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Braymer (Braymer)
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Username: Braymer

Post Number: 113
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Monday, June 08, 2009 - 03:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tinner, I found your tips very usefull. I am still trying to improve on my metal work and your photos and tricks are helpfull - thanks.
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Tinner666 (Tinner666)
Intermediate Member
Username: Tinner666

Post Number: 39
Registered: 02-2009
Posted on Monday, June 08, 2009 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here's a link to soldering/sweating Hope this helps And make your pans 24"-28" long.
http://www.albertsroofing.com/Solder%20Details.htm
There may be more info you can use on the rest of the site.
http://www.albertsroofing.com/


Slate Roof Repairs, Richmond, Va.

(Message edited by tinner666 on June 08, 2009)
<A HREF="http://www.albertsroofing.com" TARGET="_blank">Slate Roof Repairs, Richmond, Va.</A>
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Old_school (Old_school)
Senior Member
Username: Old_school

Post Number: 148
Registered: 01-2009
Posted on Monday, June 01, 2009 - 08:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wow! After I read this, I concluded that you must have conjones the size of watermelons to start a project like that. You sound like you learn fast and at least know enough to ask questions. What everyone else said and good luck.
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Kwhord (Kwhord)
Senior Member
Username: Kwhord

Post Number: 230
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, June 01, 2009 - 03:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It sounds like you have a great asset in your Wife's cousin. Good luck with the project!
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Victorian_greg (Victorian_greg)
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Username: Victorian_greg

Post Number: 3
Registered: 05-2009
Posted on Monday, June 01, 2009 - 01:18 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for all the advice. I have enlisted the help of my wife's cousin--he is an experienced roofer and has restored and replaced many slate roofs--especially in Gas Light Clifton, a historical neighborhood here in Cincy. He loaned me his "Durable" slate ripper, which has advantages over our home made one too numerous to count!

I have proceeded to install the liner, just because I need to have SOMETHING in there for the time being. It's functional--to a degree. After getting the section of tin liner out, we rebuilt the bottom portion of the box gutter using a plank of #2 pine 1x12x12. Not sure if this is the right wood--but again, I just getting something in there for the time being. It is obvious that the entire box gutter needs to be rebuilt.

While we were installing the gutter liner, it became apparent that the last two sections had warped drastically and veered off--apparently when I was welding them together.

I plan on getting Jenkins' book and re-doing the gutter before winter. Like I said, this was a problem gutter from jump and I am glad that I picked this one to experiment on, as it is only 20' in length ( as opposed to a 60' stretch that runs down the length of the house).


The house has more elements that need restoration--flat lock roof on a balcony which has a box gutter on it; tin roof which is "pleated" ( I dont know the proper term--the little seams that are folded over and stick up vertically). I have started experimenting with some heavy card stock and glue on how to form the pans for the flat lock roof--a lot cheaper and less risky if I get it wrong!!

In any case, like I said, I did consult with a qualified slater about putting the slates back in, and everything he told me was spot on with this site. He did tell me not to use the slate hooks I bought--luckily I had also bought enough bib flashing to use the nail & bib technique.

Just want to thank everyone here for your input and will post pictures of the completed Franken-gutter once it's all the way in. Feel free to post it on the "dont try this at home" section.

Also, the slate I talked about en my last post (the freebies from a co-worker) were identified by my wife's cousin as Buckingham. How do you tell if they are worth using, or if they are are past their lifespan? The surfaces are all smooth (unlike some of the ones we took off, on which the surfaces were flaking). He knocked on the center of them, listening to the pitch apparently, and said that they were still good. Apparently if they "ring" instead of "thud" they are still good? The reason I ask is because--I found out later--they had been in this woman's backyard in several stacks since 1986. Obviously, I dont want to be installing bad slate.

Thanks a bunch!
Greg
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Kwhord (Kwhord)
Senior Member
Username: Kwhord

Post Number: 229
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Saturday, May 30, 2009 - 09:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greg, your inventiveness and dedication to this project is something to admire, but the work unfortunately is not up to par. I know you already have a lot of time invested but the best route for you would be to have this done professionally or seek the help of someone in the trade if you can find them.

After seeing the pan you formed I have no doubt you could probably install a pan formed out of a proper material. Take your numbers at 10' intervals and go to a sheet metal shop. Have them fabricate copper pans. You can probably do the soldering yourself it looks like. But you'll have to be very careful soldering in place with an open flame torch. Straight seams get a single lock, and fully sweat. Miters are lapped, riveted, and sweat. The front edge should be crimped over a drip-edge style locking strip. the rear should have a hem and z clips are used to fasten the rear without actually penetrating the copper with any nails. this allows it to move. There are lots of other things to cover but it's had to do through this medium. It is very difficult for a DIYer to complete a workmanlike job on something like this. Too many opportunities for an error that will doom the whole assembly.

