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EXTERIORS of buildings
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
ALGAE, FUNGUS, LICHENS, MOSS
ANIMAL ENTRY POINTS in BUILDINGS
ANIMAL or URINE ODOR SOURCE DETECTION
ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
ATTIC CONDENSATION CAUSE & CURE
BEST CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES GUIDE
BRICK VENEER WALL LOOSE, BULGED
BRICK WALL DRAINAGE WEEP HOLES
BOOKSTORE - EXTERIORS
CAULK GUN TYPES, CHOICES
CAULKS & SEALANTS, EXTERIOR
CONNECTORS, FASTENERS, TIES
DRYWELLS, FRENCH DRAINS for FLAT SITES
EIFS & STUCCO EXTERIORS
EXTERIOR WALL SIDING TRIM & FINISHES
FLASHING MEMBRANES PEEL & STICK
FLASHING for METAL ROOFS
FLASHING ROOF WALL DETAILS
FLASHING ROOF-WALL SNAFU
FLASHING SIDING DETAILS
FLASHING WALL DETAILS
FLASHING WINDOW DETAILS
FLASHING WOOD ROOF DETAILS
FLOOD DAMAGE ASSESSMENT, SAFETY & CLEANUP
FOOTING & FOUNDATION DRAINS
FOUNDATION CRACKS & DAMAGE GUIDE
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GRADING, DRAINAGE & SITE WORK
GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS
HEAT TAPES & CABLES for ROOF ICE DAMS
HOUSE PARTS, DEFINITIONS
HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
ROOF ICE DAM LEAKS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOISTURE PROBLEMS: CAUSE & CURE
MOLD DETECTION & INSPECTION GUIDE
ODORS GASES SMELLS, DIAGNOSIS & CURE
PAINT & STAIN GUIDE, EXTERIOR
PAINT FALURE, DIAGNOSIS, CURE, PREVENTION
PAINT FAILURE DICTIONARY
PAINT SURFACE PREPARATION
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
RETAINING WALL DESIGNS, TYPES, DAMAGE
RETAINING WALL GUARD RAILINGS
ROOF ARCHITECTURAL STYLES - PHOTO GUIDE
ROOF CLEANING RECOMMENDATIONS
ROOF COLOR RECOMMENDATIONS
ROOF DORMER TYPES - PHOTO GUIDE
ROT RESISTANT LUMBER
SIDING TYPES, INSTALLATION, DEFECTS
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
STAINS on CONCRETE
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STUCCO WAll FAILURES DUE TO WEATHER
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
STUCCO PAINT FAILURES
SURFACE GRADING, SITE DRAINAGE
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
TREES & SHRUBS, TRIM OFF BUILDING
TRIM, EXTERIOR CHOICES, INSTALLATION
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in BUILDINGS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article describes gutter problems caused by snow and ice and we suggest some remedies where snow or ice tend to freeze in gutters or push gutters off of the building. This article series discusses how to choose, install, diagnose & maintain roof gutters & downspouts, & roof drainage systems to prevent building leaks and water entry.
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The holes in the aluminum gutter shown below (left) were caused by someone chopping ice at the roof eaves - a nice clue that the building has a problem with ice dams.<
Especially in climates of extensive snow fall and freezing weather, snow and ice sliding down roofs can make it very difficult to keep gutters on a building. In the New England states of the U.S. we often see that homeowners have simply given up any hope of keeping their gutters in place. Instead these homes employ metal flashing (against ice dam leaks) at the building eaves.
But unless these same homeowners are meticulous about surface grading around these buildings, basement or crawl space water entry is likely to be a problem, especially in wet, non-freezing weather or when it rains before the ground has frozen.
Watch out: on buildings with no roof drainage system to conduct water away from the building in areas of heavy ice and snow, snow (fallen off of the roof or shoveled from nearby walks) can form a "snow dam" parallel to the building foundation. During warming weather melting snow or ice on the building roof may drain behind the snow dam to collect right at the building foundation, inviting basement or crawl space flooding.
Other measures to keep water out of such basements are illustrated below (just ignore the downspout in this sketch).
buildings built to typical construction standards and practices are not "boats" - that is, the foundation is not water tight. Instead we rely on keeping water away from the foundation walls.
But for problem sites, wet soil sites, etc., it may be necessary to take extra steps to try to make the building foundation more waterproof or "boat-like".
The illustration demonstrates an extra building waterproofing step taken in areas of wet soils: a geotextile or foundation drainage mat is placed against the building foundation wall and carried down to the gravel-covered footing drain system.
Watch out: this system will not work unless the footing drain system itself is intact and draining properly.
Watch out: it is still necessary to extend the roof drainage system downspouts well away from the soil backfill and onto ground that drains away from the structure (as shown) lest we overload and clog the foundation waterproofing system.
Sketch courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.
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