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Jim Ignatowski 07-15-2012 11:17 PM

Soffits leaking during rain storm
Hello everyone,

We just had a heavy rainstorm and my basement collected a lot of water. I've been in this house for approximately one year and this was the first time that I noticed water in the basement. During the storm I observed water leaking from underneath the soffit above the basement window well. I initially thought it was a clogged gutter, but that's not the case. I inspected the attic as best I could during the storm but didn't notice anything leaking. The roofing shingles are in relatively good shape, but I noticed that the plywood around the house is about an inch or two shy of the gutters. There is a gap there, and the singles extend right to the gutter with very little overhang. My question ... Is this my problem? I've asked other people about the plywood not extending to the gutter and most people said it wasn't an issue. However after this evening, I think that it is. I'm thinking that water is finding its way into that gap and leaking through the soffit joints. I was wondering if I could put flashing underneath the roofing shingles to close the gap between the plywood and gutter. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thank you

CopperClad 07-15-2012 11:42 PM

I'm not sure I understand, and a picture would help.. Do you have wood fascia? Is it covered with metal? Where are you located? When was the home built? The plywood never goes into the gutter, it gets cut flush with the fascia, or sometimes the plywood is cut back an inch and a half and the fascia is held up flush with the plywood. What kind of gutters are they? Is the soffit level or does it follow the angle of the roof? A photo will help.

Jim Ignatowski 07-16-2012 12:25 AM

I'm sorry for the confusion. The house was built in 1965. I'm not sure how old the roof is, but I would guess it was done within the last 15 years. There are two roofs on the plywood. I'm located in New York.

As you mentioned, the plywood is cut about an inch and a 1/2 shy of the fascia. I have aluminum gutters with downspouts in various locations. I will take some pictures tomorrow to illustrate this. I took a video of the soffit leaking, I'm not sure if that helps: - Not sure if there is a way of attaching video.

I was thinking that the gap between the plywood and fascia was the problem and that's where the water getting into the soffit. I was considering putting flashing to close that gap? No idea if that's the right thing to do.

CopperClad 07-16-2012 12:42 AM

Well that most definitely isn't normal.. I'm not sure what would make it leak that bad.. If you get a good photo from the top that is all I can suggest for now.. If possible take one while lifting up the first shingle at the edge of the roof. But you do have an issue for sure.

Jim Ignatowski 07-16-2012 10:14 AM

Pictures of roof
Thanks a lot for you response and input. I posted five pictures to this site:

The gap between the plywood and fascia is 1". Thanks again.

CopperClad 07-16-2012 12:37 PM

Well after seeing those photos 2 things.. 1.The roof plywood is not cut to where it should have been, it should have been cut flush with the outside of your fascia in that particular setup. 2. The shingles clearly go to the gutter as normal, so it doesn't explain why so much water is leaking. I know the felt paper acts as a vapor barrier for any water which got underneath your shingle, but from that video you have a whole lot of water intruding.
There are quite a few people with a vast amount of roofing knowledge that visit this site, and I'm sure they will chime in and give their opinion. As for me.. I'm stumped. I can't figure out how it was framed that way for one, and 2 how the roofers could have just went over it like that.. After looking at it again. Is the felt paper cut flush with the roof plywood? If it is then that it your problem. Being as the roof shingles don't show any signs of needing replacement, it looks like you should be able to slide felt paper under your existing felt paper, and staple them together and also at your fascia. When it is time for your shingles to be replaced then you should cut about 11'' of your plywood sheeting and put a new 12'' piece that goes to the end of the fascia.. ( Maybe a drip edge with a longer nailing surface would also cover that gap as a temporary fix)

joecaption 07-16-2012 12:51 PM

I've seen this many times, no clue why years ago that the way it was since when your sheathing a roof you start at the bottom no the top, so there's no excuse for it.
If i had to fix it I would remove the shingles back far enough that I could cut out the plywood 24" from the face of the fashia. Once that's cut out and removed just install a new ripped piece along the whole length.
Add the Storm and Ice shield that's missing, drip cap then new paper maiking sure it's slid under the old paper, now your ready to shingle.
Make sure there's a strarter strip along the bottom row.

You do not want to try and just add a filler strip. It will just bounce when you try to nail the paper and drip cap on.

Jim Ignatowski 07-16-2012 01:44 PM

Soffits Leaking
I agree the right way to approach this is to remove the shingles and replace the bottom plywood so it's flush with the fascia. That's something I will have to consider doing in the future. As an interim solution, do you think that inserting flashing to close this gap would work to stop water from entering soffits? I have my hands full right now with projects and would like to postpone this if at all possible.

The roofing paper is pretty much flush with the plywood and does not close the gap.

Thanks again!

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