Box gutters...did you re-line or replace?

elljaysNovember 4, 2005

We have a 1939 federal style home with box gutters on the front. The PO replaced the gutters with aluminum on the back and sides. It's obvious that the gutters need some work, but we are still waiting for a professional to come next week and evaluate them. (We have a slate roof that is also being evaluated.) My question is, for those of you whose homes had box gutters, was it expensive/worthwhile to re-line them? Or would it be better to replace them with something else? Is there an alternative that looks like a box gutter but is more efficient? Our GC who is working on the house is recommending that we replace them, since we have forests surrounding our home, and the gutters tend to get clogged quickly. Any input would be appreciated.

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We used copper spouts etc we wanted the patina look.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 8:31AM
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I've got a Federal style house too...1830's. Our gutters had been replaced long ago by PO however they were regular gutters. The pitch of the roof and the amount of trees we have regular gutters were inefficient. We spent the extra bucks and did commerical size gutters on the front and it's made a huge difference. Come spring we're hoping to do the back gutters.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 1:20PM
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Bulldinkie, I love copper spouts!
Carol, what kind of commercial size gutters did you get? Do they look like box gutters? Thanks for your input!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2005 at 5:15PM
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My hubby is a builder all I know is theyre copper,I just go along for the ride if ya know what I mean.Id have to ask where etc.He has so many suppliers etc I gave up trying to keep up.Hes a busy busy guy,They will be nice when green patina,say it takes what 10 years???

    Bookmark   November 5, 2005 at 4:20PM
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I asked my hubby got all supplies,gutter,brackets,screws everything from a small local company in our home town in Hanover Pa.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 5:51PM
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As you probably know by know, relining box gutters with copper or galvanized is expensive.

We were in a similar situation not long ago. We could not afford the relining, but didn't want to take the box gutters out which would change the whole look of the house.

It isn't perfect, but the guy who did our slate roof gave the gutters a good cleaning, cut out the really bad parts, patched with fiberglass, then coated them all with pickup bed liner (Herculiner in our case).

There are still a few leaks that will need to be touched up next spring, but all in all it was an inexpensive fix until we can accumulate the cash to reline the gutters.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 1:50PM
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Sycamore, you're right it IS expensive! We can't afford to do it, unfortunately. We have two valley gutters in the front pediment of our home that we are going to reline, which will be expensive enough. We're going to replace the other gutters.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2005 at 3:44PM
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My 1907 house still has its original box gutters, and I wouldn't replace them for anything! The corners leaked some, but my roofer relined them with a rubber more leaks, and it wasn't expensive.
The best thing about box gutters is their efficiency--they don't clog because they are so wide--mine are a foot wide, and if the downspouts are kept clear, never overflow.
My neighbor's house has had its box gutters removed and replaced with modern metal ones, and she complains of leaks due to water now getting close to the foundation. Also, having had the amputation, it changes the whole look of the house--box gutters add an extra depth to the eaves and a slight sweep to the lower edge of the roof which really sets off a house!
Don't replace, reline with rubber, and put metal downspout screens in the is a LOT cheaper than removing and replacing with new gutters--if your contractor suggests such things for an old house, find a new contractor, one who probably isn't getting a percentage from a gutter dealer.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 1:47AM
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Do you know if your roofer had the rubber membrane pre-cut to size for the gutters or had to cut it himself? I have been thinking about using rubber membrane as a more permanent fix than the pickup truck bed liner. The membrane rolls I have seen are much wider than needed for gutters. I cannot figure out how to cut long lengths to the right width.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2005 at 11:44AM
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My roofer was an independent one not affiliated with any company--he had only two relatives for assistants, so I'm sure he got it and cut it himself. I'm not sure what he paid for it, but it couldn't have been a lot since he reroofed my entire house for $3000.
I do know it wasn't the 'ice dam' shielding type of rubber, because he had to tack it on the outer edge of the gutter where he couldn't get his glue to stick. The inner edge is under the first row of roof shingles.
I'd venture to say that he probably used a heavy-duty linoleum cutter knife for cutting it to fit. The rubber has been up for over ten years, and shows no sign of deterioration. I can see three of the four sides from my attic dormers, and there are only a couple spots where wrinkles are visible from the installation.
I should have had him do the porch gutter, but I was planning on replacing it with wood at the time.

Picture is crappy, but it was taken by the city...:)

Here is a link that might be useful: My House

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 11:38PM
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Thanks Columbus. Nice house!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 11:50PM
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An update for anyone stumbling across this post -

Rather than put in a second coat of pickup truck bed liner, we coated with a liquid rubber (EPDM). It is messy to apply and is a two-part compound (sort of like epoxy) so you have to use what you mix. However, the section I have coated is completely leak free. Supposedly this is exactly the same stuff as the rubber membrane, but in a paint-on form. I won't know the longevity of it for a while, but so far it works. It can be purchased in white, black or gray, so you can match the gutter lining.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 11:18PM
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Our box gutter leaked and caused my ceiling to collapse! The insurance adjuster suggested to cover the box gutters up with wood by attaching it to the roof and extending it over the box gutters,shingle it and then placing seamless gutters at the end!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 2:03PM
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