You really should get the slate bible or do some other reading first, It would answer a lot of your questions.
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Walter_musson (Walter_musson)
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Username: Walter_musson

Post Number: 156
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Saturday, May 30, 2009 - 05:55 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greg ,
Not to be too critical , but you need some help who have had experience with these issues .
You have had some issues take place on that home that require people who have done these tasks .
Inexperienced folks have botched the repairs to that home for a long time and to restore it properly will be very challenging .
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Victorian_greg (Victorian_greg)
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Username: Victorian_greg

Post Number: 2
Registered: 05-2009
Posted on Saturday, May 30, 2009 - 01:05 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well,
I should've been more clear. I have already fabricated the Aluminum gutter. It's ready to go in. Yes it was like working with wet cardboard when it heats up. Consequently, my pitch is now approximate at best, but at least still slopes in the right direction. It's also pretty lumpy around the seams.



I just got done with starting to take out some slates. You are correct--a proper slate ripper would have been a godsend! After only a few slates the area we were hammering on was starting to bend out of shape.

<img>

<img>

the $6 slate ripper

A few things that I noticed while up there that I hoped to get some opinions on:
1. My starter courses:
a.The starter slates we are pulling out are nailed at the top along the long end--like an umlat--at the top. Is this correct? In one video, I thought I saw the nails going in on the far left or the far right--on top of one another (oriented vertically along one edge).
b. There is no firring strip along the bottom of the starter courses (as described on this site) to push the starters up at an angle. It doesnt look like there ever was one. There is no real evidence (like a soot outline or sillouhette) that anything was there. Should I add this since I am not completely replacing all of the slates?
b. Some of the slates used in the starter row look as though they have been re-used (like I described: as if someone had taken them out, and then flipped them 180 degrees and re-nailed them. Thus, I have slates in my starter course that have 4 holes, two for the current nails holding them. Are these slates spent due to this (at least for being used in this starter course--I am sure I could trim them for use along odd angles)?

2. Here is the actual gutter

<img>

close up of a seam:
<img>

Bear in mind this was done with what I had on hand. I know it isn't pretty. In fact it's pretty damned warped. The seams are triple folded and I used a product called AlumiWeld--a general purpose brazing rod that melts at 730 degrees. With only a benzomatic, I had to make due.
In lieu of a real brake, I used a walkboard, clamped to a picnic table and a 4" x 4" x 10' piece of lumber clamped to the walkboard as my brake. I made gradual bends using a prybar, a rubber mallet, my bare hands--(I think I may officially qualify as a neanderthal by this sites definition. But hey, at least I'm inventive! In fact, this post may be an exemplary demonstration in what not to do).
Then there was the going back and forth between repatching my welds, and hammering out the warps--it was pretty much a zero sum game.
One question I do have is this: would a triple folded seam like that even need to be welded, brazed or soldered? I did it for good measure, but am sacrificing uniformity as a result. Would it be better to hammer the thing flat than to have a beefy weld with no pinholes? Again, I know that if I had used the right materials, I wouldnt be dealing with this set of design issues--but budget is another thing: I've already invested a lot of effort, time and money into this---if it will hold water, and more importantly contain and transport water--I would be sitting in a better place than I am now, and have something at least functional until I could save up the money to get the right tools in order to do it in copper in a couple years.

3. The Scuddle Hatch:

<img>

<img>

As you can see, the generous helping of tar around the hatch has already come into play. This is going to have to be reflashed: I know this already--but how (and with what)? Any links on this site dealing with these type of hatches and the proper way to flash them in? Currently the flashing is going over the top layer of slates, and the slates were nailed to the roof through the flashing and then tarred over. Again, I am obviously not an expert, but something tells me that is just not correct. The simple principle that your water barrier (slate tiles, gutter liners and flashing)should be free of holes when at all possible seems a fairly simple thing to understand. Around the bottom of the hatch, the flashing that was present was nailed to the slate with 1/2' nails! The gutter direcly below that is nothing but asphalt shingles layered about 3/4" thick, and all the metal had rusted away under the shingles. My theory: nailing through the flashing permitted water to get behind the vertical element of the box gutter liner and then the use of tar, silicon caulk and asphalt based products sealed the moisture in.

The main thing I am thinking about here is this: The gutter liner, where it goes up the pitch of the roof, is only about 3-4 inches up behind the first and starter courses owing to the fact that there is the roof access hatch there. I am wondering if the gutter metal needs to extend up and around the wood work of the hatch? I dont know it that is plausible, advisable, practical or correct--I just have now way to to cope with this element and any pointers would be very much welcome!!

