Rain gutter leaks at wall how to repair


Direct water into gutters

Q: I’ve noticed that the siding where the roof meets my house is rotted. The step flashing is installed properly, and the rest of the siding above that spot is in good condition. It’s clear that water is getting behind the siding where the drip edge and the siding meet, and behind the gutter cap as well. How can I get the water to run into the gutters instead of down and behind the siding?

Josh Martin, Altamont, NY

A:Michael Chandler, owner of Chandler Design-Build  near Chapel Hill, N.C., replies:This problem happens a lot where a lower-level roof and an upper-level wall meet. The capped end of the gutter is generally held about an inch off the wall, leaving the area where the siding is cut to fit around the fascia open to water intrusion. The water finds its way into the cut in the siding where the lower fascia intersects with the wall. The solution is to install a kick-out flashing, a piece of aluminum or copper that directs the water away from the wall before it reaches the last piece of step flashing so that the water flows into the gutter instead of behind the siding.I make kick-out flashings from regular 14-in.-wide aluminum coil stock cut into a square 14-in. piece (see my process in detail below). I use the same color stock as the step flashings or the shingles when I want the kick-out to blend in to the roof. I fold the coil stock with a rubber hammer, some duck-billed seamers, and a length of framing lumber. You could use a sheet-metal brake if you have one, but most houses need only three or four of these flashings. In the time it would take to get out the brake, I can have all the flashings done with simpler tools.The key is to make the flashings rugged and inconspicuous. Using a 45° dogear at the end makes that vulnerable area four layers thick. My roofer installs step flashing before the siding goes on the house. I could teach him to do the kick-outs, but it’s easier to let the siding crew install them or to do them myself.Make your own kick-out flashings

Drawing by: Dan Thornton Click to enlarge image Drawing by: Dan Thornton

Inexpensive hand tools take the place of a sheet-metal brake
Shape the metal flashing on a solid surface that can take some abuse. Scrap 2×10 secured to a sawhorse makes do here. Bends are started as needed by hand, then further persuaded with a rubber mallet. A hand seamer is useful for tuning the final bend, but isn’t necessary.

Photo by: Chris ErmidesClick to enlarge imagePhoto by: Chris Ermides
Photo by: Chris ErmidesClick to enlarge imagePhoto by: Chris Ermides

Ready to kick
Slide the kick-out flashing beneath the second-course shingle and step flashing. Position the piece so that the cut end is perpendicular to the drip edge; then nail it down with two roofing nails under the upper shingle.

Photo by: Chris ErmidesClick to enlarge imagePhoto by: Chris Ermides
From Fine Homebuilding 200, pp. 88
November 12, 2008

Dovetail Rain gutter located in Belgrade Montana sees this problem often. The siding below the end of the gutter where it butts into the siding begins to flake the paint and then the siding becomes warped and damaged. First, check that the end cap on the rain gutter is not leaking! Often, homeowners fault the rain gutter installation when the culprit is improper or no diverter flashing.

The above procedure for making your own diverter has a problem… it does not prevent water from getting around the diverter where it touches the wall. An expensive repair like this should  guarantee that no water gets past the flashing. The repair should make a mechanical seal and not count on caulk to prevent the leak.  Scott Wuebber with Dovetail Raingutter reccomends that you hire a pro to remove the siding and roof shingles in the area of the leak, then install a manufactured flashing similar to the product that Dryflect produces. A temporary repair that sometimes helps is to slip a 90 degree piece of metal flashing under the shingle at an angle and fasten in place.

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About Raingutterguy

Specializing in design, supply,installation and repairs to rain gutter systems. Seamless raingutter, half round gutter and water collection systems.
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