The new box gutters are complete! I am so happy to not have to talk about this ever again!
Our box gutters were in bad, bad shape…
So here’s the backstory. Back in March when we had really bad ice, snow and negative temperatures, we noticed water stains accumulating on the ceiling.
We figured out pretty quickly (thanks Dad, thanks Google!) that ice had been clogging up in the non-draining (aka collapsed) gutters, forcing any melted water to back up and run in between the rafters and on to the ceiling. This wasn’t the only gutter-related issue. We had a wet basement, wet outside walls, damp foundation… the whole bit.
If you read Manhattan Nest, Daniel’s gutter issue was very similar to mine. I am going to use his drawing, but basically, there is a functional box gutter (top) and then there is a totally rotted box gutter (bottom… obviously). Box gutters are a style of gutter normally attributed to 100-year-old+ homes and are built into the roof line. They consist of a wood frame, covered with metal and lined with a weather-resistant lining.
The proposal to reconstruct the gutters was brutal in terms of $$. We were about to embark on a kitchen remodel and a magazine shoot, so we put it off. Warmer weather was coming so the whole ice thing was about to become much less of an issue. I don’t know if putting it off was the right decision, but we gambled and won. We are so lucky we didn’t have any further damage.
In early June, we approved what we thought was the best estimate and scheduled them to start as soon as the BH&G crew left. Here is the list of items (direct from the proposal) we agreed on:
- Remove existing liners from box gutters
- Wood replacement as needed to ensure proper drainage
- Red rosin paper will be installed as underlayment and to act as moisture barrier
- A new pre-finished steel receiver strip will be installed along cap board to lock new gutter into place
- A 26-gauge galvanized steel box gutter liner shall then be installed with seams pop riveted, soldered and laced for strength
- A new stainless steel outlet tube shall be installed to prevent rusting (galvanized outlet tubes cannot be properly maintained)
- Ice and water guard installed at roof line to protect against ice dams
- New liner to receive two cats of Direct to Metal (DTM) Tinners Red paint to protect metal from weather elements
- New metal strainers will be installed at all outlet tubes
- Install new 4 inch downspouts and necessary accessories to entire house
- Apply one coat of paint to existing chimney flashing
- Repair shingles with nail pops on entire house
- Haul away all debris upon completion
To give an idea of exactly the repair process, here is my best guess. The existing liner and cover was removed, exposing the bad wood underneath.
Next came reconstruction. A lot of time was spent ensuring everything was pointed toward a drain. New wood was placed as needed to build the structure back up.
With the frames re-built, the metal liner went up. The new roof shingles along the perimeter were also replaced. I realize they are a different color, but you can’t see that from the street. I was cool with it.
It took about 2 weeks to get it done, and that was with several rain delays that kept the roofers away. Overall, we’re very happy with the final result. Our basement is bone dry (for the first time in a long time!), our external walls are no longer damp and the best part: no more ceiling damage. The real test will be this winter when we’re battling the ice again.
We paid $10,720 for the job, which included some chimney and roof repair too. I do not say that number lightly. That is a lot of money for us, especially on something we can’t even see on a regular basis. There are a million other things we would have rather used that money on, but we’re glad to have this done and out of the way.
Best part of this is I don’t plan on talking about these darn gutters ever again.