Flashing From A Flat Roof Into A Gutter

How Flashing From a Flat Roof Into A Gutter Works

In a recent article, we took a look at similar issues related to flashing omissions and defects between the bottom termination of shingle roofs and the gutter.   You can take a look at the referenced article below.

Flashing From a Shingle Roof Into a Rain Gutter

This week, we’re taking a look at a very similar issue at the rear termination of flat or low slope roofs. This issue is similar and related in many ways, but has some particular differences and distinctions related to the configuration and material types.

Next week, as well we’re going to look at a very similar but different topic related to animal entry points at rear terminations. This is an issue both in residential rowhomes, commercial buildings, and single family free standing homes, as well. These type of roofs have different ways to shed water and transition between material types, but rodents are fastidious and hardy and find their way into buildings at these transitions.

How Building Materials Should Be Installed For Proper Gutter Flow

The picture below shows the example of a typical roof termination. The rear of the building meets the low area of the roof at a gutter, mounted on a fascia board and the roof is built to pass or transition into the gutter at a metal drip edge.

typical roof termination flashing from a flat roof into gutter

The next picture below shows the top of the rear wall of a rowhome building with the fascia installed at the top of the wall and the gutter mounted on top of a painted white fascia board. This picture, alone, without context, stands as an example of how the building materials should be installed at the top of the brick wall to join from the roof system to the gutter and flow properly from the gutter to a downspout.

top of the rear wall rowhome

Errors and omissions in the installation of these elements are very common. Many roofing contractors only concentrate on the roof itself and not the gutter or downspout systems which are intended to convey water from the roof and away from the building.   It’s important to look at the big picture when considering the holistic building-wide condition, upkeep, and building “health”.

Why Most Roofers Omit Gutter And Downspout

Meanwhile, there are many other contractors who focus just on things like gutter and downspout, almost as if the type of work is divided between these two trade specialists. It works a little bit like a self fulfilling prophecy because roofers will specifically omit the gutter and downspout just because there’s another niche of the market that services gutter and downspouts specifically. And, as far as they see it, it’s a separate system that operates or functions and is attached to a separate part of the building.

The picture below shows the rear of the building, at the top of the rear wall, between the gutter and the bottom of the roof termination. You can see here there is an exposed area of wood fascia board where the drip edge should be installed to cover the exposed wood and work concentrically or overlapped in succession between the rear termination of the roof and the top of the gutter.

top of the rear wall gutter

How To Maintain Flat Roof And Gutter System

Smart proactive replacement, construction, upkeep and maintenance of low slope roof systems requires an enthusiastic interest and understanding of waterproofing principles and building science.   Here in Washington DC, historic and modern residential and commercial buildings are extremely expensive and the roof and related systems provide the shield that preserves the building. 

We encourage all of our clients, and all readers of this article and to our blog in general, to prioritize the value of quality construction and building maintenance, and develop a relationship with our company.  You can learn a lot more on our blog.  Feel free to check it out.  If you have questions about the roof and related systems of your building in Washington DC, contract us or fill out the webform below and drop us a line.  We will be in touch if we can help.

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