Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
EXTERIORS of buildings
ADHESIVES, EXTERIOR CONSTRUCTION
AGE of a BUILDING - how to determine
ALGAE, FUNGUS, LICHENS, MOSS
ANIMAL ENTRY POINTS in buildings
ANIMAL ODORS IN buildings
ARCHITECTURE & BUILDING COMPONENT ID
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN buildings
ATTIC CONDENSATION CAUSE & CURE
BARK SIDE UP on DECKS & STEPS
BEST CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES GUIDE
BRICK VENEER WALL Loose, Bulged
BRICK WALL DRAINAGE WEEP HOLES
BOOKSTORE - EXTERIORS
CAULK GUN TYPES, CHOICES
CAULKS & SEALANTS, EXTERIOR
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
COLUMNS & POSTS, DEFECTS
CONNECTORS, FASTENERS, TIES
DECK & PORCH CONSTRUCTION
DECK CONSTRUCTION BEST PRACTICES
DECK COLLAPSE Case Study
DECK FINISHES COATINGS PRESERVATIVES
DECK FLASHING LEAKS, ROT Case Study
DEFINITIONS of ENGINEERED WOOD OSB LVL etc
DRYWELLS, FRENCH DRAINS for FLAT SITES
EARTHQUAKE DAMAGED FOUNDATIONS
EIFS & STUCCO EXTERIORS
EXTERIOR WALL SIDING TRIM & FINISHES
EXTRACTIVE BLEEDING STAINS
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
GLUES ADHESIVES, EXTERIOR CONSTRUCTION
GRADING, DRAINAGE & SITE WORK
GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS
HEAT TAPES & CABLES on Roofs for Ice Dams
HOUSE PARTS, DEFINITIONS
HOUSEWRAP / SHEATHING WRAP
HOUSEWRAP INSTALLATION DETAILS
HOUSEWRAP PRODUCT CHOICES
HOUSEWRAP at SILLS, SOLES, TOP PLATES
HUMIDITY LEVEL TARGET
ICE DAM PREVENTION
INDOOR AIR QUALITY & HOUSE TIGHTNESS
INSECT INFESTATION / DAMAGE
KIT HOMES, Aladdin, Sears, Wards, Others
LEAD POISONING HAZARDS GUIDE
LEAD TEST KIT for HOME USE
LEED GREEN BUILDING CERTIFICATION
LOG HOME GUIDE
METAL LATH, PLASTER & STUCCO
MOISTURE CONTROL in BUILDINGS
MOISTURE PROBLEMS: CAUSE & CURE
MOLD DETECTION & INSPECTION GUIDE
MVOCs & MOLDY MUSTY ODORS
ODORS & SMELLS DIAGNOSIS & CURE
PAINT & STAIN GUIDE, EXTERIOR
PAINT FALURE, DIAGNOSIS, CURE, PREVENTION
PAINT FAILURE DICTIONARY
PAINT SURFACE PREPARATION
PORCHES & Sunrooms
PORCH CONSTRUCTION & SCREENING
RAILINGS, DECK & PORCH
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
ROOFING DIAGNOSIS INSPECTION & REPAIR
ROT RESISTANT LUMBER
ROT, TIMBER FRAME
ROT, TIMBER ASSESSMENT
SEARS KIT HOUSES
SHEATHING, Gypsum board
Sheathing Celotex Homasote & Other
SHEATHING, FOIL FACED - VENTS
SIDING TYPES, INSTALLATION, DEFECTS
SIDING, ASBESTOS FIBER CEMENT
SIDING ASPHALT ROOF SHINGLES on WALLS
SIDING ASPHALT SHINGLE or SHEET
SIDING DAMAGE by SPLASHBACK
SIDING EIFS & STUCCO
SIDING, FIBER CEMENT
SIDING, WOOD PRODUCT CHOICES
SIDING, WOOD INSTALLATION
SIDING WOOD, FAILURES OVER FOAM BOARD
SIDING WOOD, FLASHING DETAILS
SIDING WOOD SHINGLE INSTALLATION
SINKHOLES, WARNING SIGNS
SOUND CONTROL in buildings
STAIN & BIODETERIORATION AGENT CATALOG
STAINS on & in BUILDINGS, CAUSES & CURES
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING EXTERIORS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
STAINS & Thermal Tracking
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on ROOFS
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on STONE
STAIRS, RAILINGS, LANDINGS, RAMPS
STONE CLEANING METHODS
STONE VENEER WALLS
STRAW BALE CONSTRUCTION
STUCCO WAll FAILURES DUE TO WEATHER
STUCCO WALL METHODS & INSTALLATION
STUCCO OVER FOAM INSULATION
STUCCO PAINT FAILURES
SURFACE GRADING, SITE DRAINAGE
TEST KITS for DUST, MOLD, PARTICLE TESTS
Thermal Expansion Cracking of Brick
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
TREES & SHRUBS, TRIM OFF BUILDING
TRIM, EXTERIOR CHOICES, INSTALLATION
VAPOR BARRIERS & CONDENSATION in BUILDINGS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
VINYL CHLORIDE HEALTH INFO
VINYL Siding or PLASTIC Window ODORS
Volatile Organic Compounds VOCs
WALL CONSTRUCTION BARRIER vs CAVITY
WATER BARRIERS, EXTERIOR BUILDING
WATER ENTRY in buildings
WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS
WIND TURBINES & LIGHTNING
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
Yankee gutters - wooden board roof gutter systems: here we define & discuss "Yankee Gutters" or board-on-roof gutter systems, including how these gutters are built, re-lined, or re-constructed. We also discuss how both Yankee gutters and integral or eaves-trough gutters are abandoned on buildings. Here we also comment on NO-GUTTER SYSTEMS - eaves attachments that claim to make gutters unnecessary. This article series discusses how to choose, install, diagnose & maintain roof gutters & downspouts, & roof drainage systems to prevent building leaks and water entry.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2013 InspectAPedia.com, All Rights Reserved. Author Daniel Friedman.
