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Gentlemen,

Some time ago I posted a thread about buying and renovating an old Victorian building as a project during these slow times. Well I went ahead and bought it.

Priority one is stop the water damage to the bricks, foundation and basement caused by poor rain water management.

Fix the leaky roof is step one of that, but today I'm thinking about a strategy for managing the run-off once the leaks are fixed. That is, the pros and cons of eaves troughs, or no eaves troughs.

Out in rural areas, houses often do not have eaves troughs.

The advantage is that snow doesn't collect at the gutters in winter. So (a), you don't have eaves troughs ripped off the fascia to repair every year there's heavy snows, and (b) you get a lot less ice dam problems.

The disadvantage is that all the run-off falls at the base of your building, and if you have improper grading you're asking for infiltration problems at the foundation. Also, if you have small overhangs you can get a lot of water running down the wall face, leading to brickwork damage, especially around windows.

What do the voices of experience have to say about the real life weights of these, or other, issues?

Thanks.
 

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im not a drain pro at all, but i did read once that you can dig around the foundation i think 3 feet down? grade the bottom away from the house and then back fill it with rocks, and then some dirt or whatever you wanna cover it over with. i have no idea if this is a solution or not or if it is true. just my 2 cents
 

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I had an old victorian(4 gables) with a stone foundation that was near impossible to keep dry.
I hate gutters,cleaning em every year!
What I did was pack sand against the foundation so it was pitched away from the house a few inches for 3'.
Them I used left over strips of edpm roofing over the sand and covered it with 1" stone.
Worked great!
 

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maybe just gutter the valley sections to help
stop the most water with the most velocity
a 2or3' section of 6'' copper gutter on each side of the valley
with 4 or 5'' round copper downspouts
 

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Firstly, if you have ice damming problems you need to look into venting the roof properly. ice damming occours when the snow on the shingle surface is melted from the increased attic temp versus the outside temp. When the melted snow reaches a place where it can refreeze... it will. Usually that's the gutter. they make a ele wire heater that can be placed in the gutter, tho i have never installed one... i assume it works like ele pipe tape. Some systems use a zig zag wire attached to the roof. I dont recommend attaching anything to the shingles... it would only hold debris.

Properly venting the roof will help with ice daming. An ice and water shield wouldnt hurt either. I assume your roof pitch is fairly steep. It may be that you need to check your rafter tails, install new fascia as needed and have gutters installed very well with lots of fasteners. Gutters pulling off is common with ice build up... but if attached well they should hold up just fine. the old strap over the roof kind i have rarely seen come crashing down with ice. you should look into vents and calculate roof area and see what the shingle manufacturer says. Standard aluminum roof vents typically will ventilate 4 square of roofing. Ridgevent is very different... you have to go by the instructions and be sure that you have enough ridge to use this type vent. As where a hip roof would not.



There's little to do about short eaves...but the sand epdm idea sounds good. Thirty pound felt paper would even work, but not last as long. Imagination goes a long way. Anything to help water run off away from the house. There are alot of ways to skin a cat. Cement is a much more expensive option, but helps on the weed eating too.
 

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Jeff
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Ice damming isnt just a ventilation problem. When you've got 3 feet of snow on a roof with a temp near freezing and the sun pounding on it snow's gonna melt then refreeze. If your gonna waste your time with heat tape in a gutter do it right and run it up the roof to provide appropriate water channels for water to get into the gutter. Either that or get a roof rake and pull the snow off your roof every few weeks.
 

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Ice damming is a ventilation of the attic problem but it is also tied to not enough insulation. The heat given off by the home heats the attic which then in turn melts the snow, which runs down the roof under the existing blanket of snow to the eave where it freezes to create ice dams. As long as heat leaves thru the attic (and is not cooled by attic ventilation) you will have ice dams, gutter or no gutter. Gutters just magnify the situation.

The electric heat tape typically does clip to the shingles and zig zag up and down the edge of the roof at the gutter. This is to only allow the melting water a path (a hole thru the ice for water to pass to the dripedge/gutter area) to be able to leave the roofing vs. pooling behind the ice and backing up under the shingle and yes! sometimes deep enought to get past the ice and water shield underlayment.

Look at insulating the attic better and ventilating the attic properly. A solid blank of snow all winter with now melting vs. spotty melting areas means you have a good balance. Why do you think some houses have a perfect foot of snow and others are patchy?
 

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excellent post! Love it when experience speaks so well for all to hear. You hit the nail on the head, i just hope someone will use this info. Sounds like you are a pretty saavy cat... look forward to hearing from you more. Thanks for sharing, great detail.
 
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