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Thread: Gutter Issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Louisiana
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    29

    Default Gutter Issues

    OK here is an interesting issue no one has been able to figure out for me yet. I own (or at least the bank lets me think I do) a 1,200 square foot ranch in Louisiana. I bought the house when it was about 7 years old and immediately got a little concerned when it rained because water would run down the roof, hit the drip edge and run down the outside of the soffit. This was not a huge deal since the soffit is aluminum clad, but after multiple recommendations from roofers and contractors I decided to put seamless gutters on the house in the hopes it would correct the issue and also eliminate those pools of water around the foundation that having no gutters cause, that was 5 years ago. Ever since I have still had small drips form between the gutter and soffit after large rain storms, the gutter contractor blames the roof, the roofers said it's the gutters leaking around the seams everyone is pointing the finger at the other. I hate to reroof the entire house because the roof is only 12 years old and is not in that bad a shape, I also hesitate at the price of a new roof just for a few pesky drips. Any ideas as to what might be causing this, owe and just to be clear I did pull off some of the alunumum and it appears for the most part (can't comment on what I did not see) the wooden soffit is not getting wet...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,203

    Default Re: Gutter Issues

    A small amount of water between fascia metal and the gutter won't cause any harm. If it gets behind the fascia metal you've got a problem. To solve your dilemma, you could have some fascia metal bent to an "L" shape, tuck it under the starter shingles on one side and down into the gutter on the other. That will do till the roof gets a tear-off. When that time comes I'd remove the gutters for a thorough inspection, then have the roofer use edge molding at the bottom. Tuck the gutter between this and the fascia metal and like overlapping shingles, the water will run down onto something else till it goes where you want- in the gutter. I've seen every manner of sealer and caulking used trying to resolve the situation you have but I've never seen any last very long so don't bother with that approach.

    Phil

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,661

    Default Re: Gutter Issues

    If you can take a picture of the edge of the roof where it meets the gutter (and the drip edge), post it to a photo sharing site then link the picture here. You could type a thousand words and it still wouldn't be worth a picture to help us troubleshoot.

    P.S. -- The advice you get here will be from both generous construction professionals and do-it-yourselfers from around the country. You won't see any of the TOH guys chiming in here. Ever.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,778

    Default Re: Gutter Issues

    This can be difficult to discuss over the internet because it requires "eyes on" to see what is actually happening. A couple things come to mind though.

    In a really heavy rainstorm, your gutters may be overflowing. But if this happens in even light rain, then I suspect that it may have something to do with the first course of shingles.

    I assume that you have the usual 3 tab shingles since your house was built 12 years ago, especially if it is a typical subdivision home. Along the bottom row of shingles, they would have used a row of shingles where the tabs were cut off. Typically this solid row come down to the edge of the roof sheathing or up to an inch past it. Then the next row is put on top with the tabs on top of the first row. Often, just for looks, the tabs will hang just a little over the first row.

    The problem may be that the first course, AKA "starter course" doesn't hang far enough over the fascia board and certainly not out to the edge of the gutters. The first "full course" (second row, first with the tabs) hangs out far enough, but there are gaps between the tabs and this is where a little water gets behind the gutter and onto the fascia.

    Your fascia is aluminum clad and the aluminum may be run up and under the starter course of the shingles. If that is the case, you do not need to worry about water damage. Water only flows downhill, not uphill.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Gutter Issues

    So today I went up on the roof to look for myself with the advice and info I had gotten here so far. I forgot my phone so no pics yet, but I think I found an issue. It looks like someone roofed this house that did not know what they were doing. There is not a row of starter shingles! It starts with standard 3 tabs and no cut shingles are present. I can see the metal flashing edge in between the tabs so that might be preventing leaks. I am beside myself at this point, I had a home inspection before I bought the place, a roofer and gutter guy look at this and no one even picked up on it. So what's next???

