This project is continued from How to Repair Rotted Soffit and Fascia – Part 3.

With the new soffit and fascia installed, it’s time to rehang the gutter. The gutter was originally fastened with gutter spikes nailed into the rafter tails. Gutter spikes are similar to big nails. The problem with gutter spikes is they tend to work themselves out and become loose.

Gutter Screws versus Gutter Spikes

Gutter Screws versus Gutter Spikes

I used gutter screws to reattach the gutter. Gutter screws won’t back out like smooth spikes and hold better. The gutter screws are on the left and center in the above photo.

Reinstall the Gutter

The old gutter sealant is scraped off the end of the gutter and all dirt is washed off. Do the same for the mating gutter end at the front of the roof.

The corner gutter joint is fastened with aluminum pop rivets: 1/8″ rivets for the face and 3/8″ rivets on the bottom. A pop rivet tool with several head sizes is needed.

Pop Rivets for Joining Gutter Corners

Pop Rivets for Joining Gutter Corners

The gutter is laid on the roof and the corner fastened with pop rivets, observing the original sheet metal folds. It was important to fasten this end first because it established the “high end” for proper slope and water drainage. I haven’t installed the gutter screws yet because this short section of gutter is light, rigid and the far end sits against and is supported by the roof.

Gutter Corner Joint Fastened with Pop Rivets

Gutter Corner Joint Fastened with Pop Rivets

The corner seam of the gutters is sealed with gutter sealant that is applied to the inside of the gutter. Take care to remove the old sealant and dirt before applying sealant from both gutter sections.

Gutter Sealer

Gutter Sealer

Rehang the Gutter with Gutter Screws

Gutter screws are simple to install with a cordless drill/driver. I wasn’t able to get a decent photo working over my head on the 2nd story, though this photo from work I was doing later illustrates the installation. Lift the shingles to double check the screw is aligned with the rafter tail before installing.

Attach the Gutter with Gutter Screws

Attach the Gutter with Gutter Screws

The 11 foot section of gutter was short enough that it didn’t sag with the far end resting on the roof, so it wasn’t necessary to chalk a line to maintain the proper slope. In fact, the slope was an aggressive 3/4″ over the 11 foot length.

A view of the scaffold and re-installed gutter with the new soffit and fascia:

Rotted Soffit Repair: Reattached Gutter with new Soffit and Fascia

Rotted Soffit Repair: Reattached Gutter with new Soffit and Fascia

The soffit joints are caulked with a paintable exterior grade silicone caulk.

Rotted Soffit Repair: New Soffit Plywood and PVC Fascia Board

Rotted Soffit Repair: New Soffit Plywood and PVC Fascia Board

Roof Valley Flashing to Protect the Soffit

The TUF Board PVC fascia won’t rot if it gets wet, however the plywood soffit will eventually rot if it gets wet.

To prevent rain water from leaking under the fascia and onto the soffit again, I slipped a 4″ x 8″ section of flashing under the shingles and over the gutter end at the roof valley to direct the rain water away from the fascia:

Flashing over the Gutter and Roof Valley

Flashing over the Gutter and Roof Valley

I crawled into the attic during two different rainy periods and confirmed the flashing kept the water out. It worked like great.

The roof valley drainage problem onto the soffit was fixed when I later had the roof replaced by re-engineering the entire setup:

  • Install kickout step flashing behind the PVC fascia board to direct any rain water away from the plywood soffit.
    • Other examples of kickout step flashing are here and installation details here.
    • The roofers loosened the PVC fascia board (recall I fastened it with stainless steel wood screws) to insert the kickout flashing behind the fascia board. The flashing, fascia board and soffit seams are then caulked.
  • Install drip edge flashing that extends from the roof deck and over the top of the fascia board.
  • New gutters that stop short of the roof valley so leaves and debris do not catch on the gutter and wash off.
  • Added gutter downspouts to better handle the water flow and drain the gutter away from the roof valley.

This project is concluded in How to Repair Rotted Soffit and Fascia – Part 5.

Thanks for reading,

Bob Jackson

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