Roof leaks

Published on June 1st, 2013 | by Henri


Fascia boards behind gutters are moist and stained

Q.    I have a problem with brown staining behind my rain gutters in the rear of my ranch house. My house is 80 feet long in the rear, with a pitched roof area in part of the front. We replaced the roof 6 years ago and also the gutters with leaf guards. The brown water stains are only in sections of the fascia board.

We have a ridge vent and three gable vents but no soffit vents. According to your articles, this is not acceptable. Could this be causing the problem? I had someone come in to check the roof but they could not figure out the problem. I know the wood underneath must be getting wet but how?

A.    No, the inadequate ventilation has nothing to do with the staining of the fascias, but it only offers you some relief in the hot summer days by allowing the attic’s heat to exhaust. In the winter, it does not effectively help remove any moisture accumulation.

The staining problem is a result of off-the-shelf metal drip edge on a roof that does not have the necessary pitch to prevent water from dribbling off the drip edge behind the fascia boards. This is why I always specify using Lamb & Ritchie’s (L&R) Positive “Rite Flow” Drip Edge at the eaves.

There is no need to make any changes at the rakes. This drip edge is simply inserted over the existing drip edge and under the bottom shingle course. Its 1-inch projection and dropped leading edge clears roof water away from any wood and, where there are gutters, discharges it into the gutters. The manufacturer’s Web site is at

An alternative is to insert a piece of bent flashing under the bottom course of shingles that also covers the back edge of the gutters.

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