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Tim Dittmar
Intermediate Member
Username: Tim_dittmar

Post Number: 31
Registered: 05-2008
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - 07:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Roland- the seams are opening up because of thermal expansion and contraction- new work(esp. copper) will be subject to the same stresses- you can budget-stabilize the situation by going after the worst areas first/now if the big picture is too much to swallow- the pop rivets I mentioned are to assist in limiting the thermal stress on the failed/failing seams and w/o fastening to the wood deck underneath(that would change the way the metal swells and shrinks)- that shelf is made-to-order for considering DIY
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Kurtis Hord
Senior Member
Username: Kwhord

Post Number: 95
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2008 - 09:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I don't think the metal shelfs we are seeing is work from the recent past for several reasons:
1. There are no obvious signs of the lower slates being removed to install new metal.
2. The seams are very close together which suggest they were using terneplate that was formed into "rolls" in the shop. This method of construction changed when roof tinners started using continous pre-formed rolls or larger dimensional sheets. When you see box gutters that are formed like this they are usually original in contrast to box gutters formed of 10' pans which are usually later work.
3. The hanging wood gutter appears to be an integral part of the cornice and having both an expensive wood gutter and a box gutter would be redundant.

You're actually in better shape without a box gutter because it's difficult to find someone locally who does them well. With some research on this site and maybe a trip to an IPTN conference you could pick up the skills to do this yourself. The last thing you want to do is replace the old metal with an inferior material. If you can't afford copper or stainless, then stay the course and keep the old metal stabilized as long as possible. There are several good systems out there that are designed to repair metal like this. Most consist of a self-adhesive mesh tape and an epoxy to coat it. With the system I use you can even tint the epoxy to have the same look as red tinner's paint. This is the best course of action until you can afford the proper work on this detail. The tar will actually speed up corosion on some metals so I would avoid using that in the future.
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Roland Graham
New member
Username: Rollythegoalie

Post Number: 4
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2008 - 08:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Ward, Thanks for your reply. You've now got me interested in prying up some of the metal roofing on the "shelf" to see if there's any evidence of a built in gutter like you suggested.
Hi Tim, The "issues" that my roof has are as follows: 1) the south & eastern portions of the "shelf" are deteriorating and the metal seams on the "shelf" are opening up 2) water is leaking down through the cornice 3) water is leaking behind the gutter/fascia interface (which as you can see in the pictures, is not very water tight). It's amazing how the northern & western portions of the "shelf" are in good shape. That same statement applies to clapboard siding on the house as well. I guess the sun really does do a lot of damage. Anyway, thanks for all of your responses. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I should do (with a limited budget). I'd love to put copper on the whole shelf area, but I can't really afford it right now (3 kids, etc., you know the story). I actually just asked a roofer how much the whole thing in coppoer would cost less any slate work (which I could hopefully do on my own to save some money) I haven't heard back from him yet though. Note: The "buttered up" joints were done by a roofer as an initial cost-effective (inexpensive on my part) method to stop the water from leaking through the "shelf". Here's the eastern "shelf": Here's the southern "shelf" (which actually looks pretty good from here): Here's the western "shelf": Here's the northern "shelf":
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Tim Dittmar
Member
Username: Tim_dittmar

Post Number: 29
Registered: 05-2008
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2008 - 11:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Roland- could you elaborate on the "issues" that you mentioned? I see the opportunity here for pres/rest to be considered instead of massive disruption/loss of orig. slate/etc.- alot of the tar you see could be a "general" treatment rather than work done for identified/specific problems(rather frequently the case, I fear)- those "buttered" joints can be done much better- remove tar, immobilize joint w/ compatible pop rivets in the French seam? and apply a minimal amount of highly adhesive/elastic'paintable caulk/sealant to seal the crack- I'm not sold that we're looking at non-original work- someone would have(likely) had to engage the same/similar project you're contemplating- do you see any evidence of this/that? Whatever, don't get in too much of a hurry- my general preference would be the pres/rest route even if I had to graft metal patches onto specific rusted spots(using pop rivets, etc- work on the identified problems first, be prepared to do more next year, and remember: your slate roof will never be perfect, it'll only be getting better or getting worse(yours prob. looks worse than it is)
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Kurtis Hord
Senior Member
Username: Kwhord

