Almost every building needs a way to safely drain water from the roof. One of the main parts of a drainage system is the building’s gutters. Gutters collect and transport water runoff to areas that don’t interfere with the building’s infrastructure or entryways.
Three main types of gutters include half-round, k-style, and box gutters. Box gutters are especially popular for commercial buildings and flat-roofed buildings.
Let’s discuss what box gutters are and what advantage they have over other eavestrough styles.
Box Gutters 101
Box gutters are primarily used in commercial building applications but can also be installed on residential buildings. Their deep shape allows for a higher volume of water, which is great for larger facilities with lots of water runoff.
Like most gutter systems, box gutters are placed at the edge of a building. They are connected to downspouts, which carry rainwater away from the building and into a drainage system.
These square gutters are usually made of aluminum or stainless steel and lined with EPDM rubber, asphalt, metal, or roofing felt to keep the collected water from leaking.
Tidewater Roofing uses 24-gauge steel or heavy-gauge aluminum for fabricating box gutters. Our box gutters are lined with Kynar-500 resin-based paint.
How to Spot Box Gutters
The easiest way to identify a box gutter is to look for 90-degree angles that create a box-like design in the gutter channel. Box gutters are often located at the roof’s edge, like most eavestroughs.
Box gutters can be recognized by a larger width compared to other troughs. Anywhere from 7-10” wide channels is common.
The Benefits of Box Gutters
Box gutters function the same as traditional eaves or gutters. They collect rainwater and debris and direct it away from your roof through downspouts to safer areas around your business.
But there are a few reasons why box gutters are preferred for many commercial buildings.
Better Water Drainage
Because of a larger channel area, box gutters can transfer more water than other gutter systems. And because they move more water, they can flush out more debris like twigs and leaves.
K-style gutters are typically only 5-6” wide. Commercial buildings with a large roof area may benefit from larger drainage channels of box gutters, upwards of 7”. The larger a roof is, the more water runoff will occur.
The advantages of custom fabrication are two-fold. First, your gutters can be designed with aesthetics in mind. Length, look, and color can be adjusted to match the exterior of any commercial building.
Secondly, custom-fabricated box gutters are easier to install and maintain than standard gutters. This is because they are made to fit the specific dimensions of a commercial building. Because of this, they are an ideal choice for many property owners and managers.
Unlike standard gutter systems, box gutters have a seamless design, meaning they should be pre-cut and installed by a professional.
As the name implies, seamless gutters are manufactured as a single piece of material. Seamless gutters have fewer trouble spots and weak spots where damage can occur or water can leak from cracks or gaps.
Because box gutters are made with heavy gauge material, they are usually longer lasting than half-round gutters and other gutters common to residential construction. These stronger fabrication materials allow box gutters to withstand high volumes of water and more extreme weather conditions.
Box gutters that have been custom-sized and fabricated should be installed by a professional commercial roofing contractor. Seamless troughs should be fastened with industrial-strength brackets and other commercial-grade components.
Tidewater Roofing offers warranties on all box gutter installations and replacements.
What Types of Buildings Need Box Gutters?
Box gutters have a large number of practical commercial applications. Because this type of gutter is often custom fabricated, they can be fit onto various buildings. Large-area flat-roofed buildings are best served with box gutters.
Large buildings such as warehouses, offices, and gyms typically have more water runoff than smaller structures. Damage can occur if underperforming gutters are installed and begin to overflow or leak. This risk is further increased for buildings in areas with high levels of rainfall.
The Drawbacks of Box Gutters
In almost all situations, box gutters will outperform standard channels like half-round or k-style troughs. The main reason why some people choose not to invest in box gutters is their relatively high up-front cost.
Box gutters are often fabricated to perfectly fit the installation. Because of this, the initial price can be higher than that of store-bought troughs. While box gutters are much more durable than standard gutters, repair or replacement can also be more expensive (in the event of inclement conditions).
Tidewater Roofing uses heavy-duty metal materials for our commercial-grade box gutters. Our custom installations are warrantied for both materials and labor.
The Bottom Line About Box Gutters
Box gutters are a superior choice for drainage systems on commercial buildings. Large buildings will especially benefit from the added flow volume that box gutters can provide. Seamless, custom design makes for better-performing gutters that fit the look of your building.
Let Tidewater Roofing improve the safety and performance of your commercial building when it’s time to upgrade your gutters.