface areas, box vents may need to be placed at multiple locations around the roof. Although this certainly works to remove hot air, it may also make the roof not as visually appealing.
Box vents can be used on nearly any shingled roof, but those with lower pitches might be the best option as the need for decent air flow to push the air up and out of the attic can be hindered with higher pitches. That stated, box vents work extremely well and tend to be very reasonably priced as compared to ridge or electric vents.
One of the more overlooked components of a home is attic ventilation, which is usually connected in some form or fashion with the roof. Often, the ventilation requires a lower vent, the intake, which is usually in the soffit, and a vent that is higher on the roof. Two of the more common roof vent systems are continuous ridge vents, or simply ridge vents, and box vents. This blog defines the ridge vent system, describes how it functions, as well as recommends when to choose it over other systems.
Ridge vents are installed at the roof’s peak or peaks, or ridges, that are above open attic space. While previously aluminum or a light plastic were used to construct ridge vents, a thicker more durable plastic tends to be commonly installed. Over the vent, cap shingles are nailed for an aesthetically pleasing effect. In fact, one of the desirable aspects of the ridge vent is the fact that they are essentially invisible to onlookers.
Ridge vents are incredibly efficient, cooling attics and homes while taking up less space than other systems. With vents in the soffits below the eaves of the roof, which allow cooler air to enter the attic, the ridge vents allow the warmer air to escape. A vacuum, in essence, is created wherein the air is pulled upwards and easily allowed to leave the attic.
Ridge vents can be installed on nearly any shingled roof with attics, and they are especially useful for roofs with higher pitches. They may be slightly costlier than other vent systems, but they work much better. For example, while many roofing manufacturers require one square foot of ventilation for every 150 square feet of attic space when using most vent systems, that number increases to one square foot for every 300 square feet of attic space when using a ridge vent.
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.