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Fort Worth Roofing: Article About Concealed Gutter Systems

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Box gutters are a water drainage system that is built into the roof of the home. Built in gutters perform the same function as a standard gutter system, namely draining water away from the structure, but they are concealed, and thus, do not detract from the character of the building. Because they are typically not visible from the front of the property, they can often experience neglect.

Concealed roof drainage systems are not as easy to examine or maintain as their more visible counterparts. An inspection from a Fort Worth roofing contractor is the quickest way to ensure the system is intact and functional in protecting the home. A faulty system can deteriorate to the point of expensive repairs, or, worse, lead to water damage within the home.

Box gutters require regular cleaning to keep the system clear of debris so that water can flow to the downspouts. The process does not differ much from standard gutters, and more complicated forms of maintenance require more experience and knowledge.

Formed metal is used as a gutter lining material for most built in gutters. The metal linings are susceptible to corrosion over time. Regular application of oil based paints is an effective way of combating corrosion.

The metal components of the gutter are also affected by temperature changes. The metal used to form the gutter lining is most often terne, an alloy comprised of tin and lead, that is used to cover iron and steel.

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The metal components expand in warmer temperatures and contract as it grows colder. The repeated action of expanding and contracting can form leaks at the gutter's most vulnerable spots, namely, the seams. The joints and seams of most metal box gutters have been soldered. As the seam deteriorates, and water leaks through, the eaves and wood structure below the gutter can be damaged.

Even without damage to the wooden structures supporting box gutters, repairing the metal lining and joints can be a large task. Soldering seams or patches is typically not a "do it yourself" job. Experienced contractors may be able to bypass the costly repairs of replacing terne linings by using other available technologies.

Flat roofing techniques for applying waterproof membranes and modified bitumen may be an option for sealing leaky gutters. Once again, this is not a typical "do it yourself" project. The membranes must be installed with care to correctly cover the seams and prevent leaks.

Box gutters promote the beauty of home, but, as with all gutter systems, they require regular maintenance. Staying ahead of corrosion with oil based paints, and keeping gutters clear of leaves and debris are a good start. Even these precautions will need to be followed up inspections of the seams and metal quality.

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