What we call internal gutter systems are also known as Yankee Gutters, built-in, or integral gutters. What ever you call them they can become an expense problem without careful monitoring and maintenance. These drainage systems have been used on houses from the 1700’s through the early 1900’s though they are most commonly found on buildings from the Victorian period. Want to know more about them?
Typically they are incorporated into the cornice along the roof line, on a porch, or bay window. The usual construction is a wood trough lined with metal. Because of the cornice covering the system they are not easily visible creating unseen problems.
Signs your system is not functioning properly include: peeling paint, moist wood, and damage to masonry. On bay windows leaking into the house can also occur. Unfortunately once these symptoms are presented there is often damage to the structural framing, walls, or ceiling not to mention the decorative mouldings of the cornice making repair (restoration – replacement to match original) an expensive proposition.
One way to minimize the cost is to make sure the gutter is regularly inspected and the the solder joints in the metal are properly maintained. Never use roofing tar to seal the joints, this will trap the water into the wood causing the same problems you are trying to correct. Visit the Roof Repair Homepage to choose the type of roofing which you prefer for your home and with offering good customer service, you can consult them anytime to sort out your roofing issues.
Some people roof over their internal gutter system and use external gutters for their water management – this is an option for saving money but it does change the original appearance of the building by covering the decorative cornice. This solution also does not address the damage to the structural systems. Often times someone will wrap the problem in vinyl or aluminum using the “I can’t see it, it’s not a problem” approach to maintenance (as seen by the picture above). This actually creates larger problems and sometimes results in losing the entire front porch.