gutter repair--what a headache

Here's my story of gutter woe.
I have a small-ish Cape Cod style house with an extension built on the back of it. Whoever built the extension didn't do a good job and so there is no soffit overhang, just a straight wall leading up to the roof.
Originally there was a gutter lining the side of this extension, leading rainwater away. Ice dams combined with the need for a new roof took away this original gutter. When the roofer put the new roof on, he installed a drip edge, so now at least the water doesn't trickle down the siding.
However, there are two windows on this wall. The drip edge is not long enough to extend past these windows, so water collects on the upper edge of them. With one window in particular, water was entering the house through the window and damaging the plaster inside.
I went to the home supply store and bought a couple of pieces of aluminum rain gutter, and took a day to install everything. It all went well and was reasonably inexpensive except for one thing: I could only buy 10-foot lengths. Now, the spot on the gutter where I joined the two 10-foot lengths happened to be right above the problematic window. And, wouldn't you know it, no matter what kinds of sealants I used, I couldn't get the joint to stop leaking. Water would continue to seep out of the joint and onto the window and into the house. I did some research, talked to some contractors, and it turns out that it's somewhat common knowledge that because of expansion and contraction of the two pieces of metal, these sorts of joints typically DO begin to leak at some point or another.
For various reasons, among them being the leakage, I took the gutter down.
Now I am considering two alternatives:
1. hiring a pro to do it. Apparently they can get aluminum gutters in long enough sections so that they can put one up without the need for a joint that can possibly leak. This option is expensive. I got a couple of quotes and they want $360 to install what basically is a 20-foot section of gutter.
2. Installing a PVC gutter myself, as opposed to aluminum. I liked this idea because I can do it for maybe $30 tops. Having worked with PVC pipe, I know how well PVC cement can weld two pieces of plastic together. However, I just read online that PVC is also conducive to expansion and contraction and thus to leakage at joints. So now I am not sure that is the better route to take.
Any advice?
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"peter p." wrote:

If you're going to go w/ DIY, did you use a connecting piece to join the two pieces of gutter or simply try to lay one piece inside the other? W/ the connectors make and a good silicon caulk you should get a good joint that will hold for years.
Alternatively, you could do like the old-timers and solder--that, of course, means no pre-finished.
The "pro's" don't <buy> longer sections, they have the tooling to make seamless guttering onsite. It shouldn't be too hard to find a tin shop w/ the capability and have them run you a section of the proper length.
I've never used anything except either galvanized or aluminum so can't comment on it...
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You need 3 pieces of gutter instead of two. Mount the middle one first, centered exactly over the window so there is no seams over your window. Then join the other two pieces and just trim the ends to fit.
Or get vinly gutters. The joining piece comes with a rubber vinyl seal that should not leak.
And finally, seal your window. A window should never leak and the fix is usually a simple caulk job.
On Sun, 17 Apr 2005 15:42:57 -0400, "peter p."

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Your story is common, and that is why seamless metal gutters are so popular and competitive. Installers fabricate them on the spot, so there are no seams, only gutter end caps and downspout joints. They also come in a variety of colors. My experience with vinyl is very disappointing. Even with the rubber connectors, the damn things leak due to hardening/weathering of the rubber, and thermal lengthwise gutter expansion. I found that no amount of silicone sealant, poly sealant, nor henry's roof compound will do the trick once the joints fail . Metal gutters with seams are very hard to make waterproof, as well, as you found, and aluminum cannot be soldered.
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Not on aluminum, you can't.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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I would go with seamless aluminum gutters installed by a pro. The vinyl may look like a good deal but all the little gaskets and fasteners add up and you will be very close to the seamless aluminum price. Been there and done that.

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Take the exact measurement you need to a seamless gutter company and ask them to roll out a piece for you. I'd be suprised if the cost exceeded 50.00. Bring a long 2x4 with you to give the piece some rigidity when you cartop it home.
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Doug Miller wrote:

True, but the old-timers didn't have aluminum...and while I've used it some, most of what I've done has been repair of existing <old> galvanized so I don't think Al much... :)
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peter p. wrote:

Go to a roofing supply house. Many of them stock much longer lengths of aluminum gutter. Bringing it home will be the toughest problem, so see if they'll deliver while they're in your area.
R
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Well, the OP specifically said that's what he had. So a suggestion to solder isn't much use to him.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Doug Miller wrote:

Whatever...I suspect he's long gone... :)
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No, I'm still here and appreciate all the suggestions.
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I read the whole long entry, and I figure there's no window as wide as the longest piece of guttering you can buy. Install your own for the savings if it's necessary, but make two seams at places that are not over your window...........say between wndows if there's more. You can do the math and cut the stuff to whatever length you need and just join it with whatever means necessary to make it wash "most" of the water where you want it. Two leaky seams in places that don't matter,.............would at least be an acceptable compromise.
If the above idea is not suitable, I will agree with the other replises suggesting the $360.00 guttering. (or less if you can get someone to just make the piece for ya for cheaper)
Your call,.................$360 or maybe a forty dollar day.
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MUADIB
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"peter p." wrote:

OK, <don't> solder aluminum guttering.... :)
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