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What Are Box Gutters?

You can tell that box gutters have boxed sides with a flat square-shaped base judging from the name. Box gutters are primarily used for maintaining good drainage in buildings, and they are usually placed on the roof, especially on flat roofs that do not drain and on sloped roofs.

There are many things to know about box gutters, from why they are special to the typical problems you may encounter when you use them. In this article, we'll go through these problems and provide solutions to each of them. We'll also touch on the importance of gutters and why they should be installed properly. Let's jump right in!

Importance Of Gutters

We don't usually see gutters, so many people tend to forget their importance and why they are vital components to be included in homes. Without these gutters, you'll be faced with so many drainage issues. Interestingly, gutters are the most ignored parts of most homes, which shouldn't be the case.

One of the key ways to maintain the roofing system of your building is through effective gutter cleaning. Gutters offer protection for your home's foundation, and they do this by diverting rainwater. Without box gutters or rain gutters, the rain will easily penetrate through your doors and windows and eventually affect your home's foundation.

This can also cause your roofing system to deteriorate quickly or even collapse, and you'll need significant roof repairs. This is why it's important to always check your home's guttering system to ensure that it's in good condition.

Common Box Gutter Problems

Now that you comprehend the importance of gutters in your home, we can now continue with the common issues with box gutters that every homeowner should know.

Leaks

The most common box gutter issue that every homeowner is likely to deal with is leaks, and this can occur in any part of the box gutter. Leaks mainly happen in the region that leads to the roof's downspout, and when this happens, it can cause the metals to corrode, especially in the areas holding water.

Whenever you see that water starts to drip through the trims, it's a sign of a crack in solder joints or rust holes on the gutter guards or metal sheets, and you might need to check for these cracks or holes. To make the inspection faster, you can use a leaf blower to blow out the debris in the box gutter.

Water spills

Like leaks, water spills are also a common problem that occurs with box gutters. This is because of blockages within the roof drainage system and can occur for two reasons: there is a potential blockage within the drainage system, or the drain isn't strong enough for the amount of water. It is causing the water to overflow from the gutter.

Another reason that could cause water spills to occur is if there's a crack in the trim, which can also cause the box gutter to overflow. To check for this type of problem, you'll need to start observing discolouration within the wood, trim, or metal roofing.

Also, a gutter overflow or water spill could result from a more significant issue that may require urgent attention. For this, you may need the services of a roofing contractor to have your gutter repaired or, if necessary, have your gutter replaced.

Water running behind the gutter

This is one of the most severe issues that you're likely to face with your box gutter. Water running behind the gutter can damage your trim and create a path for water to get into your home. This issue mainly occurs when you have a bad box gutter design, which can also cause overflowing.

To identify this problem, you'll need to check for water spots in walls, corners, and ceilings, as these are signs that water is penetrating your home. This is a severe box gutter issue, and you'll need regular inspection and maintenance to avoid this type of issue.

How To Fix Box Gutter Problems

There are different methods to fix the problems that we have mentioned above, and these include:

Caulking

For this, you'll need caulking compounds, the best of which are urethane, butyl rubber, and polymer. These compounds are the commonly used options for fixing leaky box gutters.

The compounds are used mainly because they stick easily to the leaky gutter when dry, they are long-lasting, and you won't need to worry about leaks from the fixed spots again.

Apart from these caulking compounds, you can also opt for metal caulking, but with this, you'll need to ensure that you utilise a complete coating system. To achieve this, you can use a pressure washer, two topcoats, fabric reinforcement, and rust-inhibiting primer.

The benefit of caulking is that it's durable, affordable, easy to install, and also a quick fix. However, this solution is not an appropriate way to fix water spill issues, and you may need another solution for that.

Sealing

The next method you might want to consider is sealing, which is an effective solution for holes, leaks, and other damages common to box gutters. Sealing is an easy way to fix these problems, and the only thing you need to achieve this is an effective sealant.

There are various kinds of sealants that you can use, but the best sealants are generally water-resistant sealants. You only need to apply these sealants correctly and ensure that the leaky areas are adequately covered.

Like caulking, the advantage of sealing also includes easy application, affordability, and it's a quick fix. However, you need to use the proper sealant to get the desired results you are looking for.

Realigning

Another remedy you might want to consider is realigning the box gutters. Ideally, the gutters should slightly slope such that water can easily flow to the downspout. However, the slope should not be too much because it can cause erosion, eventually damaging your garden's landscape.

The best way to check whether your gutter is on the appropriate slope is by using water. You may need to call a professional building inspector or even a gutter company for severe issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the frequent queries that people usually ask when it comes to box gutters:

What makes box gutters different?

Box gutters and the conventional eaves gutters are designed for the same function, which is to deliver efficient roof drainage. There are only a select few differences between the two. Traditional gutters are built to sit around the roof, which means that overflow will still drain away from the house or even leak into the gutter. However, that's not the case with box gutters.

Box gutters are commonly shaped like a box, and in some cases, they are called concealed gutters or internal gutters. The name also implies that the gutter is usually in the middle of the room. Because of its location, an overflow can actually cause a problem to the roof and ceiling. That is why box gutters are mostly built with a sump or rainhead.

What are sumps and rainheads?

A rainhead is a metal container that is usually on the side of the building and is mainly located between the downpipe and gutter. Its primary function is to direct water away from the roof and safely deliver it to an overflow point. On the other hand, sumps are rectangular or square boxes that are designed to collect stormwater so that it does not stay in the gutter.

What are the dangers of clogged gutters?

Cleaning a gutter to ensure it doesn't become clogged may seem like an arduous task, but it's worth the money and effort. This is because there are different problems that it will help you avoid. A clogged gutter can cause various issues, including:

  • Burst downpipes and broken gutters: It's essential to always ensure that the gutter does not get clogged, and you can always call a professional to clear the gutter from time to time. This will help ensure that the gutter does not break out or the downpipes don't burst.
  • Ceiling and wall water damage: One of the first signs to look out for is leaks in your ceiling and wall. If you notice this, it's a sign that the gutter is clogged, and water is leaking into the ceiling and wall.
  • Insect infestations: A clogged gutter quickly accumulates water, and the stagnant water will become a breeding site for many insects, especially mosquitos if left unattended. To avoid this, you need to ensure that you clear the gutter regularly to remove leaves and debris.
  • Moss and mould growth: This can be dangerous to both the structure and the people that live in the building, especially for people with asthma, a weakened immune system, or other similar health problems.
  • Shortened roof lifespan: All the problems above can ultimately lower the roof's lifespan, thereby damaging the structural integrity and aesthetics of the building. If you leave your gutter to sit with stagnant water, damp leaves, and muck, it'd only be a matter of time before it rusts, and this is irreversible damage that lowers the roof's lifespan with little to no hope of having the roof restored.

Get An Inspection

Professional building inspectors can help identify any underlying issues with your building, including problems with box gutters. It is recommended that you get regular inspections carried out on your box gutter to ensure that it is functioning correctly and is clean and free of debris.

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