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Thread: Yankee Gutters

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Yankee Gutters

    I have a 95 year old house that has built-in or what i have heard called "Yankee Gutters". they appear to be made of sheet metal (i think they may have originally been copper, but were replaced?). They have rotted through in some places, and are leaking in those spots as well as in the seams. This has caused rotting of the fascia and soffits below. I have tried to find replacements but to no avail, and it seems that with all of the "space age" materials available, there must be something that i can use to patch the rotted pieces and then seal the whole thing. it needs to stand extreme heat and cold (Kansas is harsh on both ends of the scale). Nobody has any viable ideas, short of replacing them with the "new" guttrers. I will NOT do that, as i want to preserve the original look and integrity of the house. Please help. i need to repair the fascia/soffits but cannot do this until i find a solution to the leaking gutters.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Default Re: Yankee Gutters

    I have a completely unqualified thought.

    I have an 1894 house with a turret that I'm restoring rather than renovating. I'm also using some modern materials where necessary while maintaining historic visual quality.

    In problem areas, I've had moulding profiles custom-cast in PVC. It bends around my turret easily and (I hope) will last longer than a hardwood alternative. Specifically, I've replaced the watertable where wood meets stone foundation and where I seem to have an insurmountable carpenter bee problem.

    My thought for you is to replace that gutter liner with PVC. I grew up in a house with these gutters and I recall working with my Dad to mill a hardwood 2x8 with a 1x6 channel removed which we lined with copper.

    You can either have a new piece custom-cast or build up your own with readily available PVC stock from a lumber company. The latter is much more rigid in my experience and won't bend, should you need it to.

    You seal joints with PVC adhesive caulk and can nail/screw it as you would wood.

    PVC has cost me about the same as cedar/redwood/hardwood alternatives, so it's a wash in terms of restoration costs. I'm simply hoping I won't have to redo this work, ever, and it eliminates my needing to steam-bend wood for my turret.

    Good Luck.

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