Yankee Gutters are a second on-roof site-built gutter system that we illustrate below. A board is set on edge on the roof slope to form a gutter. the downspout connection must pass through the roof deck and eaves.
Our Yankee gutter photos below show a traditional board and bracket design (below left) and a yankee gutter rebuild (right). In our right hand photo we combine photos of a yankee gutter installation in process by the author (DF) on a home in Poughkeepsie, NY. We combined two photos to show some of the steps taken to protect the roof eaves from leakage. In this yankee gutter rebuild we used treated 5/4 lumber for our gutter board and for the supporting gutter brackets (not shown).
We removed the old yankee gutter completely (it was rotted). Roofing felt (not shown) was installed extending up under the roof shingles above the gutter, as was solid copper flashing (shown in our photo at right) as well as copper drip edge. Set in a bed of caulk, the yankee gutter board was set onto and screwed through the copper into the roof deck.
Each penetration through the copper eaves flashing was sealed by applying a blob of 50 year caulk on the under-side of the board or bracket where the screw would penetrate. But that step was just extra "insurance". The main protection against yankee gutter leaks into the roof structure, building eaves, or walls was and remains the quality and detailing of installation of the gutter liner itself.
You can see that we had lined the new yankee gutter with copper that was bent over the top edge of the gutter board. When that installation was complete we installed and sealed our gutter brackets at 16" o.c. (older roofs used 24" o.c.) for a gutter that was strong enough that if a roofer walked in it we had no worry that everyone would fall to earth.
A cheaper retrofit that can be used when the gutter boards and roof are not rotted, is a gutter re-lining using glued EPDM roofing or torch-down modified bitumen roofing. The advantage of the modified bitumen gutter liner for roofs where the gutters are visible is that it can be painted with silver roof paint to look just like the original installation.
As we warned at Repair Methods for Eaves Trough or Integral Roof Gutters,
Watch out: for both eaves trough gutters or yankee gutters, the most common and damaging leak point usually occurs at the penetration through the roof structure or building eaves to fit a downspout. Because this was such a common and problematic leak point, and because repair of badly-damaged (rotted) eaves trough and yankee gutters is labor intensive, some building owners decide to abandon the original roof gutter design.
For abandoning an eaves trough gutter the abandonment consists in "roofing over" the old trough, typically using solid metal or a membrane roof material. Our photos (below) show that an original eaves-trough gutter was "roofed over" using corrugated metal barn roofing. Unfortunately the building now has no gutter system at all, and a soaking wet basement.
Watch out: because some eaves trough gutters project horizontally in front of the original roof eaves, if you simply "roof over" the horizontal structure of the eaves trough you'll be creating a "flat roof" slope at the lower end of the main roof. Such a design in areas of snow fall are prone to snow and ice dam backups and leaks through the roof itself.
For abandoning a yankee gutter the abandonment is simpler than for an eaves trough: the original board and brackets are removed from the roof and the contractor either extends the existing type of roof coverage down to the roof edge or eaves, or s/he installs solid metal flashing all along the roof eaves.
In both cases a modern gutter is then secured to the edge of the building roof, disregarding any architectural or aesthetic issues that may have been created.
What about products sold as a "substitute for gutters" such as rain dispersant louvers that are installed at roof edges?
Our OPINION is that roof edge drainage louvers or "gutterless" systems are useful if your building is in an area where there is rarely any rainfall, or if you have installed an extensive sub-soil water interception system around a building to perfectly protect the foundation from leaks and water entry (such as buried horizontal geotextiles and gravel that collect all surface water and conduct it away from the building).
Watch out: otherwise, your roof runoff will still spill close to the building where that concentration of water invites basement or crawl space water entry and related damage.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Questions & answers or comments about building or repairing yankee roof gutters.
Ask a Question or Enter Search Terms in the InspectApedia search box just below.
Technical Reviewers & References
Related Topics, found near the top of this page suggest articles closely related to this one.