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Hi all, I'm having discussions with a contractor I used late last fall to replace the eavestrough system on the lower level of my house. The following are our communications to date. By way of additional information, the gross leak is located at the corner of the attached garage (unheated) and the house. If further information would help, let me know. Please feel free to respond anonymously but please include your qualifications as an expert... Thanks in advance, Eric (Home Owner)

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From: Eric (Home Owner)
To: Brian (Contractor)
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 11:17 AM
Subject: Re: Urgent: Water Problem


Brian (Contractor), Thank you for your reply. However, I take exception to most of your response. Please find below your quoted response with my comments in "Red":

"Eric (Home Owner), I object to your comment that my men did a "pseudo inspection" of your stated eavestrough problem (Your men were unable to show me they had properly sealed the joints, as requested, and ignored my comments regarding proper drainage slope of the eavestrough, therefore pseudo inspection applies) . They in fact did as thorough an inspection of the conditions as possible and reported to both yourself and to me (see previous comment) . This was done even though the eavestrough and valley at that point were covered in ice build-up (Yes, there is excessive ice build-up as I have already stated. However, this was caused by inadequate drainage slope of the installed eavestrough) . Due to other liability issues, we cannot be expected to take the risk of melting ice on your roof (?) , unless specifically contracted to do that at your cost (No) . Also the pictures that you provided are not at all relevant to the situation on the roof as they are all taken from underneath and show only the subsequent water drips (No, view the drip edge picture which clearly shows the high point of the eavestrough system is mounted too low. See attached proper installation diagram -FORUM NOTE CANNOT ATTACH DUE TO THREE PICTURES MAX-) . The eavestrough area that we are talking about here is at the blank end of the trough and is the farthest point away from a downspout (Yes) , and , additionally has to make two ninety degree turns to get there (No, leaks at corner. Therefore, one 90 degree to get to downspout) . This does not constitute good initial design or location of the drop points (Has never been a problem in nearly 20 years) .

Eavestrough is generally attached to the home in an almost level position for aesthetic reasons (No, eavestroughs should be installed with a drainage slope of 1/2" per 10 FT run. See: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/knowhow/handbook/article/0,16417,442134,00.html ) . A small amount of water sits in almost any eavestrough to a depth of perhaps one quarter inch (See previous comment. In addition, an additional 1"+ of slope is simply available as shown in previous referenced picture). At this time of year, with weather conditions as they have been for the last three weeks, a condition called "ice-damming" occurs (No, the situation here is due to ice build-up in the eavestrough that has backed-up onto the roof. See: http://www.hometime.com/Howto/projects/roofing/roof_6.htm ) . This condition can and will occur in almost any eavestrough regardless of slope and in fact occurs in the downspouts also! This is caused by snow melting on the roof above the main part of the structure where heat loss occurs, and is also assisted by sunshine. The water runs down the roof and as it gets to the unheated overhang part of the roof above the soffits, it immediately freezes and causes ice build up on the bottom edge of the roof (Not applicable, see previous comment) . An additional amount of this water, assisted by sunshine drops into the eavestrough and again immediately freezes in the eavestroughs (No, your sequence of events are reversed) . The only cure for this anomaly of the weather, is to install a heating cable along the bottom portion of the roof (overhang) and in the eavestrough (No, properly installed eavestrough would prevent my problem, as described. Again, this has not been a problem in the past. As we live in Southwestern Ontario, many freeze-thaw cycles during winter is very common) .

In respect to water leaking into you basement, this simply indicates that you have a foundation problem. As ground water around the foundation is a normal situation, a draintile and sump pump is provided to alleviate this situation. Any water that runs onto the ground should also percolate down to the weeping tile at the foundation and subsequently into you sump pit, where the pump then pumps it to the storm sewers. The eavestroughs simply prevent excessive water from having to run through your draintile to your sump pump, by diverting it directly to the storm sewers (I do not know as further investigation would be required. However, a plausible cause would be that water percolated into the soil, then froze cracking the basement wall because of the excessive leaking of the eavestrough in this location. Again, water leakage into the basement has not been a problem in nearly twenty years) .

When the ice has completely melted from your eavestroughs, we will be pleased to check the internal caulking in them to eliminate any drips that may exist (Not acceptable) . If you do not find this to be a reasonable and logical explanation of the conditions, please let me know.
Yours, Brian (Contractor)."

