Kyle Diamond

Late last fall, my company was asked to repair the roof on an older home—portions dated back to the mid- to late-18th century—that was an interesting mix of Federal style with Italianate influences. The clients had known when they purchased the house a couple of years earlier that the roof was in need of repair and that the built-in gutter on the main house was sagging and starting to pull away from the wall. During a pre-construction walk-through, they informed me that there had been large ice dams the previous winter and the gutter had pretty much ceased to drain properly over the spring and summer. Water stains were starting to appear on the inside walls on the main floor. It was time to act.

With winter fast approaching, we decided to fix only the problematic gutter and adjoining roof on the front side of the main house and to postpone repairing the remaining roofs and gutters until the following spring. The existing roof had three layers of asphalt shingles over a bottom layer of cedar shakes, so a complete tear-off was in order,...

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