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Gutter over or under drip edge?

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  • Gutter over or under drip edge?

    I was at a client's house today when it started raining, and she pointed out that her gutters were leaking. Upon closer observation, I noticed that the gutters weren't actually leaking; the water was dripping from behind the gutter (between gutter and aluminum clad facia) just in certain areas, not everywhere.

    After the rain slowed, I got a ladder and here's what I found: The gutters were installed over the drip edge with hiden hangers (the type that hook under the front lip and over the back edge of the gutter, then a screw goes thru the back of the gutter into the facia). At a few places along it's length, the back of the gutter was standing proud of the facia, permitting water to come off the roof, roll down the portion of the drip edge that's above the top of gutter, then, instead of flowing into the gutter, flow down the drip edge and come out behind the gutter.

    Fortunately, there's no water infiltration problem. It's just that the gutter is doing part of the work, and the drip edge is still doing it's job in the areas where the gutter doesn't fit tight against the facia/drip edge.

    Since there's no water infiltration going on, it seems to me that the small areas where the gutter doesn't fit snug against the house could easily be caulked to remedy this annoyance (the gap is no more than an 1/8 inch and no longer than 16-20 inches). Certainly seems more appealing than rehanging several hundred feet of gutter under the drip edge. Any thoughts?

    By the way, what's the proper way to hang a gutter when there's an existing drip edge: over it, under (behind) it, or does it really matter as long as the above problem doesn't occur? Seems to me that you might create an even bigger problem by cutting a notch in the drip edge to accept this type of hanger, if you install the gutter behind the drip edge.

  • #2
    Re: Gutter over or under drip edge?

    Is the roof a relatively shallow pitch? It really shouldn't matter whether the bottom of the drip edge is inside or outside the gutter. In fact, if the gutter is longer than 15 feet or so, it's no possible to maintain proper gutter slope and still have the drip edge overlap.

    The drip edge should cause water to drip from its outer edge, not roll under and drip from its bottom. I'd suggest that you bend the outer edge down until water drips properly from the outer edge. This should solve the problem permanently.


    • #3
      Re: Gutter over or under drip edge?

      We normally install gutters below the drip edge.
      I think you could remedy your current situation with caulk; it should at least be worth a try.


      • #4
        Re: Gutter over or under drip edge?

        Thanks, Patty. I used a good elastomeric caulk, and it appeared to work just fine. Haven't heard any negative vibes from the least not yet.