Respectfully,
Eric (Home Owner)

w/ Attachment

----- Original Message -----
From: Brian (Contractor)
To: Eric (Home Owner)
Sent: Monday, February 09, 2004 9:52 AM
Subject: Re: Urgent: Water Problem


Eric (Home Owner), I object to your comment that my men did a "pseudo inspection" of your stated eavestrough problem. They in fact did as thorough an inspection of the conditions as possible and reported to both yourself and to me. This was done even though the eavestrough and valley at that point were covered in ice build-up. Due to other liability issues, we cannot be expected to take the risk of melting ice on your roof, unless specifically contracted to do that at your cost. Also the pictures that you provided are not at all relevant to the situation on the roof as they are all taken from underneath and show only the subsequent water drips. The eavestrough area that we are talking about here is at the blank end of the trough and is the farthest point away from a downspout, and , additionally has to make two ninety degree turns to get there. This does not constitute good initial design or location of the drop points.

Eavestrough is generally attached to the home in an almost level position for aesthetic reasons. A small amount of water sits in almost any eavestrough to a depth of perhaps one quarter inch. At this time of year, with weather conditions as they have been for the last three weeks, a condition called "ice-damming" occurs. This condition can and will occur in almost any eavestrough regardless of slope and in fact occurs in the downspouts also! This is caused by snow melting on the roof above the main part of the structure where heat loss occurs, and is also assisted by sunshine. The water runs down the roof and as it gets to the unheated overhang part of the roof above the soffits, it immediately freezes and causes ice build up on the bottom edge of the roof. An additional amount of this water, assisted by sunshine drops into the eavestrough and again immediately freezes in the eavestroughs. The only cure for this anomaly of the weather, is to install a heating cable along the bottom portion of the roof (overhang) and in the eavestrough.

In respect to water leaking into you basement, this simply indicates that you have a foundation problem. As ground water around the foundation is a normal situation, a draintile and sump pump is provided to alleviate this situation. Any water that runs onto the ground should also percolate down to the weeping tile at the foundation and subsequently into you sump pit, where the pump then pumps it to the storm sewers. The eavestroughs simply prevent excessive water from having to run through your draintile to your sump pump, by diverting it directly to the storm sewers.

When the ice has completely melted from your eavestroughs, we will be pleased to check the internal caulking in them to eliminate any drips that may exist. If you do not find this to be a reasonable and logical explanation of the conditions, please let me know.
Yours, Brian.

----- Original Message -----
From: Eric (Home Owner)
To: Brian (Contractor)
Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2004 1:09 PM
Subject: Re: Urgent: Water Problem


Hi Brian, further to your employees' pseudo inspection and our phone conversation of yesterday (where your position was that ServiceMaster had no responsibility with regards to excessive water leakage* from your installed eavestrough and subsequent water leakage in my basement), I have performed a proper inspection, as follows:

1. Excessive ice build-up in the previously identified area was removed using a hair dryer and hot water. This exposed the area for proper inspection.

2. The highest point of the eavestrough is about even with the bottom of the drip edge**. This has resulted in little or no drainage slope of the installed eavestrough. Poor drainage slope resulted in the excessive ice build-up in the eavestrough. Eavestrough position has not shifted under the ice load as witnessed by eavestrough hanger orientation.

3. With the excessive ice build-up removed, I poured water into the eavestrough and, without water overflowing it, I was able to duplicate the excessive water leakage*** at the joints, as initially experienced*. The eavestrough needed to be about 70% full to experience this leakage. As a second level downspout and hip gutter are located here, 70% full would not be uncommon.

4. Since moving here in 1985, we have never experienced this problem before.

* See Camera Picture 1
** See Camera Picture 3
*** See Camera Picture 2

Please reply to this email, indicating if your position has changed or not on this issue.

Respectfully,
Eric (Home Owner).

with Attachments


----- Original Message -----
From: Eric (Home Owner)
To: Brian (Contractor)
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2004 2:02 PM
Subject: Urgent: Water Problem


Hi Brian (Contractor), It appears that the joint sealing was done poorly or not at all. This is right by the man door and now we have water leaking into the basement.

Please send someone ASAP.

Thanks,
Eric (Home Owner)


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Honestly I can probably help you out but I'm not about to read a book. Did you have a specific question?

Camera 1, gutter seams are leaking. This can be corrected by using gutter sealant. If that's not the problem, then ice is forcing it's way behind the gutter flashing.
 

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Ask An Expert: Am I All Wet? Reply to Thread

Grumpy said:
Honestly I can probably help you out but I'm not about to read a book. Did you have a specific question?

