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Old 10-08-2017, 05:12 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
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Turning gutter into drip edge? Current gutters causing leaks....

Hey guys and gals... I'm working on a Goshen shorty shuttle bus on an E350 chassis.

So the rain stopped and I went out to diagnose my water intrusion. It is coming from the gutter area (leaking on the inside where the roof material meets the sidewalls).

I looked everything over and cant see how water is getting in where it is. There is a seam inside the gutter but there isn't any way to seal it. The gutters don't appear to be removable without causing some damage to the body or gutters. The gutters also don't appear to have a way to drain as they are capped on both ends... so they have to fill with water and run off.

I'm leaning towards cutting them down and just leaving a slight slope like drip edge... it would still keep the water from the top of the windows... and water couldn't collect in the gutters anymore.

That... or drilling holes in the gutters so they can drain quickly on both ends.

I like the ides of just deleting them... then I can seal the entire edge and make certain there wont be any leaks.

What would you do? You can kinda see the gutter in the pic below... its full length and runs into body seams which just screams "LEAK HERE" to me...


And the leak from the inside...


The roof has been triple coated in roll-on roof coating down to the gutter and the roof inside is dry. It looks to be leaking exactly where the gutter is mounted from inside.

What are your thoughts? I say trim it down and seal it off...
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr4btTahoe View Post

What are your thoughts? I say trim it down and seal it off...
If you'e ever built a simple shed, you soon realize that water needs to be pushed off your sides.

My bus has a few gutter systems to shed water. Some push water away frm the vehicle and include a drip edge, while others capture the water above basement doors and channel the water.

Push

push.jpg


gutter

gutter.jpg

Too small to help

small.jpeg

nice

gutter 1.jpg
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Old 10-08-2017, 08:50 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
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Right... which is why I want to leave them as something. I don't want to completely delete them.

Right now, they look like the bottom picture... but the ends don't have a way to drain. They are butted up against the body at the front and rear. Water cant get out as fast as it comes in... so they fill up and push water up behind the roof/side paneling.

What I was talking about doing is basically cutting the small vertical part of the J off a bit.. so there is still a bit of material there to catch any run off and let it flow off at an angle pushing the water away from just running down the wall. I'd make them almost L shaped instead of J shaped... except it would still have the angle of the J... if that makes any sense.

Otherwise, I'm unsure of how to fix the problem. I cant find any attachment points or screws. If they are there... they are covered by a molding which has been coated with the roll on roofing.. so if I remove them, there is a strong chance I'll damage the roof/roof coating.

I could possibly trim the ends down so they can drain/drain faster... but I'd still like to be able to seal them up and I dont think I can get sealant where it needs to be.
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Old 10-08-2017, 09:26 PM   #4
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Rusty, that kick-out in your last photo is a nice touch. I haven't seen that done on a vehicle before. Runoff water, especially from the roof, is always dirty and leaves a track wherever it runs. I like how that kick-out gets most of the water and dirt off the body to reduce that effect.

Mr4btTahoe, if you could get us a few close-up pictures of the gutter, its ends, etc we might be able to help make guesses as to how it could be removed or where it might be leaking/channeling water in.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:34 PM   #5
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Its a bit dark... but here are a few.

A bit of water still sitting in the gutter.. even though its not raining.


And this is how both ends are...




The gutter covers the seam between the walls and roof panel. As you can tell... not much room to drain on the ends. The only way I can see water getting in (since the roof coating is down over the top of the gutter molding... and it is sealed on the bottom of the gutter as well) is the gutter is filling up as it rains.. letting water get up behind the molding from inside the gutter.

I have no idea why the manufacturer would butt the ends of the gutters up against something solid... but based on the looks of the inside of the wall and the floor below, its been leaking for a LONG time.

My thoughts are to either trim out sections on the ends so it can drain faster... or trim the height of the outside of the gutter off... making more of a drip edge then a gutter... then sealing the molding from the underside (which I don't think I can get to with the gutter in place)
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:11 PM   #6
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I don't see any obvious fasteners, nor signs of some removable bit that would be concealing any. Maybe it's just attached with foam tape or a body adhesive.

Do you have water entry generally all along the length of the gutter front to back, or is it concentrated at those front and rear end points where there's a vertical trim piece?

If there's a sealant between the body sides and the bottom of the gutter, that could be part of the problem. Water generally likes to go downhill. When water can't drain out the bottom of an assembly it will sometimes back up inside and appear in unexpected places. If it somehow gets behind the gutter and runs to a sealant at the bottom of the gutter, it may fill up and rise through the unsealed joint between the roof and side materials.

Personally, I'd prefer to find a few replacement options and then strip off the gutter rather than make modifications to it. If there's a good replacement that's a little bigger than the original, it could serve to conceal any small scratches or dents that might happen during the gutter removal.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:25 PM   #7
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The leaks are from the middle of the bus to the rear. I thought it was the windows leaking at first as when I got the bus given to me, the paneling all around the windows was rotten.

Pulled all the paneling while it was pouring down rain today to find the water coming in above the windows.

As far as how the gutter is mounted... not sure. The fiberglass skin isnt tightly fit to the frame of the bus.. it has a bit of movement... but the gutter is solid.

Cant tell in the picture... but it looks nearly identical to the last picture posted by Rusty. I'd say the roof coating just filled in the edge of where the center piece snaps in to cover the fasteners. I'll have to take a look.

If I can find a way to remove the gutters... I'd like to do that and seal what ever seam isn't sealed... then clean up the gutters and re-install them with some slight changes for better drainage.

I might head back out and see what I can find out real quick.
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:48 PM   #8
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Found the problem.

It is identical to the stuff posted in Rusty's last picture. One tap with a screw driver broke the brittle plastic cover that snaps in place to hide the screws. Busted out ~ 5' of the plastic cover... removed 7 screws and pulled it away from the body after running a sharp knife along the edge where the roof coating covered it.

Found holes and cracks in the fiberglass along with the main seam between the roof and walls which appears to have no sealant at all.

Project for tomorrow night (as long as the rain stops) is to pull the gutters all the way off and assess the damage... get all the mud/mold cleaned off and see what I've got to deal with. I'll patch all the holes/small cracks in the fiberglass and seal the main seam which should fix the water intrusion and I can get back to work on the inside.

Next question... where can I buy replacement gutter like this stuff? I'd prefer not to drill more holes... so stick on would be fine by me as long as its good stuff. I may be able to get this stuff off without destroying it... but I'm not banking on it.
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Old 10-09-2017, 09:44 AM   #9
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Nice! It's always good to find the root of a problem rather than slather more caulk over and hope for the best.

If you can get the gutter base material off without destroying it, replacement vinyl trim insert is readily available and cheap. There's a roll of 1"x100' I happened to find at Wal-Mart for USD$14. They also have 3/4" available so measure your size before ordering.

If not.. it's likely to be a standard profile and you could find more in maybe 7-10 foot sections at a nearby trailer/RV supply place.

edit: get some good sealant, too. I'd avoid home center silicone; it seems like that just doesn't stick well on vehicles. Butyl tape could be a good choice; I'd expect the trailer supply to have other "stuff in a caulk tube" options too.
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Old 10-09-2017, 10:29 AM   #10
Bus Nut
 
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This is what I used on the roof seams before coating with the roll on...

Through the Roof!® by Sashco - Roofing Sealant & Caulk

Stuff is impressive. Was planning on using it for the side seams as well as I can get it in a brush on can or caulk tube from the little mom and pop hardware store here in town.

Thanks for the link to the molding. I should be able to get the gutter off without destroying them... hopefully.
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