Here is some more of what I am going to be dealing with. This is where they tuck-pointed the water-damaged brick under the leakiest part of the gutter. http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r317/greggy_05/IM003819.jpg Yes it's our old friend: silicone caulk (they used this 'technique' all throughout the exterior of the house--little by little we are grinding it all out, and replacing it with a historically correct lime mortar. We have a kind of soft brick. Since the area is so extensively damaged there, I am a bit worried that trying to tuck-point this "business as usual" may not work. We had a few areas in the past where the only way to repair it was to literally punch holes in the house (this is not brick and back-up). That close to the roofing beams, is it safe to be messing around with tucking this? Experience tells me that behind that silicone caulk there is probably zero remaining structural mortar. Any ideas on how to deal with that area? Any ideas on how that step flashing looks? I wouldn't really know what to look for (the area of roof below was redone in asphalt shingle before we bought the house).

Finally, there's' this:
<img>

This is a close up of the shallow end of the gutter that is still in tact. See the rust line just below the bottom course of shingles? That's got me concerned. My thought was to go ahead and remove the slates above that area as well, clean the area as best I can without damaging the membrane, and then coat with am acrylic marine grade DTM paint rather than asphalt or aluminum based coatings. If doing this, I am assuming that it would be prudent to coat the entire thing--even the area that will be recovered by the slates?

Speaking of acrylic DTM paint--if I painted the aluminum section with DTM, would this be an effective barrier between the two metals (tin and aluminum)and help to minimize any possible corrosion?

All in all, I know (now) that this isnt the way I should have done this. I had it in my head that I just wouldnt be able to afford copper--i'd heard a figure of $100 per linear foot, only to find out after I had this gutter liner built, bent and welded that for about the same money I spent in total (including all the brazing rods I wasted)I could have done this same section in copper and only had one seam (as opposed to five)--if you dont count the end seams.
Based on what you see here, though--I just want an honest assessment: is this doomed to failure? I already know it isnt a permanent fix, but can this work for a year or so?

In any case, thanks for taking the time to read my ramblings and by the way, a woman who works in my building recently had her slate roof replaced with asphalt shingles (at the insistence of the insurance company, and has offered me a whole roof full of slates simply for coming over and hauling them off, so I'll have plenty of spares as I learn about the craft of slate roofing! I'm picking them up tomorrow, and will post pics. Thanks again!!

Greg

(Message edited by Victorian_greg on May 30, 2009)

(Message edited by Victorian_greg on May 30, 2009)

(Message edited by Victorian_greg on May 30, 2009)
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Braymer (Braymer)
Senior Member
Username: Braymer

Post Number: 111
Registered: 09-2008
Posted on Friday, May 29, 2009 - 11:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Greg, do you have the Slate Roof Bible?
You should get that and read it closelly before going much further I you havent already. Also, a real slate ripper will help, it is work every cent. If you rip out the second row up first(which you probably will have to do to expose all the gutter liner) then you can epose the nail heads on the first row and then the starter row. And remove those normally. You shopuld buy plenty of extra slates and make sure the color and sizes match. There are a few rules to follow as far as side lap and head lap and making sure the starter course is on there correctly..
The slate roof bible and this site has lots of info. I would question using aluminum in this project, it may not rust but it is quickly affected by abrasion and other metals..
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Plaughlin1 (Plaughlin1)
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Username: Plaughlin1

Post Number: 33
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Friday, May 29, 2009 - 08:41 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Greg,
I can't comment on all the issues,but if i was doing the project here is how i would approch it.
I would remove the current box gutter, it may be difficult for you to get the new one installed & pitched correctly if you have to battle clumps of tar etc the whole way.
I would use copper or TCS as the box gutter material, if you are going to all this work it would be worth it to have it last a while.
If you use 20oz copper odds are you will not need an expansion joint in the middle, just leave a little room for expansion at the ends of the gutter run.
I think you will have a very difficult time getting a good braze on that that thin of aluminum-plus it will warp if it gets too hot.
I would make the back of the gutter go up the room around 16", so you would have to remove the starter and 1 or 2 courses of slate, it is a little time consuming but can be done with the right tools.
I would try to make a insicion in the current roof membrane just above the edge of the roof flange of the gutter and tuck a new piece of peel and stick under the current membrane and over the metal gutter roof flange.
I would renail the starters and nail & bib the last course.
I am sure there is a few diff ways to do this...this is my opinion
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Victorian_greg (Victorian_greg)
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Username: Victorian_greg

Post Number: 1
Registered: 05-2009
Posted on Friday, May 29, 2009 - 12:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello all!
I have about a 130 year old brick Victorian home with a slate roof in Cincinnati. One of our box gutters was a mess. My neighbor refers to our area--price hill--as the "land of deferred maintenance." After working on this gutter, I have found it to be "the land of incompetent maintenance that actually accelerates decay, corrosion and disrepair." Sick of Henry roof cement and fiberglass tape every year, I finally had a friend come over and "help." He helped by chiseling a hole through my box gutter liner while trying to remove the old patches. horray! Finally, I decided to take matters into my own hands--hell or high water.

