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Built-In Rain Gutters (Queen Anne)


I recently walked through a Queen Anne home that is for sale and noticed that it has built-in gutters made out of wood that appear to be filled with cement or concrete which is formed in a U shape to carry water to various downspouts. I can't seem to find anything on the internet about this type of gutter system. Is it common to see wood gutters that are lined with cement? Does anyone know of a place on the internet where I can learn more about this style of rain gutter?

Clueless and Curious

Re: Built-In Rain Gutters (Queen Anne)

These gutters are known as "hidden gutters" and I'm sure you can read about them on line or ask gutter installers. I think you can find them on custom homes, old homes.

I've installed hidden gutters on a custom home once, made of copper. I didn't like the idea or the cost, but the architect insisted. For the little rain we get, they worked properly, but I don't know if they are fine now.

I've seen another house with regular hidden gutters, and the situation wasn't good. Leaks and rotten framing cost the homeowner a bundle. Think about it: there is so much that can go wrong with them when they get clogged, separated, not have the right slope or have another type of leak, which can go undetected for a long period of time and cause cumulative damages.

What you are describing doesn't sound good too and I can only guess that the "concrete" you saw is actually a sealant concrete, like Thoroseal. However, I would never trust a wood gutter.

Generally, gutters have to be maintained a lot, to make sure they function correctly. In fact, having a gutter that functions incorrectly is by far worse than not having a gutter at all.

Re: Built-In Rain Gutters (Queen Anne)

I can't say that I think the are a good idea either. My gutters are always getting clogged with leaves, sticks and seed pods. At least I can see the gutters dripping when they get loaded up.
I agree that it sounds like they are coated with thoroseal or similar cementitious paint.
Metal lined would be better, even though maintenance is needed to be sure they remain watertight.
But it was a common practice back when.

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