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,736

    Default Re: Gutter Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by foresterpoole1 View Post
    So today I went up on the roof to look for myself with the advice and info I had gotten here so far. I forgot my phone so no pics yet, but I think I found an issue. It looks like someone roofed this house that did not know what they were doing. There is not a row of starter shingles! It starts with standard 3 tabs and no cut shingles are present. I can see the metal flashing edge in between the tabs so that might be preventing leaks. I am beside myself at this point, I had a home inspection before I bought the place, a roofer and gutter guy look at this and no one even picked up on it. So what's next???
    This new startling information throws a wrench into the equation.

    Looks like your roof is not put on in the correct order. The fact that you see the drip edge in between the tabs raises a big red flag for me. And the "pros" who inspected the roof, the home inspector, roofer and gutter man - they must be working for Ringling brothers as clowns.

    At 12 years old, the roof has at least 8 years left. I hate to recommend this, but this is exactly what I'd do: RE-ROOF. Don't accept a tiny leak as OK.

    This time, supervise the job, step by step.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Gutter Issues

    Well good news bad news. I called a college friend who is an architect and had him come out and double check my findings. Good news is there are starter shingles after all. The bad news is I had no idea what i was looking at and had to sit through roofing 101 for two hours, after which I had a headache and needed a beer... :-) thank goodness he agreed to drive up, I had the day off, he kind of snuck out of work!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    2,203

    Default Re: Gutter Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by foresterpoole1 View Post
    ....I can see the metal flashing edge in between the tabs....
    Glad you're friend helped out, but with the above situation something is still wrong here- the starter shingles should be on top of this so you shouldn't be seeing it from above! Did you come to any conclusion as to where the leak is and how to resolve it?

    Phil

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Gutter Issues

    Quote Originally Posted by foresterpoole1 View Post
    OK here is an interesting issue no one has been able to figure out for me yet. I own (or at least the bank lets me think I do) a 1,200 square foot ranch in Louisiana. I bought the house when it was about 7 years old and immediately got a little concerned when it rained because water would run down the roof, hit the drip edge and run down the outside of the soffit. This was not a huge deal since the soffit is aluminum clad, but after multiple recommendations from roofers and contractors I decided to put seamless gutters on the house in the hopes it would correct the issue and also eliminate those pools of water around the foundation that having no gutters cause, that was 5 years ago. Ever since I have still had small drips form between the gutter and soffit after large rain storms, the gutter contractor blames the roof, the roofers said it's the gutters leaking around the seams everyone is pointing the finger at the other. I hate to reroof the entire house because the roof is only 12 years old and is not in that bad a shape, I also hesitate at the price of a new roof just for a few pesky drips. Any ideas as to what might be causing this, owe and just to be clear I did pull off some of the alunumum and it appears for the most part (can't comment on what I did not see) the wooden soffit is not getting wet...
    A few drops or trickles wicking back from the drip edge and going down the outside of the soffit isn't a big deal. If it is what seems like an excessive amount you want to check shingle overhang and be sure everything is tucked in in the proper order, ie soffit wrap tucks behind fascia wrap, which tucks behind drip edge.

    Even then you might still see a few drops, as water can go up hill under certain conditions or can be driven back there by strong winds. If the roof isn't a super-high slope water won't always come off the edge with enough velocity to be carried away by gravity, and it is a little more likely some will trick down the soffits. Gutter apron, a flashing that replaces the drip edge and actually dips down into the gutter, is the only 100% guaranteed way to stop it. For low slope roofs it is a better option, as drip edge 'encourages' water to fall away from the roof and into the gutter. Gutter apron gives it no other option.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Gutter Issues

    The metal flashing I saw was in between the starter shingles. My buddy believed that where I looked the starter row was not butted up perfectly and I just caught a 1/16th of an inch gap between the shingles (which to me looked like tabs), the rest looks OK. Intrestingly enough he recomended something just like eman some type of edging should solve most of it in his mind. The nice part is even if the facia and sheathing is a little damaged I work for a forest products company so replacement boards/sheathing is pretty cheap (darn near free) and I wanted to put radiant barrier up anyway...

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