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Old 12-06-2011, 08:58 PM   #1
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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?


Last edited by miamicuse; 12-06-2011 at 09:00 PM.
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Old 12-07-2011, 05:40 AM   #2
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Yankee gutter resurfacing options


Option 3. is the best idea, I just think he's going about it wrong.

1. Tear existing membrane out.
2. Create a proper slop by using lumber or metal.
3. Re-line the gutter.

You/your contractor will need to remove at least one course of tile, maybe two, in order to assure a proper tie-in.

In this situation you may be better off to get a quick quote/estimate from a couple gutter installers or metal installers/tinners, because there are metal options for properly lining that gutter.

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Old 12-07-2011, 03:32 PM   #3
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Yankee gutter resurfacing options


The only really long lasting solution is the line the gutter with a solderable metal. The trough needs to be re-graded to flow, but with wood, not tapered foam. We use copper most of the time, but terne or galvanized can be used, although both need to be kept painted and the cost savings disappears pretty quickly.
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Old 12-07-2011, 08:17 PM   #4
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The only really long lasting solution is the line the gutter with a solderable metal. The trough needs to be re-graded to flow, but with wood, not tapered foam. We use copper most of the time, but terne or galvanized can be used, although both need to be kept painted and the cost savings disappears pretty quickly.
Right now, the entire gutter already have a metal liner which is the flashing. It is above the plywood roof deck, and the membrane sits on it.

However it is leaking in a few spots. I am wondering how it could leak if it already have metal flashing all the way. Of course I have never peeled back the membrane to see, I don't know how those flashings are joint together. May be they have a seam?
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:32 AM   #5
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Yankee gutter resurfacing options


The metal lining in that "your" situation is a back up and most likely installed by the roofer.
Hopefully lapped properly with laps caulked or covered in roof cement and then covered with the roofing membrane.

(In my area, that membrane has a life span of 20 years, give or take, when properly installed, in an area like Florida that expected life span is shortened by half, give or take.)

If the metal lining were installed by a tinner/metal man in the proper fashion it would be the finished product and not need to be covered by a roofing membrane, except at the portion where the metal lining runs under the one course of tile.
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Old 12-08-2011, 06:56 AM   #6
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Yankee gutter resurfacing options


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The metal lining in that "your" situation is a back up and most likely installed by the roofer.
Hopefully lapped properly with laps caulked or covered in roof cement and then covered with the roofing membrane.

(In my area, that membrane has a life span of 20 years, give or take, when properly installed, in an area like Florida that expected life span is shortened by half, give or take.)

If the metal lining were installed by a tinner/metal man in the proper fashion it would be the finished product and not need to be covered by a roofing membrane, except at the portion where the metal lining runs under the one course of tile.
I suspect that the metal is the original lining and the membrane was glued to it when it began to fail. In my experience, the membrane never works for very long glued to rusty metal.
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:24 AM   #7
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OK I see.

The metal lining I am sure is original, so that would date back say 42 years.

I thought it was some custom site fabricated sheet metal pieces that is continuous and seamless. Now in reading these posts may be it is not then, those are just sheet metal cut to fit, and in different planes there were overlapped and either nailed to the plywood and sealed with caulk or whatever which would explain the leak.

I have always assumed the membrane were laid on top because that's what the rest of the roof has below the tile, they simply extended the membrane to the edge instead of the edge of the tiles.

So, the best fix is to tear the gutter up, membrane and existing sheet metal below, and fabricate a new metal gutter that is soldered together?

I assume I have to remove one or two rows of tiles all the way around so the metal can be tucked under and tie to the existing roofing layer?

What type of professionals are needed to do this type of metal lining? A roofer? I have contacted a few gutter installers in the past they all took a look at this and said it's not what they do.
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:33 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by miamicuse View Post
OK I see.

The metal lining I am sure is original, so that would date back say 42 years.

I thought it was some custom site fabricated sheet metal pieces that is continuous and seamless. Now in reading these posts may be it is not then, those are just sheet metal cut to fit, and in different planes there were overlapped and either nailed to the plywood and sealed with caulk or whatever which would explain the leak.

I have always assumed the membrane were laid on top because that's what the rest of the roof has below the tile, they simply extended the membrane to the edge instead of the edge of the tiles.

So, the best fix is to tear the gutter up, membrane and existing sheet metal below, and fabricate a new metal gutter that is soldered together?

