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Going gutterless??

TomMGTC's picture

I have found some areas on my fascia and soffits that are rotten and need to be repaired. The gutters will need to be removed for some of the repair and I am considering leaving the off the front of the house altogether. The original plans specced by the archy were for no gutter to be installed and the builder talked me out of that but I don't particularly like the look of them and they are a maintenance nightmare. I am beginning to think they create more problems than they solve.


I have included a couple of pictures to give an idea of what we are discussing. the grade slopes away from the house and most of the area that they will be removed from is a minumum of eight feet away from the foundation. I don't have any water issues in the basement right nowan the gutters currently drain near the house anyway. The dripline is mostly mature shrubbery that is kept trimmed away from the house. I'm not opposed to putting pea gravel/stone at the dripline if that is necessary. The sections I am talking about removing are along the entire front of the house and the section that wraps around the first bay of the garage.


Any comments on this plan of action?


I am also looking for recommendations for trim materials. I don't want to be replacing this stuff again in another eight years. I beleive I know what has caused the rot issues and can remedy that on installation of the new trim. Original trim was pine and was not primed before installation. I am considering azek or some other manmade material or I could go with pine again and prime it prior to installation but I really don't want this to be a recurring problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 


Tom


Douglasville, GA

Tom

Douglasville, GA

(post #97793, reply #1 of 9)

 



 


Edited 3/25/2005 2:05 pm ET by the razzman

 

(post #97793, reply #2 of 9)

You definitely don't need gutters along the gable at the front of the house.  If it were me I'd be inclined to keep the gutters above the porch and the garage doors, because otherwise you'd be soaked walking up the steps or into the garage.


There is an advantage in the gutter crossing in front of the gable, in that if one of the downspouts clogs water will be transferred to the other.  But, I think the improved appearance of leaving that section off would prevail.


Hardie Fascia is a cementitious material that will never rot.  It would be a good fascia material for you.  Pine is about the worst thing you could use, because it is one of the most decay prone woods, according to charts published by the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory.  I've heard Azek was good, but have never seen it with my own eyes.

(post #97793, reply #3 of 9)

Nice house, but use eave trough, stopping the damage to the lawn and the splashing back onto the siding is well worth it. It looks like a corner might have leaked causing the damage to soffit and facia.

(post #97793, reply #4 of 9)

tom... i hate gutters... i always design with out them... large overhangs... splash areas along the foundation at the eaves..


 good grading..


 apparently your architect was thinking along this line also... did you have a  conversation with him  .. could you still have a  conversation with him ?


Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

              www.mfsmithbuilder.com

(post #97793, reply #5 of 9)

I could easily get in touch with him but I don't know what it would do for me. He was only involved in the design proces, no project supervision. This is really the only change we made from his design and I am constantly wondering if it was a mistake. The house has overhangs that are about a foot wide. I beleive that the site grading on the front of the house is favorable for removing the gutters with no ill effect. I will probably add some flashing on the roof on either side of the middle dormer to direct water away from the stairs (not sure what that detail is called but I have seen it done frequently in the northeast with dripedge installe upside down).


Someone mentioned eave trough. I'm not familiar with that term. Please expand on that idea. 


The rot issues appear to be caused by a poor joint at the bottom of the rake board. I probably would have caught on a lot sooner to that issue had it not been hidden by the gutter. The gutters on the back of the house aren't nearly as much of a problem as the fron and the grade is fairly level for the first few feet from the house in back so I will likely leave them for now. I guess I just need to give it a shot on the front and see what happens.  


Tom


Douglasville, GA

Tom

Douglasville, GA

(post #97793, reply #6 of 9)

"Eaves trough" is Canadian for "gutter".  The term is more common in the U.S. the closer to the border you get.


In areas with heavy snows gutters are often omitted.  Splashing onto siding can be a problem, but appropriate landscaping can prevent it.  It won't be a problem where you have shrubs and mulch.


I wouldn't just go with drip edge upside down because water could back up in a heavy rain.  But, the right shape diverter would be fine.

(post #97793, reply #7 of 9)

I'm like Mike. After twenty years of roofing, in several parts of the country, I have seen far more damage caused by gutters than what they are supposed to prevent. Tjhey are a convenience item only, and to cover up bad design. You actually have good design there. That center dormer diverts the majority of flow from the steps to the sdies. An added diverter could help too. Shrubbery like that helps break up water fall at the drip line

It looks like you have no eave metal under the shingles on the rakes. That is probably a cause of the leak at the corner soffit, IMO.

 

 


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(post #97793, reply #8 of 9)

I missd a couple of the photos first time around. That drip line over the garage doors is a good location for the gutter, but that's the only spot I see from here.

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #97793, reply #9 of 9)

At least one designer eliminated gutters and went with a thin, about a foot or so, flower bed directly against the building and a 4'or 5' walkway of packed gravel.

Of course this was mostly done to combat wildfire. Gutters can trap burning embers against the vulnerable roof deck edge. Also the gutter adds a good 6' of horizontal area to the overhangs and this can catch hot gasses and flames.

The gravel barrier provides nothing to burn and absorbs water helping to evenly water the lawn and prevents flames approaching the house. The gravel also seems to limit splash and mud splatter overhangs with no gutters.

I'm not sure about the drainage issues but it does show that there are sometimes advantages to a no gutter design.