One of the oldest types of gutter systems, box gutters date back to the eighteenth century. They were simple to make, requiring few tools and could be applied to residential dwellings and public buildings. When well-maintained, these gutters have been known to last over a hundred years. They were originally made of wood and then lined with some type of material, usually sheets of metal. They can still be found on many heritage homes today.
Box gutters remain popular for several reasons. They are built-in and as part of the roof, the gutter system is completely hidden from view. It gives a commercial building or home a unique esthetic appeal. Since they are typically wider than standard gutters, they are able to handle a larger volume of water, which makes them ideal for commercial and smaller industrial-use structures. Built-in gutters often provide the ideal solution to buildings with an asymmetrical roof configuration or a building in close proximity to its neighbor.
To ensure box gutters work optimally, the installation of a built-in gutter system should include an emergency overflow system. While all types of gutters need to be regularly maintained, box gutters do require due diligence. Built-in gutters are self-contained; when a blockage occurs there is nowhere for the water to escape except inside. It’s important to keep them as debris-free as possible.
Since a box gutter is actually built into the bottom of the roof or into the roof over-hang, built-in gutters are typically installed by a roofing contractor or an exterior finishing company that specializes in box gutter installations.