Box Gutter Replacement
Built-in gutters, also referred to as “box gutters” are considered a concealed roof drainage system. Since they are not readily visible, they typically become neglected and this leads to leaks into the home. The simplest form of maintenance is keeping them clear of debris and to ensure the painted surface, if they are galvanized steel, is kept up to date. Proper maintenance is necessary for any gutter system to perform its duty, but with built-ins, trapped, standing water can lead to a shorter life and very costly repairs.
A majority of built-in gutters are lined with formed metal. The earliest metal used for the lining is terne-plate. Terne, an alloy of lead and tin, was applied over sheet iron, then later, steel. This gutter lining material needs protection from corrosion.
Another issue is the soldered joints, where sections of the gutter meet and forms a seam. The expansion and contraction of the metal during temperature changes results in failure at the weakest point, the seams. When a leak is finally discovered, the seams are usually just patched with roofing cement for a temporary fix. Another common temporary fix is to line box gutters with a flat roof membrane called EPDM. We never suggest this as a permanent method of box gutter repair.
Restoration of your home’s box gutters should always be done by a skilled craftsman with prior experience. Typically, a leaking box gutter will require replacing some or all of the wood framing that supports it. Once the support frame is solid, then the sheet metal, copper, or galvanized steel lining is able to be installed with rivets and solder. Upon completion of the work, it is always suggested to stand by a strict box gutter maintenance schedule that will ensure the maximum life is gained from your new investment.