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Question DetailsAsked on 6/13/2016

how do we stop water from wicking to soffit from a metal roof

Our new home has a metal roof with wood fascia and tongue and groove in the eaves. We have severe winters and lots of rain in summer. We noticed that the water is wicking back toward the house. What do we do?

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Sounds like the contractor may have blown it - should have a drip edge there (which might be part of a decorative edge cap on the roofing) - dropping in to the gutters if you have gutters, otherwise kicking the water out so it hopefully will drop free from the house (though can blow back in against the fascia in significant wind).

To prevent run-back under the roofing, there should be a dripedge similar in appearance to below, installed by an experienced metal roofer UNDER the ice and water shield (which you should have in your area if severe winters means ice/snow is common) or otherwise under the roofwrap, to trap any water running on top of that OR wicking or blowing back up under the edge of the roof (which should overhang the fascia by at least an inch and preferably more). Generally looks like this - specifics depend on roof/gutter -

Note the top sketch is correct - but the examples shown below INCORRECTLY show the eave edge drip edge installed OVER the water barrier - should be under it on the eave edge, though over it on the rake (peaked) ends of a roof. The reason it should not be over the ice and water shield/roofwrap is any water running down that barrier under the roofing (due to a leak or blow-in) would then run down the BOTTOM of the dripedge and end up wicking into/under the roof sheathing just like if there was no dripedge there at all.

If you get a lot of blowback against the fascia (usually only a problem with gutters if dripedge stops "above" the gutters and does not correctly drop down "inside" the gutters), then you may need a fascia cover - basically the same type roll sheet metal as is used to form gutters, but formed to cover the top, front, and bottom of the fascia board - like this -

Unfortunately, most of the commercial factory-formed fascia covers have a basic design flaw - they are made flat-faced and U-shaped or cupped-finger configuration on the bottom to easily slide up onto the fascia for installation - this results in a trapped water situation at the bottom. They should ideally have a lip on top that slips up over the top of the fascia board (or trim board if there is a trim board on the top of the fascia board, under the roof sheathing) to prevent any water getting in there, down flat over the fascia, then extend down below the fascia a bit to form a dripedge there. Any extension back under the fascia should be limited to that necessary (if any) for holding it on - and should be mostly open to allow free drainage and evaporation of any mosiutre in the wood, rather than trapping it as most types do. A far better design would be a bottom L across the bottom of the fascia but tilted downward from horizontal with a dripedge at its end, rather than the U-shape most use. With custom or on-site formed fascia covers a simple short-leg L (with the L over the top of the fascia board) with the long leg extending down and slightly below the fascia board (by 1/4" or so) can be used, using stainless or copper fastening nails. Better is what is coming into favor in europe, but generally has to be put on the fascia before the roofing sheathing goes on the house, is the top-cap or Bandonet type with full wrap over the top, and a drip edge at the bottom, similar to this but without the bottom U curl - (this particular photo is for a specific no-soffit application) - but not in general distribution in the US yet.

Fascia covers are rarely done by roofing companies unless they also do gutters - Gutter companies and Siding companies routinely do them (some gutter companies can make gutters and fascia covers from the same materials).

If when you said "new home" you just mean new to you but a preowned home when you bought it, then this is something you will have to pay for - if a "new home" as in a new build, if still within builder's warranty they should at least the dripedge for free - fascia covers would basically always be an added cost option on a new home so don't expect to get them for free.

If the water is running along the BOTTOM of the fascia and wetting the T&G soffit cover boards, you can also stop that doing one of two things without putting fascia covers on - though this does nothing to protect the fascia itself from the water, though a couple coats good quality exterior trim paint will go a long ways towards that as long as a dripedge is getting the roof drips below the top of the fascia board:

1) inserting a dripedge strip (metal or plastic) between the fascia board and the T&G so any water moving toward the house on the bottom of the fascia board hits the dripedge and drops free. You do NOT want a dripedge on the bottom edge of the fascia board as it can catch water. Just a thin piece of peel-and-stick PVC plastic door seal weatherstripping like this, sitting vertically in the crack between fascia and soffit and sticking down 1/4" or so, can work as a retrofit -

2) put a deliberate drip edge slot on the bottom of the fascia board itself - you cut a groove into the bottom edge of the fascia board with a skil saw or rotary cutoff saw or router (easiest thing to use if no gutters) or such, about 1/4" deep and at least 1/8 inch wide set back from the front edge about 1/4 inch, to form an upside down U that the water cannot wick up and over, so the water has to drip off the lower front corner of the fascia board. Of course, this groove has to be sealed/painted against water damage - usually with the same paint as the fascia boards. The groove looks like this - the same idea as the drip edge groove on some high quality board and lap siding and on most non-metal window/door sills - called a drip groove or capillary groove because it stops capillary tension wicking of the water along the bottom surface

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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