Bay Window Drainage Problems

Hi, My house was built in 1840 and has a two storey bay window. The roof has a sunken lead covering with a shallow integral gutter running at the back along the wall of the house. this gutter is linked to a normal gutter on either side of the bay. The problem is that it cannot cope with heavy rainfall or the amount of ice and snow we have had recently. The water can literally pour into the house. Two builders have said it is a poor design and little can be done. We are in a conservation area so cannot significantly alter the look of the house. I would be grateful for any helpful comments. Many thanks, Ruth
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ruththompson

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It's a good bet that it hasn't been leaking for the last 165 years, so the original 1840 design is probably ok. See if you can find old pictures of your house to see what's different now. It may just be something simple. If you need to change the look of your house, you probably need to get the approval of the conservation board (or planning board, or whatever they call it). A lot of it is politics. If you can't find old picture to use as proof, then you need to hire an architect (and maybe a lawyer) that everyone on the board likes. The architect will probably be able to tell you what will fly, and what won't. While they are drawing up plans, sit in on a couple of the board meetings. If most people bring a lawyer, then hire one you see there who impresses you. Some of those board people are nice, and some of them are wanna be dictators.

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you could start with a giant one-piece blue tarp to keep the water away from your house. provide holes for the chimneys and vent pipes. now you've got some time to figure this out. often a plumber is needed if a handyman can't clear your downspouts of leaves or underground trap blockage if the rainwater is carried underground to a storm sewer. call around for an older roofing company and check with the neighbors and neighborhood historical association for assistance,
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