Advice on Pole gutter Gutter / roof leaking

4 Replies

I am in the middle of a BRRR on a 1900 era house in PA. It is a two unit , with the upper floor being a separate apartment that is part of the renovation. I am trying to run down / fix a leak that is happening on my second floor bedrooms. There is no plumbing near the leak so believe it is coming from the rail / gutter system in between the 2nd and 3rd floor floor. had several roofers and gutter guys come look at it and all offered different opinions. I have had one work on some of the gutter system but it doesn't appear to be helping.

thinking of DIY with some Leak Stopper  Rubber flex tape .  Anyone used this ?   Appears the problem in around the area where the gutter is curved going around the concave turret looking windows 

interior leak  2nd flloor ceiling

outside view of 2nf/ 3rd floor gutter system 

some previous treatment 

some treatment

close up 

another view

right now looking for any ideas.  contractors around here are little bik flaky about scheduling   and rates are $100 plus so doent want to make another mistake in hiring the wrong treatment 

Challenging location, you have a lot going on in that spot. Are you convinced it's the gutter? could it be the roof valley? one of the windows? or the wall to roof transition? I've found it useful to determine when the leak is active- does it leak after every rain, only driving rain or heavy rain. only active during certain times of the year.  Can you open up the ceiling some more? water can travel great distances inside a building before it drips to make a stain, might help in determining where its coming from.  I can see how you got different opinions on the problem there is really nothing that jumps out at you.  I would spend some time on investigation. 

Also, you have a challenging location in terms of access.  Along with previous experience as a roofer I now work in construction safety.  Please consider your safety before doing any repairs on the roof in that location.   Definitely, don't walk out on the gutter system without some form of fall protection.


@Kenneth Hynes I have lots of experience with this! It looks like the gutters are built ins, or yankee gutters. Finding someone knowledgeable and good is going to be extremely difficult, and you're going to be looking at a higher rate than the $100/hour you already don't like. They probably also will not want to repair it. But you should get quotes anyway. You're going to be looking for a roofing/sheet metal contractor.

If you're going to do the repair yourself, DO NOT use epdm. It is not reversible and will ruin those gutters. There are a couple of other solutions that should work for you and last:

Gaco silicone roof coatings
ER systems (It's liquid EPDM but can be recoated, which is why I don't recommend regular EPDM)

There are others that I can't remember currently. Start researching. Make sure you also apply the correct number of coats, and apply coats thinly. Try to get those shingles out, they're going to cause another failure regardless of what you use. Make sure you prep well!

This is similar to what you're looking at underneath:

You might consider making a decent-sized hole in the ceiling and seeing what you can see from inside. The problem is that water can easily travel along joists and ceilings, so where you see the stain might not be where the leak is.

By opening it up enough to actually see what’s wet/stained up there, you may be able to figure out if it’s the gutter or something else.

Plus, you’ll have to fix the ceiling anyway!

@Mike McCarthy That's possible but more than likely it's traveling from pretty far away based on the pictures. Like you said, that's what makes roof leaks fun.

The joist/framing that water is running down probably dropped some over time. So instead of angling out, or level, it's leading the water inside. With those types of gutter systems the ceiling joists are run outside with a board/gutter belly on top, fascia/rim board attached at the joists, and soffit attached the bottom of the joists. I'd say leak on the gutter, gutter belly rotten, leaking to the joist and running inside.

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