Camera 1, gutter seams are leaking. This can be corrected by using gutter sealant. If that's not the problem, then ice is forcing it's way behind the gutter flashing.
Hi Grumpy, Thanks for the reply and sorry about the book (just wanted to share the full conversation with the contractor). Anyway, the following is a copy of what I have sent to actual eavestrough manufacturers. Your feedback would be most welcomed... Thanks, Eric.

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I'm a homeowner located in Southwestern Ontario (near Detroit) and I have a "K" style 5" aluminum gutter system installed on my back-split home. On the home's lower level the gutter extends from the house (closed end) around 2 sides of the unheated attached garage to the downspout (~2.5"X3"), then around the front of the garage/house to the downspout (~2"X3.5") on the other side of the house. The details are: Back of garage ~14 Ft., 90 degree bent, then to downspout ~25 Ft. (which connects to the storm sewer). The roof area for this lower level is about 1000 Sq. Ft. In addition, the previously mentioned closed end is also the water collection point for one of the two second level (~700 Sq. Ft.) downspouts and the garage-to-house roof valley (see attached camera photos). Please provide feedback on the following:

1. At the back of the garage (closed end), is it important to slope the eavestrough towards the downspout? If yes, what should this slope be? If the gutter is mounted level (no slope), what would be the expected outcome for my location (many winter freeze/thaw cycles)?

2. At the back of the garage (closed end), how high up should the eavestrough's closed end be mounted? Should the eavestrough be mounted behind the roof's formed metal drip edge (see attached gutter.gif file)? If its mounted below the bottom of the drip edge, what would be the expected outcome?

3. Is it possible during freeze/thaw cycles (or solar heating of black shingles) cause water to flow into the gutter which then freezes so that after repeated cycles, fill the gutter with ice, which backs-up onto the roof? If yes, how would a level mounted eavestrough affect this process (as I understand it, normal ice-damming at the roof overhang would not be a factor here as the garage is not heated)?

4. With reference to the attached photos, even after the ice was removed from the gutter, a gross water leak is seen from the corner joints. What would be the expected results of this amount of water landing < 30" from the house in Southwestern Ontario at this time of year (full heated basement)?
 

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you have a poorly sealed gutter,a poorly sealed and insulated attic area,and apparently although you live in the north northeast,you have no backflashing behind the gutter edge,and no Ice and water shield material in place or it was installed incorrectly,all of these factors plus proper ventilation of the attic area above the proper amount of insulation would eliminate your problems,as far as the eavestrough(we call it guttering),the main problem there is it was sealed incorrectly,and possibly with the wrong type sealant as well,Geocell Gutterseal is what we use and recommend,I will retrieve another post on the ice problem and how to deal with it for you
 

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ok deja`vue time for some of you,I use this pic a lot,gaf specs. for a "dripedge" I use a 3x3 custom bent tighter than the pitch so it hugs the roof and closes the gap between fascia and soffit area,this in turn allows any aluminum fascia capping to slide under the 3x3(backflashing),it is nailed to the rafters instead of just the plywood so it doesn`t ripple the metal,the gutter is secured to the lower half of the 3x3 w/ inside brackets using galvanized 1 5/8th hexbolts,"textbook" would also call for Geocell tri-polymer sealant(min. 1/4" bead) to be placed at the juncture of the gutter rear lip,and the 3x3(this prevents water flowing behind the gutter),the Ice + water shield is then installed at the top of the 3x3(overhanging 1/4"),and rolled into place with a hand roller,if it`s cooler out,we will use a heat gun to heat the metal and ice shield so it adheres properly,when the ice shield is rolled very well,it does not lift off,in fact if I try to pull the ice shield off,the metal comes with it! Have never,ever,had a problem with this-you get what you pay for!:
Reduced: 85% of original size [ 600 x 800 ] - Click to view full image

www.ADVANCEDROOFINGNEWYORK.com


#37 vbmenu_register("postmenu_384143", true);
once the gutters are on seal the top of the gutter to the 3x3 with 1/4" bead of clear Geocell tri-polymer sealant
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TRG,

This thread is from 4 years ago. I do not think the OP is alive now. He probably had a heart attack awaiting a call back from the gutter manufacturer, which never arrived.

Ed
 

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I think that the contractor made a reasonable offer to check it out when the conditions made sense.

What a brain dead HO!!! If his gutters had a little more pitch, water would not freeze???

He has definite anal compulsive problems and anxiety issues too.

Ed
 
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