Historic New England awarded grant to study gutter capacity

Oct 24, 2017

Sayward-Wheeler House, York Harbor, Maine

Historic New England recently secured a $4,903 grant from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission’s FY2017 Federal Historic Preservation Fund to review the efficiency of gutters. The grant is part of an effort to prevent water from seeping into and damaging the state’s historic buildings.

Historic New England will use the grant, combined with funds from its Preservation Maintenance Fund, to analyze the gutters and downspouts at seven of its public properties in Maine, along with two privately owned properties protected by its Preservation Easement Program. Staff and a historic building consultant will calculate if the gutters are sufficient for the amount of rain water they receive and whether common repairs (like lining gutters with flashing) decrease the volume of water the gutters can carry.

Staff will combine this information with forecast storm conditions and develop recommendations for Maine’s historic property owners to ensure that gutter systems are protecting their buildings from water damage today and into the future. These recommendations could include modifications or changes in material that increase a gutter system’s capacity to move water while retaining the character and integrity of the building.

“We see this project as an opportunity to use our properties as a research laboratory to provide valuable data to municipalities and the State of Maine, to the broader preservation community, and to homeowners across New England,” said Ben Haavik, team leader for property care at Historic New England.

The final report will include recommendations for a variety of historic property owners and stewards, including house museum operators, historic commissions, preservation easement holders, and private homeowners.

The views and conclusions contained in this document are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.