Yankee gutter resurfacing options


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Old 12-06-11, 07:00 PM
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Yankee gutter resurfacing options

I have a very unique situation where I have what is called a "Yankee" or "Dutch" gutter. What it is is a gutter which is part of the roof, with a lip at the end, the actual gutter has a plywood roof deck underneath it, then galvanized flashing about 20" wide across the entire bottom all the way up to the lip, then a roofing membrane and granules.

Here is a picture of it.



Here is a sketch of the gutter cross section.



One problem I have is the gutter is quite flat longitudinally, so when it rains it sometimes pond water, especially if fallen leaves collects in the gutter. The ponding and the sun over time causes the membrane to blister and crack.

I asked a few roofer to come and propose a solution.

(1) One roofer says to just paint the new high tech NASA invented elastomeric roof paint over the gutter and be done with it. I am not liking this solution. I doubt a coat of elastic paint will help with the situation, especially if he is applying it over the blistering membrane.

(2) Another roofer says to just clean up the gutter, and put new tar and new membrane over the length of the gutter, and that should be good for another five years. Five years later I will have the same situation, at that time I can decided on a more permanent solution, or do the same and get another five years. Right now I am thinking to go with this option.

(3) A third roofer says he can solve my problem by creating a gutter with a better slope. He would use some combinations of 2x6, plywood and insulation foam, and roofing felt in some combination, cutting the wood in a taper, and line the new wood into the gutter, then put the new membrane over it and tie it into the existing gutter, and may have to remove one row of tiles for the tie in. In my mind, I think it is a good idea to create a slightly steeper slope along the gutter, and it probably will drain better. However, I am a little scared of the idea of using 2x wood and felt and whatever to create a taper bottom, I wonder if he can truly cut a section 30' long tapering at a straight angle, and I am not liking the idea of putting wood over existing membrane that is sitting over metal flashing and the plywood roof deck. I assume to secure the new wood he would have to screw or nail through the existing gutter flashing and roof deck. Then the new membrane would sit over wood. This sound like a real hodge podge.

Right now I am thinking option 2. Unless someone can think of a way to make option 3 really work.

Thoughts?
 
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Old 12-06-11, 09:52 PM
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Interesting situation. Quite a labor-intensive gutter system, and I like the mortar plugs in the ends of the roof tile to keep the birds and other critters out.

I think Option (1) is wishful thinking, and a waste of good money.

Option (2) would work, and in reality, would be acceptable if you're willing to go through the effort and expense every 5 years. How long do you plan to be in the house? I never look that far ahead, and in fact, never buy green bananas, for fear I won't be around to eat them when they turn yellow.

Option (3) probably gets my vote, as it's not really much different than the system you already have. Provided the guy proposing it has a good track record and some decent references (you can go look at, and talk to the owners about) for doing similar work. Unless, of course, if he wants a kazillion dollars. If you go with him, insist on him using all treated lumber, either site-applied in the case of sheathing or incised, pressure-treated 2x stock.

How about Option (4)? Something along the lines of removing everything that's there, and installing a completely new, seamless gutter system below the level of the roof, at the ends of the rafters (like conventional gutters are installed). A wide piece of L-flashing with drip edge to tuck under the roof tiles and hang over and into the gutters would last a long time, and not be prone to much leakage. And would probably be less expensive than Option (3).
 
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Old 12-07-11, 06:27 PM
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BridgeMan45, option 4 is not going to work, because there are aspects that is not apparent in my post. If you look at my cross section sketch, on the end (right side) there is a double layer of PT 2x lumber which serves as the lip of the gutter. But I also have a metal screen framing attached to it.

In other words, this gutter goes around the inside of the property, surrounding an atrium or courtyard. There is an aluminum screen over the whole interior atrium, and it is attached to the double 2x structural fascia all the way around. The gutter has two roof drain inlets, which leads the water downward in the interior, and goes under the slab and drains outside.

So the problem with option (4) is that the gutter system is not "free standing" at the end. To make that work I would have to reconfigure the gutter completely, put in structural metal super gutter in it's place, and remove, trim back and redo the entire overhead aluminum screening.

Thanks for the suggestion though! I need outside the box thinking to solve this problem.
 
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Old 12-07-11, 11:52 PM
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So what's to prevent you from re-using the double 2x members, in a lowered position, and then re-attaching your metal screening to them in their revised location? Still would be a viable alternative to the 3 options you're considering.

Sometimes "thinking outside the box" requires being willing to put in the extra effort required for being outside the box in the first place. Looking at the big picture, and carefully weighing the pros and cons of all the options, is something many people have trouble doing. Maybe getting a contractor out to look at your situation (and discussing all FOUR options with him) will help you come to the best possible solution, at a reasonable cost.
 
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Old 12-08-11, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by BridgeMan45
So what's to prevent you from re-using the double 2x members, in a lowered position, and then re-attaching your metal screening to them in their revised location? Still would be a viable alternative to the 3 options you're considering.

Sometimes "thinking outside the box" requires being willing to put in the extra effort required for being outside the box in the first place. Looking at the big picture, and carefully weighing the pros and cons of all the options, is something many people have trouble doing. Maybe getting a contractor out to look at your situation (and discussing all FOUR options with him) will help you come to the best possible solution, at a reasonable cost.
Right now, the 2x10 and 2x8 are secured to the end of the trusses. If I place a gutter below the level of the edge of the current roof, the 2x10 will have to slide down and will not have anything to attach to structurally, not unless I sister the bottom chord of the truss with at least a 2x6, which will lower the soffit below by 6". It is also very difficult to lower the screen because it does not touch the ground at all, it is secured to the 2x10 all the way around laterally, so if if I take down the whole 60'x45' screen enclosure and re-erect it I must replace the screen meshes because it will collapse in the process. Also with a "real" gutter above the screen, the downspout will have to penetrate the screen, where now it is below it and runs straight down. Finally, as leaves fall on the screen meshes, they will slide down to a spot below that real gutter and trap in that dead space and difficult to clean out. I thought of a variation of this option at one point. Which is to tear out the gutter lip, install not a regular gutter, but a thick gauge structural aluminum gutter all around, then cut short the screen framing and attach the screen framing to the other side of the structural gutter. I got a $28K quote for that project, which is money I do not have at this point.
 
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Old 12-09-11, 02:07 PM
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Hmm. How about a variation of option 3. I don't like the idea of putting the new stuff over the old either. I think the old gutter system should be taken out. Instead of using wood and foam for the new slope, perhaps a dry bed of of mortar like they use for tiling. I think that would be easier to get a nice even slope with that than the wood and foam.
 
 

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