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Gutterman of TN's Blog

What are box gutters?

If you’re exploring different types of gutters, you may have come across box gutters, one of the less commonly used gutters. So what exactly are box gutters? Box gutters are common on historical homes, commercial buildings and on multifamily housing. Unlike the more common hanging gutters, box gutters are built into the bottom of a building’s roof line or into the bottom of the roof overhang. Because of that, box gutters blend into the look of the home’s design in a more seamless way.

house-gutters - Nashville TN - Gutterman of TN Box gutters were the first type of gutter to be used. Originally, as the name suggests, box gutters were wood boxes, crafted into different forms by skilled carpenters. The carpenter determined the slope and shape of the gutter. Once the wooden boxes were crafted, they were lined on the inside with metal, usually tin-coated steel and occasionally copper or lead. Historic box gutters often had crown molding attached to the front for a more ornate appearance.

Over time, the metal can corrode and the wood can rot on historical box gutters. That leads to problems, including leaks at weakening joints or where the metal has been punctured, problems from ice jams and eve settling. Often, historical box gutters are insufficiently sized to deal with the water runoff from your home’s roof. Eventually, your historic box gutters will need to be repaired or replaced by gutter or roofing professionals. If you choose to replace the box gutters on your historic home with the type of gutters more commonly used today, you likely will have to have the roof line extended to cover the existing box gutters before new gutters can be installed. This can alter the look and feel of your historic home.

Box gutters for a modern look

In addition to historic homes, at the Gutterman, we recommend installing box gutters for a clean, modern look on your contemporary home. We install 7-inch seamless box gutters to match the look of your home. The gutters come in a variety of colors to blend into your home’s design. Unlike historic box gutters, modern box gutters are relatively maintenance free. Because they’re seamless, you don’t have to worry about the potential for damaging water leaks!

If you’re looking to discover gutter options for a modern look, or to replace your existing, failing historical gutters, call the Gutterman of Tennessee! We provide a variety of gutter options to match with the look and feel of your home, and to fit with your personal taste. We can walk you through your options, talk to you about the pros and cons of each one, and help you settle on the gutter that is right for your home!

If your box gutters are leaking or need replacing, call the Gutterman of TN at 615-678-7454.

Leaks From Ice Dams Are a Roofing Problem, Not a Gutter Problem

Cold winter temperatures and ample winter snow can cause many problems with your home, but one of the biggest problems can be leaking along the eaves of your home caused by ice dams. Too often, that water damage is blamed on the gutters. In reality, leaks from ice dams are a roofing problem, not a gutter problem. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your home from water damage due to ice dams.

How ice dams form Leaks from Ice Dam - Nashville TN - Gutterman of TN

The heat from your attic melts the snow on your roof, except for at the eaves. As water runs down your roof line, it freezes at the colder eaves and an ice dam forms. Those ice dams can cause major damage. Gutters and shingles can be forced off your home. The dams also can force melting water back into your home if your roof has not been adequately waterproofed. That can lead to warped floors, sagging ceilings, peeling paint, stained walls or moldy and weakened insulation.

Quick solutions for ice dams

There are several steps you can take to prevent ice dams from damaging your home. Before the snow falls, you can install heated cables made specifically for preventing ice dams in a zig-zagged pattern along the edge of your roof. Once the snow has fallen, you can use a specialized rake to remove snow from your roof. If you notice ice dams, you can fill a nylon stocking with the specialized snow melt made for sidewalks and parking lots and toss them onto the dams. Never take a hammer, chisel or other hard tool to the roof, as that can damage your shingles and ultimately let more water into your home. If you notice water leaking into your attic, you can point a fan at the wet spot to instantly stop the leak.

Long term solutions for ice dams

Of course, the best approach for ice dams is to improve your home’s infrastructure to prevent dams from forming and, if they form, to prevent them from causing any water damage. The most effective way to prevent ice dams to improve the insulation to your roof, as the heat escape from the roof is what melts snow and causes ice dams and leaks. Improving the infrastructure to your home can and insulation can be costly and an easier solution is adding a water barrier under the singles of your room.

A water barrier is not required for most of the southeast due the few amounts of snowfall we receive every year, but it is code and required for many homes with cold and snowy climates. This water barrier can save you thousands in water damage to hard to reach places of your home. So the next time you have re-roof your home, make sure that a 3- to 6-foot wide adhesive ice and water barrier is placed along the roof’s edge.

While ice dams can cause major home damage, a few preventative measures can protect your home during the winter months and save you from repeated, costly repairs.