Post Number: 93
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2008 - 11:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, the second picture you posted is much clearer. Ward has the winning answer as usual! Although I wouldn't use EPDM lining over the metal. If the metalwork is done well, you shouldn't need anything else. You could always paint it for extra protection if you wanted but then you've created a maintenance cycle with the painting every couple of seasons. If the wood gutters are original to the house and make up part of the cyma on the cornice I would keep the shelf and clad the whole assembly (shelf and gutter trough) with copper or stainless.
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Ward Hamilton
Senior Member
Username: Olde_mohawk_masonry__historic_restoration

Post Number: 53
Registered: 04-2007
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2008 - 08:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Roland, My "guess" is that your original built in gutters (or, what's left of them) was covered over many years ago by what now appears to be a flat shelf. The wooden gutters probably were fastened to the fascia after the cornice (part of the original gutter) was removed. The overhang is so close to level - now - that I find it practically impossible to believe an Essex County carpenter over 100 years ago ever devised such a plan!

I think your plan for slate removal is good. The Monson (ME) slate are hardy and look great still. I would consider a conglomeration of ideas posted on this thread:

Once slate is removed, dispose of this 'shelf' lid. You've got the framework for a nice, wide built in gutter. Once you have a sound decking, Grace it and 32" min up the roof decking. Cover with copper or stainles, same dimension. Re-slate. NOW cover what's exposed (metal) with 0.060" EPDM. Every 25 years or so ONLY the rubber will need replacement (or an overlay.)

Your metal lining will remain intact *forever* ...

... or at least as long as Monson slate last!
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Walter Musson
Senior Member
Username: Walter_musson

Post Number: 103
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2008 - 02:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'd make the copper gutter liner and shelf in an integral piece so that it functioned well in rain as well as snow and ice if you have it there.
Combination of ripper , flat bars and small pry bars will enable you to get the slates removed to complete the work.
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Roland Graham
New member
Username: Rollythegoalie

Post Number: 2
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2008 - 02:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi, Thanks for the replies. The "shelf" area is not slate with tar on it. (I would probably get banned for life for posting a picture like that on this message board!) It's metal and as you can see it has some issues. And yes, those are wood gutters which I'm planning to have lined with copper. The following picture shows the metal "shelf" from a different part of the roof. As far as removing the bottom slates goes, I'm guessing that I would use the slate ripper to pull out say the 3rd course of slates. And then I could maybe pull the nails up on the bottom 2 courses of slates by sliding the slate ripper behind the tops of the lower courses of slate and then banging up on the slate ripper. What do you think?
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Slate Affair Inc.
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 269
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Sunday, September 28, 2008 - 06:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That not tar on slate is it Roland on the flat pitch. It metal rigth?
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Kurtis Hord
Senior Member
Username: Kwhord

Post Number: 92
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, September 27, 2008 - 02:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Roland, in my opinion the "flat" area with the tarred slates should have a different material on it. I would salvage those slates and install copper or stainless steel. I would not install rubber because the lifespan of the rubber is shorter than the lifespan of the slate that must overlap it. To get the bottom courses of the vertical slate off, you'll need to go up a few courses and work your way down from there.
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Slate Affair Inc.
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 268
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, September 27, 2008 - 01:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is that a wood gutter.
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Roland Graham
New member
Username: Rollythegoalie

Post Number: 1
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Saturday, September 27, 2008 - 12:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello, I need to have the shelf area (the horizontal metal roof between the bottom of the Mansard roof and the gutter, about 1-1/2' wide) repaired. I would like to know what your thoughts are on installing rubber roofing over this shelf area versus installing a new copper roof? Also, I recently purchased some slating tools and was wondering if there is a special shortened slate ripper which can be used to remove the lower courses of slate at the bottom of the slate sided Mansard roof? (Because the shelf area exists at the bottom of the Mansard roof, there is no clearance available to use the standard slate ripper.) I'm not a roofer and would appreciate any suggestions. Thanks, Picture of "Shelf" Area

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