Gutter installation question - leaks from behind

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Old 03-14-16, 11:51 AM
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Gutter installation question - leaks from behind

I recently moved into a house that had no gutters. I decided to have seamless gutters installed professionally. During the first rain after the install (only a day or two later), I noticed that there was a decent amount of water dripping from behind several of the gutters. I haven't yet paid them in full. I told the installer about the leaks, and he basically said "it just needs to be caulked, I can do it, but you should still pay the rest of your balance beforehand because it's not a problem and it's not even considered part of the initial scope of work."

I was really put off by this. First, if my gutters are leaking immediately after installation, that seems like an incomplete installation. Furthermore, I'm more concerned that the installation was just completely incorrect, and it's not just a matter of caulking better.

I've attached a picture of a spot that seemed like pretty good evidence of bad installation, but I'm no expert. Wondering if others can share their opinions here. Sorry for the close-up picture... I'll try to take some from farther away to add more context, as well. The picture shows the gutters (lighter color towards the bottom of the picture, the spacing b/w the gutters and house, and some half-hearted attempts at caulking what appears to be a huge gap. You can also see some pre-existing drip-edge at the top of the picture picture.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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  #2  
Old 03-14-16, 02:46 PM
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Gutter

The top edge of the gutter is supposed to be behind the drip edge so the drip edge deflects the water into the gutter.
 
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Old 03-14-16, 02:49 PM
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Looks like there so low there attached to the side of the house, not the fachias which is totaly wrong.
 
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Old 03-14-16, 06:27 PM
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Great pic of how not to do it. Hopefully a picture from farther back might explain why anyone would do such a thing. Cuz right now I have no idea what would make anyone think that's okay.
 
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Old 03-15-16, 04:40 AM
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Thanks everyone for all the input. Here are some additional pics from further back:

Gutters - Album on Imgur

My only guess as to why they would do it that way would be because the upper facia was not as tall as the gutters? Not sure, that seems like a bad reason to just drop them way down and allow water to leak though.

So assuming this installation is bad, what would be the best way to fix them? Thanks again, everyone.
 
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Old 03-15-16, 05:02 AM
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They need to be taken down. Cut a notch in the back to fit around that pvc drain pipe. Then slide the gutter up under the drip edge and reinstall it. Obviously the downspout will need to move up along with the gutter.
 
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Old 03-15-16, 08:08 AM
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Do you think there are any concerns with the size of that upper facia? Is it possible that it could be too small? Hopefully not, just wanted to cover my bases before discussing with the contractor (who will, based on previous conversations, definitely give me a hard time... so I want to come armed with information).
 
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Old 03-15-16, 08:45 AM
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Can't tell measurements from just a picture. Get up there with a tape measure and measure the height of the back of the gutter. Then measure the distance from the bottom of the board that is currently above the gutter to a point that is maybe 1" up under the drip edge. (the gutter should surely be pushed up AT LEAST that far, which is how far the gutter brackets will slip under the drip edge.)

There is nothing that says the gutter has to be 100% supported by that board, since it hangs from the screws. If the gutter is longer than that board and it would look funny to install it that high because it would leave a hollow space behind the bottom of the gutter, you could always add a 1x2 and paint it.

There is no question the gutter should have gone higher. It goes behind the flashing, period. He might say that board should have been longer, and maybe that is true. But he should have mentioned it, and proposed a fix... not just put them down below it.
 
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Old 03-15-16, 11:02 AM
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When I mentioned this to the installer, they said:

"It can't be installed on the shadow board. That's the small piece of trim that your drip edge is on. Ideally that wouldn't be there when you have gutters but it's common. The gutter has to sit on a completely flat surface. If not it will twist in the winter"

Is that true? If so, what should I do about it (installing below the "shadow board" doesn't seem to be working either)?
 
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Old 03-15-16, 11:05 AM
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Number one, did you physically measure either? Looks to me like they are close to the same width, so the "twisting comment" is irrelevant. There would be no twisting if the gutter was installed high enough to be fully on the "shadow board". Even if it was a little below (say 1") that would not be enough to cause a problem with twisting.

Number two, if needed, (if the gutter is longer than the space available) I mentioned the solution is to install another board (like a 1x2) UNDER the "shadow board", prime and paint it, then install the gutter.

If they won't fix this, you can. It isn't that hard. Get a few buddies and a few ladders, and you will have it done in less time than it has taken to have this conversation.
 
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Old 03-15-16, 11:52 AM
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Sorry if all my questions are annoying. Just want to learn so I don't get screwed, and I don't have years of experience doing this.

I'm not at home right now, so can't measure them at the moment. It's clear that the gutter is taller than that "shadow board," just not sure how much.

If the gutters were moved up and tucked under the drip edge, what would you do on the low end of the gutter, assuming the pitch results in the top of the gutter falling below the bottom of the drip edge?

Related question: several people I've spoken to have mentioned that the shingles should overhang the drip edge by at least 1/4". I have to go home and check, but based on pictures, it's not clear that my shingles do that. If that's the case, and I fixed that, would that also fix the bulk of the problem? I know you'll be tempted to answer "just fix the gutters" and I agree. I'll try to do that. But if there are two problems and I have limited time/money, I want to know which fix to prioritize.
 
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Old 03-15-16, 12:22 PM
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Apart from the one shingle on the end in your bottom photo, your shingles look fine. Its nice when they overlap the flashing 1/4" but if they don't it is not a problem. The shingles are not the problem here.

To answer your question, when the gutter is shoved up at least 1" under the drip edge, (which is roughly what your gutter hanger clips allow) that means you can have up to 1" of drop on that section of gutter to get it to drain. Incidentally, even a level gutter will drain, since water seeks its own level. People put pitch on them in the hopes of never having any trash or standing water in the gutters, which is usually a pipe dream. You shouldnt expect your gutters to by dry 10 minutes after it rains and you will still have to clean your gutters any way you look at it.

The problem is ENTIRELY due to the fact that the flashing does not overlap the back of the gutter. If you want to try fixing it without removing the gutters, you would need to put a strip of metal behind the drip edge that would be long enough to cover up the back lip of the gutter. But it doesn't change the fact that the gutter is too low and during a heavy rain, you might have water shoot off the shingles and completely miss the gutters. It is THAT low.
 
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Old 03-18-16, 06:10 PM
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Really appreciate all the help, everyone. Just to follow up, in addition to everyone here, I heard from multiple other professionals that the gutter should be installed with its back behind the drip edge, on the upper fascia.

I had the installers come back today. They immediately agreed it was too low (even though the owner on the phone was insistent that it just needed caulking and I should send him my money), and started moving it up. When they finished the first one, I went outside to take a peek, and sure enough, they had put the gutter just below the drip edge and tried to just caulk it. Prettttty sure that'd have the same problem with water getting behind, and probably getting trapped there and rotting the fascia and soffits, etc.

I had them move the gutters up behind the drip edge despite their insistence that they've been doing this for 30 years and they never do that, because of the potential for ice dams to back up beneath the drip edge. The ice dam argument doesn't really make sense to me, because you're just about as likely to get ice dams backing up beneath the drip edge with the way they wanted to install it on their first re-attempt today.

Anyway, they ultimately followed my instructions, so I'm relatively happy. Although my fascia is all scraped and scratched and has screw holes that need to be patched and painted because of their incompetence. Unreal.
 
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Old 03-18-16, 06:15 PM
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Glad they came and did it.



They probably like caulking the back of the gutter to eliminate a few possible callbacks with people complaining about ice dams and water dripping from behind the gutter. Faulty reasoning, imo.
 
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