Are Box Gutters Effective?

Property owners building a new home or replacing gutters on an older home know that there is a range of gutters from which to choose. Gutters and downpipes are part of the roofing system that collects and diverts rainwater from the roof. When they start reviewing options, homeowners often ask, “Are box gutters effective?” Although we generally do not recommend box gutters, sometimes they are unavoidable like when building on a boundary or abutting another building. Sometimes you do not want to see the gutter and box gutters are an effective alternative.

What are Box Gutters?

A box gutter is also called a parallel gutter or a trough gutter. It is usually lined with metal, roofing felt or asphalt. A box gutter is often concealed and placed in a valley between roofs that are parallel, or between a parapet wall and a roof.

While a box gutter has a “boxy” shape, the main reason for its name is because this gutter is “boxed in” on the sides. The gutter lies between two roofs that feed water into it. A box gutter is usually installed before the roofs, so replacing the system is expensive because roof sheeting has to be removed to access the gutter.

Proper Installation and Maintenance of Box Gutters

Being able to provide an affirmative answer the question, “Are box gutters effective?”, requires assurance that the gutters have been properly installed and regularly maintained.  Here are critical design aspects to consider:

  • falls are incorporated along its length so that the box gutter slopes to the outlets
  • water is collected in sumps before being fed into downpipes
  • an overflow facility is provided at the end of the box gutter or on the side, so that overflows are directed to the exterior of the building rather than the roof
  • because it is subjected to extra wear, the gutter box material is equal to or better than the roofing material

A properly designed box gutter system can provide effective control of roof waters.

Remember that continuing effectiveness depends on regular maintenance. Box gutters are ideal collection points for moist leaves and debris. Because the consequences of a leak from a box gutter are much greater than a leak from a gutter system that is located on the outside perimeter of the roof, it is critical that box gutters are cleaned out by professionals, and regularly inspected and repaired as required. Together, proper design and maintenance will ensure that a homeowner can say “Yes” when asked “Are box gutters effective?”

Categories: Uncategorized

Comments are closed.