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Old 09-18-2010, 02:20 PM   #1
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Old house suprises


No secret that old houses have plenty of surprises. Removed some bad wood under my overhang and found what was the original downspouts. They are about 6 inches back from the roofline edge. Just curious how it was possible that the downspouts were originally ON the roof. Maybe my roof line has been extended at some point or was that typical of houses built in the 1920? The wood the pipe disappears into is not the roof decking.
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Old 09-18-2010, 02:40 PM   #2
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Old house suprises


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Originally Posted by Mike in Arkansas View Post
No secret that old houses have plenty of surprises. Removed some bad wood under my overhang and found what was the original downspouts. They are about 6 inches back from the roofline edge. Just curious how it was possible that the downspouts were originally ON the roof. Maybe my roof line has been extended at some point or was that typical of houses built in the 1920? The wood the pipe disappears into is not the roof decking.
I'm definitely not a pro but I would suggest that you probably originally had "yankee gutters" which are gutters built into the roof. At some point they were probably shingled over. Google it and you will see what I am talking about. My house has them and the downspout comes right down through the roof overhang. I have read that they have a tendency to leak over time which may be what caused the water damage to your roof overhang and perhaps it is why they were shingled over.

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Last edited by jerseyguy1996; 09-18-2010 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:10 PM   #3
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thanks Jerseyguy. That's it. Never heard of them before . That would also explain why my roof pitch levels out toward the ends.
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:00 PM   #4
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Old house suprises


Jerseyguy is dead onabout what you are seeing. As stated they were very prone to leaking, and with the transition to faster and cheaper building practices, they quickly fell out of favor. As you can imagine, they were labor intensive to install correctly and required a true roofing and sheet metal mechanic, not just a modern "shingle nailer".
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:38 PM   #5
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Old house suprises


I had an old house once that had a similar arrangement.
In this case, there was a holding tank in the attic and its overflow came out the soffit.
The idea was that the gutters ran into a tank in the ground. This water would then be hand pumped up into the attic tank. A water pipe was run from the attic tank down to a sink somewhere. Having water stored over-head provided pressure for distribution.
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Old 09-20-2010, 03:03 AM   #6
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Old house suprises


Another possibility is that your home had wooden gutters, and they were boxed into soffits at some later remodel. This was the case with my home.

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