Gutter Flashing Questions and Answers

Below are some of the questions I have been ask, concerning gutter flashing.

Proper gutter installation plays a very important role in the maintenance of your home. Most homeowners don't spend a lot of time thinking about their gutters, but understanding their importance may prevent you some costly home repair bills in the future.

What is drip-edge roof flashing, and why do I need it?


A proper drip-edge roof flashing should be installed across the roofs bottom edge by the roofer before the shingles are installed. The primary functions of the drip edge flashing is to keep water from wicking back under the shingles and to protect the fascia boards from the water dripping off the roof.

A secondary function is to seal the gap from the roofing shingles to the gutter, so the rain water does not dribble behind the gutter. That would cause dry-rot to the wood that the gutter is attached to, causing the gutters to come loose.

The lower edge of a roof should extend beyond the fascia board by about 3/4 inch so that runoff drains into the gutters. On a shallow pitched roof, water will wick back up under the shingles and drip behind the gutters, leading to rotted roof sheathing and fascia, stained siding.

The problem can be fixed by installing sheet metal drip edge flashing, which is available at most all lumberyards and home centers. Drip edge flashing usually comes in 10 foot sections and is available in a variety of different profiles. A wider face drip edge (at least 1 1/2") is recommended. Slip the flashing all the way under the first course of roof shingles. Make sure the lower edge extends over the gutters.

Why does water drip between the fascia and the back of the gutter?


This problem can be easily solved by installing the back of the gutter under the drip edge flashing.

On some installations, in order to maintain the proper gutter slope, the back edge of the gutter may drop slightly below the drip edge flange. In this case, a flashing extender strip should be installed to insure that no water will leak behind the gutter. 

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