I have a few questions regarding what I have done. I have a 20 foot box gutter and I am going to be relining roughly the center 15 feet--the outer edges--the shallow end and the end with the downspout--are still in tact.

Problem one--I started this project before even knowing about this fantastic website or was even sure how my box gutter was built. When I thought that I would be able to get by with a 6' section, I went to the Depot and got two 36" pieces of 19 gauge aluminum sheet metal (my thinking was "aluminum wont rust"). I was just going to braze them with lap joints, clamp two pieces of timber together to use as a brake and shove the thing under the existing slate on the backside and nail it on the front. Problem is this: The existing liner that is in there is tin with the type of expansion joints every 2-3 feet or so, like the ones described on this site. The replacement section is aluminum--I added expansion joints (to the extreme--I think I folded it over 2-3 times)--and "soldered" with aluminum brazing rods using a propane torch--5 sections, 3 feet each. On the shallow end of the gutter-- the Aluminum section, I figured, could be tucked under the tin and then joined with....what?! That's my problem. The hillbilly way to do it would be--that's right--more roof cement and fiberglass tape, but that seems to negate all my labor and expense. Is there any good way to join these two sections at either end to create a water-tight seam? My friend has advised me also to be aware of certain incompatibilities in dissimilar alloys: that by just being in contact with one another, they can cause one or the other to corrode. Obviously I cant weld the two together, they each have different melting points, and it is unlikely that there is a suitable solder that would be able to bond both of them (pure lead maybe?). Is it sheer folly to even attempt this? The entire 15 foot section is fabricated, with the cleats at the top, ready to install. Luckily, some rain moved in (thus, I am pausing to get the communities advice) and I have not yet started ripping slates. Please advise if this is a typical "land of deferred maintenance" repair that is doomed to fail from the outset because of choice of materials. After reading this site, I want to make a repair that is going to last 100 years, not one that I am going to be re-doing in a year.

This brings me to my second logistical concern: Ripping slate. I made a slate ripper out of 3/16 spring steel and tested it on some spare (if there is such a thing) slates that we nailed up to an old picnic table and it works pretty well. In the course of being up on the roof, I began to suspect more and more that there was another course of slate under the ones I want to remove--lo and behold there's a name for it: starter slates. This was an unexpected curveball for my 3/16ths DIY slate ripper. My theory is to try and remove the starters and then the first course. We laid out some slates to mimic what we anticipate encountering, and my theory is that attempting to remove the first course before the starter course will cause a lot of damage because that nail will impact the starter slate, however, I am not sure I can get the ripper up under the two courses without breaking both! I had 18 "first course" slates to remove (that I counted) and anticipate probably 8 - 10 starters in addition. I only have 10 replacements!!

Other questions regarding this are:
1. Will the entire bottom course and starter course need to come out? I hadnt planned on this and it is something I wish to avoid because the far shallow end of this gutter is in an akward and treacherous place on the roof.
2. When replacing the starter slates, is it proper to use the existing nail holes and put them back in using the original orientation? It occurred to me to turn the slate 180 degrees in order to make sure that they get firmly re-nailed--the obvious compromise being that now you have 4 nail holes instead of two (assuming adequate sidelap in all directions, is this an issue?)
3.Bib and Nail or Slate Hooks for either the starters (if the above question approaches the problem from entirely the wrong angle)and/or the first course. I bought stainless slate hooks for the slates on the first course (before I realized that there were more slates under there)primarily because I was not confident in my skills in nailing slate (which I have since overcome through experimenting with the spare slates.

Finally, just a general question regarding other stuff I am seeing up there: slates that are screwed in (have these been compromised beyond repair? New holes drilled into them--sometimes through more than one layer of slate); "tarred in" slates (if in tact, can these be removed, cleaned with a solvent or Mineral Oil(I have found Mineral Oil can get the stuff off your hands) and replaced?); dissimilar slates (I have been told that we have Buckinghams, Peach-Bottoms and I even have a Red up there--assuiming uniformity in dimension, does slate density play a role in longevity/compatibility?)

Thanks for the fantastic site! This is a boon to those of us who cherish real workmanship. My neighbors, friends and I salute and thank you for your efforts.

--Greg

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