Wood Gutter Repair and Maintenance on an Historic
Shingle Style Home in Fall River Massachusetts

This 100 year old Fall River residence is good example of shingle style architecture. This style is characterized by wood shingle siding without corner boards and a roof line that is irregular with multiple gable dormers. Unlike the lavish decorations that were popular during the prior Victorian era, Shingle architecture is relaxed and informal.

One of the striking elements of the Shingle style home is the Cornice that runs along a continuous eve line. This Cornice is a build up of elements, namely: a wood gutter, some smaller moldings, a fascia, a soffit, and a frieze board that trim out the eave line. The main molding of this cornice is the wooden gutter and its maintenance and preservation is vital to the character of this building. The owners have made the correct choice of repairing, preserving, and replacing any components of this cornice with similar materials.

Each of the following sets of before and after photos link to webpages that detail the work preformed with accompanying photographs.


wooden gutter repair

This section failed because the rubber roofers socked their C-channel turn bar deep into the back of the gutter which allowed water to penetrate into the wood, a recipe for rot.
52 photos

 oil is harder drying, more durable, and more washable then latex paint

New life for the next 100 years. There is nothing that matches the beauty and warmth of wood. Its hard to love an aluminum gutter, lol. Click the south link to see how I did this repair.
free flowing gutter are important to the health of your building

This is what I found below an inch of asphalt granules on the east facing gutter. This type of roofing is a maintanence problem for wooden gutters as the granules hold moisture much longer and reduce the effective volume of the gutter. A leaf blower makes fast work of clearing these.
24 photos
 wood the get direst sunshine should be protected from wetting

I choose to line this east facing gutter with roofing tar and an embedded fiberglass mesh to keep the tar from cracking. Its important to achieve complete coverage, leaving no entry for water to seep under this lining. Otherwise the type of repair will do more harm than good.
oil paint must be thoroughly dry before top coating

On the west side, with no trees for shade, violent summer sun rapidly dries wetted wood causing it to check or split. One can see this gutter was painted at one time to prevent this. Had this paint been kept up it would not have split so badly.
West - north section
50 photos
 this gutter will never get wet again

I replaced this section with a length I salvaged from the front (south, shaded) and sealed the wood from wetting with oil based primer and top-coats with penetrol added for adhesion, the key to durability.
 violent sun on wet wood is the culprit

This south section on the west side is checked and split wide open as well. This section is to far gone for paint. So I applied sticky roofing tar and worked it into the gutter with 100% coverage.
West - south section
38 photos
always prime bare wood with oil because it is porous

Then I embedded a reinforcing fiberglass mesh and top coated with more tar. In a few days the tar will cure. This protective lining will remain flexible and should last decades.
Wooden gutter repairs

and maintenance on a
circa 1912 residence in Fall River, MA

East South West
north section
south section