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Yankee Gutters and Built-in Gutters for Historic Homes

Gutters basically fall into two categories: built-in and attached, with subcategories for each. For this article we will be focusing on Built-In Gutters more commonly known as Yankee Gutters or Pool Gutters for historic homes.

Since, these gutter systems date back to the 18th century, as you might imagine, this systems can be somewhat out-of-date and hard to maintain. There are no active gutter guards or screens for yankee gutters so it is important to keep the downspouts clear of debris and the lining of the yankee gutter intact. Although difficult to maintain at times, these built-in gutters add character and class to homes with older and historic architecture.

Here are 5 Reasons to Love Your Yankee Gutters and Treat Them Right

  1. Built-in gutters are wide enough to handle the high volumes of water that a large roof will produce.
  2. A built-in gutter lined with copper or stainless steel will last for 50 to 100 years with no maintenance. But should a problem arise, a bad seam or hole can be easily resoldered.
  3. Cheaper approaches to lining gutters just plain don't work. Rubber wears out far more quickly than the shingles it is run under and aluminum can't be soldered and inevitably leaks.
  4. Aluminum gutters that are attached to your fascia can hide and distract from any intricate wood work or crown moldings along your roof line.
  5. Yankee Gutters preserve the look and feel historic homes adding intrinsic value and curb appeal to your one-of-kind home


While relatively efficient, Yankee gutters often require frequent repairs. Regular inspection of the metal liner is one of the best ways to prolong the life of the gutters, as the metal helps to protect the wood box from mildew and moisture. Signs that there is likely some damage to repair includes paint peeling off the facing of the gutter, darkened sections of the wood that is moist to the touch, or damage to the masonry surrounding the gutter system.

Here are 3 Great Options For Repairing or Replacing Yankee Gutters

  • Copper Lining - This is the best and most expensive option and comes with a lifetime warranty not to leak or crack. Global Home Improvement uses a 16 oz soldered copper with beautiful half round copper downspouts to complete the look.
  • Stainless Steel Lining - This option is both affordable and long lasting with the ability to last 50 plus years. Stainless steel is extremely durable and much stronger material than copper. This product can also be soldered, offering excellent versatility in design. 
  • EPDM Lining - EPDM is a commercial grade rubber and is applied without the use of fire like old tar roofs. EPDM comes with a 20 year warranty and can give your Yankee Gutter a clean look with added performance.

Proper Installation

No matter what product you choose, make sure it is installed by professionals that have years of experience working with older homes and yankee gutters in PA, NJ and DE. Also, make sure the contractor you choose replaces any dry or rotted wood inside the yankee gutter. There are occasions where water damage occurs and the whole gutter needs to be re-built.  Another reason why properly maintaining these built-in gutter systems is so important.


For more information on yankee gutter repair and replacement in Philadelphia call Global Home Improvement at 888-234-2929 or online at

Copyright Global Home Improvement 2013. Serving PA, NJ and DE

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