I assume I have to remove one or two rows of tiles all the way around so the metal can be tucked under and tie to the existing roofing layer?

What type of professionals are needed to do this type of metal lining? A roofer? I have contacted a few gutter installers in the past they all took a look at this and said it's not what they do.

Yes on the new metal. Yes on the tile removal. Probably only one row of tile. The back of the metal should be higher than the front edge so if the gutter gets clogged, it can't leak over the back edge. You'll need to remove enough tile to get the old metal out.

You'll need a sheet metal oriented roofer. Gutter guys usually just squeeze out k-style gutter and hang it.

Good luck.
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:04 PM   #9
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Yankee gutter resurfacing options


A 4th option would be remove the existing cap sheet, metal liner below. Add a 1/2 of cover board and a single ply membrane. The best option would be to remove everything and reframe it slope properly.

Most importantly any idea here will work. The problem is and I think every professional roofer would agree is, not everyone can do this type of work and make it well, work. I would spend a lot of time talking to the roofers you are thinking about having do the work. This will be expensive, and if they have not done built in gutters like this before they can really mess it up.
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:53 PM   #10
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and if they have not done built in gutters like this before they can really mess it up.
I wish I saw this before I authorized the job.

I talked to over ten roofers in the last two weeks and NONE of them have seen anything I showed them.

Finally I decided not to mess with it for now, and just put a new membrane over it (the cheapest) and that should last me a few more years and then I will redo the whole thing. I hired this roofer to do it and he started today.

Around the corner the existing membrane was very uneven, so he cut a bit of it and we saw underneath it is a piece of custom metal. In other words, the entire metal liner, the top of the lip to the bottom across the gutter is one single piece of metal folded to that shape, even around the corner. I don't know where the seams are or if they are soldered together but it looks good, not rusted at all.

Unfortunately, and I don't know why the roofer did this. The existing membrane is blistering here and there, I thought he was going to clean it and smooth it out and add new membrane on top, but instead, he cut a thin piece of plywood and laid it at the bottom of the gutter, on top of the existing bad membrane, then he shoot roofing nails every few inches to secure the plywood to the existing gutter. I didn't know he was doing this until he almost finished. I asked him why he did that, and he said it is to secure the bottom of the gutter so the new membrane will not "bubble" up.

I said in the process he just added 300 new holes to my metal liner where before was impervious!!!

I can't believe it!

He said "should be OK, it's not going to leak, this wood is stronger than your metal".

I don't know what to do, I guess I just paid him $2500 to totally destroyed my metal liner.
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Old 12-09-2011, 05:59 AM   #11
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Sorry to hear that, Sir.

I would keep a close eye on your gutter area both inside the home and on the outside, over the up coming months & years, things like this can leak into the structure of the home with out showing up on the interior at first and cause real structural issues with roof sheathing and wall studs, rafter tails, etc.
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:51 AM   #12
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Oh no that is horrible. The metal liner is ruined now. You are correct the whole liner would have been folded in to match the structure. It is more then likely installed in 10' pieces and should have been soldered.

Did he remove the bottom row of tiles? How far up did he get the new membrane up there? What kind of material did he use? If he used a granulated cap sheet like the one you had, he could have just cut the blisters and uneven areas out. If he used a EPDM he would have had to put a new substrate down, like the plywood or thin insulation. Putting a new cap sheet on would have been the cheepest.

I'm sorry about what he did, I would just keep a close eye on it.
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:02 PM   #13
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Yankee gutter resurfacing options


If you lived in Richmond, and could wait about a year, I'd try to fit you in. There are very few of us tinners around any more. There are alot of characters trying to take our place(s), but none have the understanding about what it takes to sweat the joints properly. Done correctly, the soldering iron won't be used in front of the joint.
And on a 20" wide BIG, the panels can't exceed 20" (inches) in lenght. No less than 20 oz. copper either.
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:14 PM   #14
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Tinner666 I am not in Richmond, but in Miami, Florida.

In case I need to find someone that is experienced in doing this type of work, how would I go about doing that? There is no "tinner" in the yellow pages like "carpenters" or "plumbers" right?

I need to find a roofer who knows how to handle metal? Do I call up roofers and ask them "do you do tinning"?

Is there a single question I can ask someone that will tell me if I found the right person or not?
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Old 12-09-2011, 08:15 PM   #15
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Also, is there a way to repair the holes of the metal liner in the future? Or not worth it just rip it out and redo?

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