One often overlooked area of the home that certainly deserves more consideration is your gutter system. Majority of homeowners notice they need a gutter system due to either pain or pleasure. Typically, pleasure plays a part when the homeowner is planning a house design or an addition to the home, designing or updating their landscaping. The pain effect usually hits once there is heavy rain, and when a homeowner notices they have trouble or potentially will have trouble. Either they immediately need gutters to divert the water away from the home or the existing gutter system simply doesn’t work properly.
A traditional gutter system is installed below the eaves of the roof and is meant to collect rainwater, giving it a track to flow through and a safe place to run out away from the house or building. One of the most important gutter system components is the miters. This is an extra piece installed over the corners where two gutters meet, typically forming a 90° angle and occasionally forming a 45° angle for bay windows. There are a couple options to pursue with your gutter contractor. In this article, our team at Gutt-R-Done reveals more information about two of the most common miter options, which are strip miters and box miters.
What’s The Difference?
As we mentioned, the miters are what joins two gutters together as they pass over a corner. The corner is where the greatest chance of leaks occurs. Before you decide which miter is best, it’s important to understand the basic differences between the two options.
Box Miters: Box miters are also known as premanufactured corners. They come in one single piece that is attached to the gutters. This option is easy to install. However, it does require sealing and fastening of two seams. One distinction that sets apart box miters from stirp miters is that the joints and fasteners stick out and are more noticeable. As such, for those who are aesthetically minded, a box miter may be an unattractive option to pursue. In addition, there is a chance that the miter won’t fit due to an inability to customize to size.
Strip Miters: Compared to the box miter, this option offers a more seamless design. This translates to only needing to seal one side in comparison. In addition to the sealant, which prevents the risk of leakage, the use of screws is present to ensure the strip miter stays in place.
Installing Strip Miters
Rain gutters are susceptible to expansion and contraction due to changing temperatures. When installed properly, strip miters can help reduce the effects. That’s why it’s important to understand the process of creating and installing a strip miter.
Cutting Strip Miters for Gutters
If using a gutter machine: jog the coil through the machine to extrude the coil into the shape of the gutter and cut the gutter to the desired length.
If using a sectional gutter: cut the gutter to the desired length.
For a strip miter, you’ll want the gutter cut at a 45° angle.
Installing Strip Miters
Attached the two gutters to the house. Make sure the edge of the gutters is aligned to where the strip miter covers both equally.
The next step is to install the strip miter into position. Push the strip miter into position of the gutter until the strip miter touches the bottom of the gutter without any gap-once it meets the bottom of the gutter. Ensure perfect fit and sealing accordingly.
Installing Box Miters
For Box miters there is no need to cut or create box miter since the product is already pre-formed. On the other hand, you will need to double-check that you have the right size miter and that it's installed correctly, otherwise there’s no chance it will work to keep your gutter system secured.
When installing this miter option, the gutter needs to be cut to the desired length and installed into position on the house. A 45° angle cut is not required.
Install the box miter under the gutter corner by pushing up until the box miter touches the bottom of the gutter without any gap.
Secure the box miter with screws and sealant accordingly.
Pros and Cons
When it comes to the joints, the ultimate consideration is how well each miter protects against leaks. We’ve come up with some pros and cons for both options below.
Only requires one seam, which minimizes the chances of leakage
Less chance of miter not fitting
If aesthetics is important-then this is the best option
Can be used for gutters forming both 90° and 45° corners
Not as easy as box miter to install
No need to measure or cut
The pre-manufactured design may not fit all gutter systems
Multiple seams equal multiple chances of leaks
Cannot be use for gutters forming 45° corners
Making The Decision
At this point, you have a better idea of what you can accomplish with either option with the pros and cons to consider for each. There are three specific situations to consider before choosing either one:
Is Your Gutter System Brand-New? Those with a new gutter system can benefit from strip miters. The strip miters are easy to install on new gutters and will provide a great finishing touch to the gutter system.
Is Your Home Oddly Shaped? If your roofline is full of angles, corners, or other challenges, it’s recommended to stick to strip miters since they are more adaptable to modified gutter systems.
Is Your Gutter System Older? If you have an existing older gutter system and it requires repairs or replacement corners due to leaks or cracks, then a box miter is recommended. Especially when the existing gutters have a box miter already installed. Then this is one of the only reasons you should install a box miter.
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