Repairing your existing box gutters can save you a lot of time and a great deal of money over the expense of replacing your gutters. Box gutters most commonly exist in older and historic homes and may have problems that you can repair rather than replace the gutter system completely. Most box gutters consist largely of wooden materials and have a metal lining in the bottom. The box gutter system is not an add-on attachment to the house but is actually a part of the roofing system itself.
Since most box gutters are wooden channels lined with metal, most of the repairs involve the metal lining. The metal lining of the gutters requires seams to connect the separate gutter runs in several locations on the gutter system. These seams are susceptible to opening up or disconnecting which can cause the gutter to leak and can lead to wood rot or corrosion.
Proper gutter cleaning can prevent future rusting and corrosion. By periodically removing leaves and debris from your gutter, you can clear the gutter channel of blockages that can cause standing water. By allowing the water in your gutters to flow smoothly, you are lowering the chances for your gutter to rust and corrode. You can clean your gutter by extending a water hose with a spray nozzle to the high point in your gutter run. Turn on the water and use a high powered spray setting on the nozzle to push any leaves or debris out of your gutter.
Patch a Leaky Seam
Your first liner repair could be as simple as coating the liner with a sealant. There are many sealants available that will work for a quick and non-permanent fix including tar and roofing cement. By applying a sealant to the gutter liner, you create a temporary patch that will stop your leak for a while but will not be a permanent fix. To apply a sealant, your gutter needs to be clean and dry. Simply apply your sealant of choice and use your finger to smooth over the seam where your gutter is leaking.
Repair Rusted Lining
If the bottom of the gutter has rotted or decayed, but the rest of the gutter sections are intact, you can repair the liner in the gutter channel. A very popular gutter liner material is tin-coated steel. Tin-coated steel isn’t expensive, but requires maintenance and will eventually rot. If your gutter lining has rotted, chances are it is tin-coated steel.
To restore or repair your rusted box gutter liner, you first need to clean the gutter and remove any debris. Next, coat the inside of the gutter channel with a self-etching metal primer. You can paint this primer directly over the existing liner and any rust that exists. Once the primer has dried, you can paint the gutter with an exterior epoxy-based paint.
Soldering Box Gutters
Soldering a box gutter is the most permanent and effective way to repair a leak or open seam. To ensure your gutters against leaks in the future you should solder all seams, corners and joints. Only those with experience should attempt to solder, as it is dangerous and required specialized knowledge.