Box gutters are so called because they have higher edges on all sides than other gutters and so are boxed in all the way around. Although they’ve previously been used mainly on industrial and commercial buildings, they’re now becoming more common and popular for residential properties.
Box gutters are typically located between two adjoining roofs so they catch the rainwater from both of them. Being wider and deeper than other types of gutter and, with the highest edge being the parapet wall, they cannot normally be seen from the ground.
Because of their location, box gutters are prone to be clogged with leaves and other debris that cannot get away, causing flooding rather than water going into downpipes. Gutter guards are therefore extremely important to prevent this happening and water is unable to flow to the downpipes. However, the width and depth of box gutters make it more difficult to fit guards than for other types.
CHOOSING THE BEST TYPE OF GUARD FOR BOX GUTTERS
There are various types of gutter guards available but some of these are more suitable for fitting to box gutters:
- Foam filters are cheap and easy to install but may become jammed with pine needles, seeds and other similar debris.They can be cut to size to fit almost any dimensions of box gutter but tend not to be very resilient, lasting 2-3 years at most.
- Brush gutter guards fit inside the gutter and are comprised of heavy bristles that stop large debris but allow water to flow freely. They have a lifespan of around five years and can be cut to length but it may be difficult finding brushes of the right dimensions to fit the larger box gutters.
- Perforated guards may be vinyl or metal and fit on top of the gutter, either snap on or screwed in place. The perforations allow water to pass through but stop debris.
- Mesh Screen guards are similar to perforated guards but have much finer openings and so are more effective at stopping small debris without obstructing water flow. They fit on top of the gutter and are screwed in place.
Whatever type you choose, make sure it’s suitable for box gutters. In particular, ensure the supplier can provide the size of product that will fit the larger box gutters Its also important that the material chosen can both support its own weight as well as the weight of any material that may land on it. At AGP we recommend our Tuffmesh Range for box gutters as its 50% extra strength compared to standard Guttermesh products available gives it the rigidity to span the gap. We also offer specialised bracing options for particularly wide box gutters or parapets.
PREPARATION FOR INSTALLATION
Unless you’re fitting to new gutters, make sure everything’s clean and free of debris before you start. Since the purpose of gutter guards is to prevent debris blocking your gutters, it makes sense to ensure there’s none there before fitting them.
To do the job thoroughly and safely, you’ll need a ladder that’s long enough to reach the gutters easily, stout gloves and goggles for protection, a stiff brush and gutter scoop to remove debris, a hosepipe to flush the gutters and a sheet to catch any dislodged debris. Place the sheet below where you’re going to start and set up the ladder securely, possibly with someone at the bottom to ensure stability.
Use the stiff brush to dislodge debris and the gutter scoop to remove it. Clean off any mould and dirt at the same time and use the hosepipe to wash down the gutters and remove any residual small amounts of dirt and debris. Make sure the water runs freely out of the downpipes and, if not, try to clear any obstructions with a stick. You may have to dismantle a downpipe if you can’t clear obstructions in other ways.
While you’re undertaking the cleaning, inspect the gutters for cracks, leaks and other problems. You can seal minor gaps with silicone or mastic and will need to re-fix any guttering that is loose. Sections may need to be replaced if there are serious faults.
All this may seem a lot of work but it’s necessary to ensure you have a clean and secure base before installing your gutter guards. And, once they’re in place, you won’t have to repeat the exercise to the same extent because your gutters will be kept clear.
FITTING YOUR GUTTER GUARDS
The actual method of fitting will depend on the type of gutter guards you have. If you’re unsure of your ability to fix gutter guards to box gutters or are unhappy working at height, take advantage of our installation service. We’ll thoroughly clean and flush out your gutters, even remove tree branches that may cause problems and then carefully and securely fit gutter guards that are accurately made to the correct size for the job.
If you are comfortable fitting your own we can supply all the materials you would need to fit your buildings box gutters.