Gutter over drip

I looked at a new construction Ryan Homes the other day and pointed out that the gutter was installed over the drip edge ( on this one a L type flashing ) . I showed how water from the roof could get behind the gutter and form stain on the fascia and icicles which could fall and damage metal roofing below (or someone’s head). I know that’s enough for a home inspector to do but the contractor doesn’t want to re-install the gutters. I looked at IRC 905 and can’t find what I’m looking for as far as roof water to gutter flashing code. I know it’s really bad construction but just wish I had more word ammo - Anybody got anything that sounds effective?

The above bolded is what you put into your report for your client to decide how important it is. :smile:

Try to stay away rom quoting codes.

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Good luck. Gutters are not required by Code, so you won’t find any Code mandated installation Standards. Look for “Industry Standards” as a source for your service area.


I agree with Larry, it is for your client to demand it be changed

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Thanks, I used, I think, this very image on my report with one very good one of icicles a few feet long forming behind a gutter. - I suppose all I can do. - Only thing I could find in IRC is - in Section R801.3. “In areas where expansive or collapsible soils are known to exist, all dwellings shall have a controlled method of water disposal from roofs that will collect and discharge all roof drainage to the ground surface at least 5’ away from foundation walls or to an approved drainage system.” - It says “all roof drainage” but seems to not apply because of “expansive or collapsible soil” limit. I don’t like to quote code but like to point homeowners to IRC so that they can if they have a suspicious issue. Most homeowners don’t know what IRC is or if their state requires compliance by contractors. So easy to reference now that we’re so googlized.

This would look good in your report


True. But in my opinion when they’re installed they should be installed correctly, and not so they could cause damage, as they would installed the way the OP described.

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Above is exactly right. The only way it will get changed is from your client’s demand. Most builders are only motivated by making money or loosing money.

FWIW, on most of the applications I have seen with the flashing over the gutter, they mangled the drip edge flashing so bad trying to fit it on, that it would have been better to just incorrectly install the gutter over it.

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Here is a graphic I use when I do report on the topic.

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You are correct in the use of gutters in areas with expansive soils. The codes do not address gutters specifically for this requirement and it will be debated by many on all sides of the aisle.

The answer to your question is in three parts. The first being the definition of an “Exterior Wall Covering” which can be found in the definition section of the IRC (Part II). If you note the definition it includes “fascias” which the gutter will be attached to.

The second half of the answer is in Part III, Section 703.4 (2018 IRC use version applicable to your area). If you note there it states the following.

Approved corrosion-resistant flashing shall be applied shingle-fashion in a manner to prevent entry of water into the wall cavity or penetration of water to the building structural framing components.

The third part of the answer comes in two parts itself. The first is the definition of “Roof Assembly” which can be found in the definitions section noted above. The second part comes in section 903.1 that specifies roof assemblies shall be installed per the manufacturer’s requirements. If you were to look to the manufacturer for specifics on this topic I have not found any that address it specifically for this issue. However if you look to, for example, GAF and their “Pro Field Guide For Steep-Slope Roofs” they will provide diagrams that do display the dripedge flashing installed in a “shingle fashion” protecting the fascia board to gutter tray joint. You can see it HERE.

Since I do not try to identify the roof covering manufacturer for obvious reasons this is another issue I would dump back in the lap of the Builder to display to the client that they are following proper installation requirements. I would use a phrase similar to this along with a similar diagram that has already been provided above and displaying the dripedge properly placed.

The dripedge was improperly left behind the gutters instead of lapping over the rear of the gutter tray. The shingle manufacturer and model are not known for this installation. I recommend that you do have the Builder display the shingle manufacturer installation requirements and/or other requirements stating that this condition is acceptable. (IRC R703.4, R903.1, Shingle manufacturer installation requirements)

At this point you have done what you can to identify the issue and provide the client with the information they need to address it with the Builder.

BTW where are you located?

I’m in Baltimore where icicles do form and are destructive. I recently looked at a metal lower roof which had been pretty much destroyed along with it’s sheeting (seepage rot) with ceiling and wall interior damage. This issue and ice sheet fall are the only two causes I can figure. Could have been shingles and probably would have happened faster.
Considering how it’s correctly done if hidden hangers are used - I found that the back of the gutter can be trimmed at an angle to determine down flow or the hangers can be installed without hooking onto the rear edge of the gutter. When cutting the drip to accommodate the hangers it’s likely that the 2 inch minimum vertical dimension of the drip will be compromised (mangled). I see this lots but it seems to get all the water into the gutter.

It also seems like some bright manufacturer would make a hidden hanger with a 2 inch slot for the drip.

Another thing confusing about this code is “expansive or collapsible” wording. Any soil with any clay expands when wet and collapses some when dry. Lots of clay really dry can pull big air gaps at foundations. I’ve seen slab foundations break this way during drought in Louisiana. - More fuel for the ‘fire’.

what to do while gutter is damaged?
Is it worth to try to repair it or to buy a new gutter?

In your graphic, the drip edge is installed on top of the underlayment. Is that how you do it in Texas?

Edit: I read your question wrong, twice. (Rough morning)
No, the underlayment should lap over the drip edge. Good eye!
Keep in mind the purpose of the graphic is to accentuate the drip edge over the gutter. It is not intended to be a complete & accurate rendering of a section view of an eave.
I can’t edit tge graphic as I didn’t make. I just felt it points out the situation being described very well.