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Email from Van Metre

Discussion in 'Homeowners Corner' started by JenCo, Feb 5, 2004.

  1. JenCo

    JenCo Member

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    FYI for those who didn't receive this email:


    To: Van Metre Homeowners

    Please be advised the weather forecast is again predicting freezing rain turning into a possible 1-2” of rain for Friday, February 6, 2004.

    These winter temperatures are well below our normal and have caused ice to form in gutters, downspouts and areaway drains. This potentially could cause water intrusion in your home. Ice daming is a homeowner maintenance responsibility and not a warranty item.

    We are advising you of this to prevent unnecessary damage to your home. It is imperative to keep gutters and areaway drains free of debris, ice or any other obstruction that could possibly back up water in your home.

    Van Metre Customer Care
  2. Wick

    Wick New Member

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    That's B.S.

    Gutters on a house to funnel water away from the foundation and basement, not to keep water out of the upper areas of the house. A well-built house should be tight enough without gutters to prevent water from getting in.
  3. Pats_fan

    Pats_fan Former Resident

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    Yes, but once you have gutters, if you let them fill up with ice and snow (or leaves), they will most certainly cause water to back up into your house.
  4. Wick

    Wick New Member

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    I agree that it is a risk. My point is this: if water backs up into the house, it is due to bad construction and not the gutters being clogged. Ice damming should not cause water leaks into the upper areas of the house. Gutters are not designed to prevent water from getting into the upper areas of the house. They are designed to move water away from basement/foundation. VM's e-mail is just a scare tactic to prevent homeowners from calling them with complaints if water does in fact leak into the house.

    If I'm not mistaken, there is a thread on this message board from earlier last year that involved ice damming. My recollection is that VM repaired the damage (contrary to their e-mail). See http://hoa.broadlands.org/forum34/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=161

    Edited to add link.
  5. pdonnadurk

    pdonnadurk New Member

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    Wick I have to disagree. Last year we had a leak as a result of ice daming. The water froze in the gutters, backed up and ran along the roof joist leaking into the middle of the attic and ultimately down on to the main floor. Ice damming is a product of frozen down spouts and gutters not poor construction, although I would imagine slip-shod construction could make things worse!

    That said I agree with you that the VM e-mail is a scare tactic. We have had a leak since we moved in and customer service could not have been any slower to respond. I say if it leaks they should come.
  6. vacliff

    vacliff "You shouldn't say that."

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    Ice damming is usually not considered a warranty item. Some areas of the country require different construction standards to help eliminate the liklihood of damming. Virginia, generally considered a state of more moderate weather, does not require these safeguards. Builders in some states will not put gutters on houses unless specifically requested by the homeowner due to the possibility of damming. This was true for us when we built a house in New Hampshire.
    Cliff
  7. Dan

    Dan Member

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    Yes, VM did fix my problem, but other Oakwoods in the neighborhood still leak. VM needs to take responsibility for its mess and stop blaming mother nature.
  8. mlayne

    mlayne New Member

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    Another thing to check which is more likely to cause rear areaway flooding is whether VM installed a trap in your outside rear areaway drain. Unscrew the drain cap and if you see water at the bottom of the pipe and you've checked it for obstructions, the chances are that there is a trap installed. This is against the CABO code and is why we almost had our house flooded this winter. The standing water at the bottom of the trap froze and then the snow melted and it started to rain, making our areaway like a swimming pool. The only answer was to snake a thirty foot rubber hose from the internal bathroom sink and to run hot water into the trap, melting the ice dam and causing the water to drain. In case you don't think this could happen to your house, I just walked up the street a few days ago and took a photo of the first house I saw with its rough plumbing exposed and they had a trap as well. We have just mentioned this to VanMetre as it took a while for us to figure out what the problem was and have not yet received an answer from them. I am not hopeful despite the obvious problem.

    Mike

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