LESLIE: Next up, we’re going to Virginia with Diane to talk gutters.
Diane, how can we help?
DIANE: Hi, I have an annoying problem. Our house is about 50 years old and the front door of the house is built into a circular section that is about 15 feet around. And we haven’t found anyone that will put a gutter up in this circular section. We had the gutters replaced on the entire house two years ago but we had to leave that section of the house without a gutter, so any time it rains and we go out the front door, it just rains on us and drips down on us. And we were wondering if there’s anything we can do for that section of the house, to keep the rain off of us besides a gutter system.
LESLIE: Well, also to help protect the life of your roof as well.
DIANE: Now that section of the roof does not have regular roof shingles. It’s a tie shape on top of the house and it just has like a flat tar roof just on that section.
TOM: I’d be willing to bet you, Diane, that this is an older house, right?
DIANE: Yes, it’s 50 years old.
TOM: Yeah. It probably, perhaps at one time, had a built-in gutter that was covering that circular roof. And that’s basically a trough that would have been constructed into the edge of the roof and it would have been round and it would have taken the water to one side or the other of that curve and then deposit it into a normal downspout.
Now since you don’t have that, I have two suggestions for you. A standard gutter is designed to go on straight. It’s specifically designed not to bend. It could be bent if there’s a lot of cuts put in it, but then of course that means you have a lot of mastic that needs to be applied to try to keep it watertight; or sometimes it has to be lined with fiberglass.
If you’re just trying to keep the water off your head as you walk down the steps off of this porch, what I might suggest is that you install a diverter. What a diverter is is a piece of metal – usually it’s like an angled piece of aluminum – that goes on kind of like a V right above that roof, so as the water comes down it hits that metal and sort of parts and would fall to the right and to the left of the stairs.
DIANE: How do you put that diverter on to the roof? How do you attach it?
TOM: What I would do is this. I would get some aluminum flashing bent up into that L shape. You can paint it the same color of the roof if you don’t want to notice it so much. And then what I would do is I would screw through that into the roofing material so you have a good seal. And before you do that, though, you want to add a bead of very heavy roof tar or roof caulk underneath that piece of metal so it seals down nice and flat.
DIANE: Thank you very much.
TOM: You’re very welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.