Choosing which box gutter repair option is right for your home or building can be challenging. Review the pro’s and con’s of different repair options to make an informed decision.
The first list of material comparison includes three of the cheapest box gutter repair options on the market. However, they are also short term fixes. These products are ok to use as long as you understand what you are getting.
Material: Peel and seal in tape like material that is commonly used to line the metal box gutters. The installation process is to simply peel and stick the shiny, silver looking material to where every or what ever you want to cover.
- Sold in most lumber yards and easy to get
- No special tools required to install. Can be cut with sharp scissors or utility knife
- Will adhere or stick to many surfaces
- Easy to install
- It is very difficult to properly clean surfaces where peel and seal is to be installed. Dirt and grim often found is box gutters mean that adhesion isn't a good as it should be.
- The adhesive looses it’s tackiness over a short period of time and the seams and edges can be easily lifted up and let water in. Peel and seal looses it’s adhesion very fast in box gutters that hold water and most do.
- Peel and seal is only a short term fix that can cause long term damage. Once water and moisture makes it under the material it stays there and quickly rust out the metal pan of the box gutter.
Material: Caulking comes in tubes and in a variety of types for all different purposes
- Inexpensive and found in lumber yards and hardware stores
- Easy to install
- The right type of caulking used in the correct way can last for a very long time
- Quick fix
- The caulking and sealant only works if it is applied in the right areas.
- Must be the right type of sealant or caulking to work
- Caulking will not fix the problem of box gutters backing up water, snow, or ice into home or building
- Drain holes are very hard to seal with caulking
- Caulking remains a maintenance issue as it will break away from surfaces due to expansion - contraction cycles of metals and tins commonly used in box gutter construction.
Material: Metal coatings found on store shelves are most often fibered aluminum asphalt based or acrylic elastomeric. Still considered a short term solution unless a complete coating system is used including a chemical or pressure wash, rust inhibiting primer, fabric reinforcement, and two top coats.
- Sold in most lumber yards in 5 gallon buckets
- Easy to apply with a paint roller or brush
- Can stop leaks in metal box gutter for up to a year at a time.
- Hard to clean and prep surfaces of box gutters before coating is applied. Coatings are much less effective if applied over dirt and grim commonly found in box gutters
- Coatings rarely last much longer than a year because the expansion/contraction rate of Drain holes are very hard to seal with caulking
- Will need to be re-applied every year to ensure a good seal
- Can be messy if you are not careful
- 5 gallon pails of coatings can be difficult to transport up a ladder to the box gutter
Rubber roofing is commercial roofing membrane that can be used to line box gutters
Material: EPDM Rubber
- Water proof membrane lines the box gutter
- Rubber is flexible and will easily take the shape of most box gutters
- Some tools required to install but over all it is not a difficult installation process
- The rubber pieces are seamed together using adhesive and caulking. These “glued seams” quickly degrade in the presence of standing water
- Rubber terminated over the edge of the box gutter with an aluminum termination bar and screws. Not only can the termination bar be seen from the ground, the rubber shrinks over time and pulls away from the edge.
- No drain boot assembly piece. Each installer tries to best field fabricate the area around the drain. This is a major weak spot in rubber
- Rubber membrane is not fabric re-enforced and tears easily. Once water penetrates a seam, the oisture quickly Deteriorates the rest of the glued seams and also causes the metal in the box gutter to rust
- Very tough membrane
- Membrane is fabric Re-enforced
- TPO can be glued down or screwed down
- Metal trim can be fabricated using TPO weldable metal
- Seams are hot air welded and do not depend on glue or caulking
- TPO is very stiff and will not conform to tighter box gutters
- The material has limited accessories like inside and outside corners.
- No drain boot assembly so area around drain is very vulnerable and weak.
- Metal trims must be fabricated and color of weldable metal is very limited
- Installer must have a hot air welder and know how to weld seam together
- Membrane is very tough and flexible. Takes the shape of box gutters with ease.
- Membrane is fabric Re-enforced
- Seams are hot air welded and don’t rely on glue of caulking
- Large assortment of trims add to the appearance of the home or building while keeping water out
- Many accessories including inside and outside corners
- The only membrane with a drain boot assembly accessories to properly funnel water to downspout
- Installer must have hot air welder and understand how to weld PVC membranes and accessories