How To Install a Rain Diverter to Your Roof
Channel water where you want it to go without adding gutters.
IntroductionWithout gutters, rain and snow melt can flood steps, entryways and sidewalks. A rain diverter solves the problem without the expense of installing gutters by simply channeling water away.
- Caulk gun
- Extension ladder
- Pry bar
- Tin snips
- Roof diverter (D-style drip edge)
- Roofing nails
- Silicone caulk
If your house lacks gutters, rain that’s pouring off the roof will give you a good soaking when you come and go. In winter, melting snow creates a slip-and-fall hazard when it drips and freezes on porch stoops. You can avoid those problems by taking 25 minutes and using the techniques shown below to install a rain diverter.
What Is a Rain Diverter?
Rain diverters are strips of metal that are installed beneath the roofing material that help channel water to the side, away from a particular spot under the roof.
They are most commonly installed above entryways to keep water from running on people as they come and go from a house.
Rain Diverters vs. Gutters
Both gutters and rain diverters are a means to control water on a roof. Gutters collect water from the entire roof and divert it to a downspout. A rain diverter channels the water away from a specific area. Rain diverters are used where gutters might be hard to install or in a place where gutters might be considered unsightly to the overall look of the house.
The two can be used in conjunction with each other, for instance, installing a rain diverter to direct water into the gutters.
Issues with Rain Diverters
One potential problem with rain diverters is that they can create ice dams as snow melts and refreezes at night. That can prevent water from running off the roof and seep under the shingles causing water damage to the roof.
Project step-by-step (3)
Loosen the tabs
- Work from a stable ladder centered on the doorway and release only those tabs along the third course of shingles up from the eave.
- Lift the shingle tabs by gently pushing the flat end of a pry bar under each tab. If the asphalt sealant holding the courses of shingles together won’t release, apply more force to the pry bar by punching the back of the bar using your palm or tapping the bar lightly with a hammer.
- It’s best to work on a roof in temperatures of about 40 to 70 degrees F.
Slide the diverter in
- Apply a 1/4-in. thick bead of clear silicone caulk on the underside of the drip edge.
- Lift the shingle tabs up slightly and slide the diverter under the tabs.
- Slide one end of the diverter tight to the bottom of the shingle tabs and leave a 1-in. exposure at the other end to create a drainage pitch.
- On newer roofs where the shingles are more pliable, fasten the diverter in place using both silicone and roofing nails.
- Space the nails every 2 ft. under the shingle tabs and caulk the nailheads with silicone.
Apply the caulk
- Apply a dab of silicone caulk to the vertical slots in the shingle tabs above the diverter to ensure that water doesn’t seep under the top edge of the metal.