When it rains, water drips through the soffit and along the inside face of the fascia. This picture shows the water dripping through, but when it rains harder sometimes there's more:

Water dripping through soffit

My landlord just installed that aluminum soffit. Above it is solid plywood. This is at the valley of an L-shaped gabled roof.

Is this a problem? It's not a ton of water and I haven't noticed any leaks inside the house, but it seems to me like there shouldn't be any water in there. The gutters have been recently cleaned and there's no debris in them.

EDIT: added a few more photos

Here are two shots of the valley in question from above, plus another shot of a different gutter to show the construction and condition of the roof.

The shingles are approximately 4 years old, on top of an older layer (maybe more? hard to tell). There doesn't seem to be a drip edge. The shingles extend over the fascia and into the gutter by about 1".

Shingles at valley gutter Valley of roof Singles overhanging gutter

  • Can you get a photo from above? There should be a drip edge at the edge of the roof to direct water over the fascia and into the gutter.
    – Niall C.
    Oct 2, 2012 at 18:02
  • @NiallC.: I needed to wait for the rain to stop, but I just added some more photos.
    – Hank
    Oct 2, 2012 at 19:51
  • Is the gutter slopped to the downspouts?
    – BMitch
    Oct 2, 2012 at 20:04
  • @BMitch: The gutters are sloped about 1" per 10'. They aren't filling with water when it rains.
    – Hank
    Oct 2, 2012 at 20:23
  • The gutter supports appear to be nailed on top of the shingles. These could be the source of leaks.
    – user43717
    Sep 20, 2015 at 0:15

4 Answers 4


Oh, wow. I'm sorry, but your roof is probably bad. If you can get the money you paid four years ago back (doubtful), I would, but you probably need to get that entire mess torn off all the way down to the decking, and probably quite a bit of the decking near the edges of the roof too. You can tell because the shingles look "lumpy" and have a rolling look to them -- like someone's melted them, especially near the edges -- and the valley is curved instead of sharp. I can also see the lines running across where different runs of roof sheathing panels meet (every 4' or so); that it's sagged in between these lines is a sign of sheathing damage.

Your roof isn't the shingles, so it doesn't matter that the shingles are only four years old. Your roof is actually the tar paper and ice and water shield that is underneath underneath the shingles. Multiple layers of shingles are bad; it means that they didn't replace the actual stuff that keeps the water out of your house, they just replaced the stuff that you see that goes over top.

If you go up into your attic when it's been raining quite a bit, see how much more of the underside of your roof sheathing is damp. If there's a lot, you need to get it torn off and replaced as soon as possible. If there isn't much, you have a few years to save up for it, but it looks bad now from the top. Make sure when they re-do it that they tear everything down to bare wood, remove all the nails and staples and junk, use Ice & Water Shield along the roof edges and in the valleys, and then put new 30 year tar paper and shingles over it. The tar paper and ice&water shield is what actually keeps the water out of your house. The shingles only protect the tar paper from abuse.

  • 1
    Thanks for your feedback. Fortunately I'm only renting and likely won't be here more than another year or so. I was hoping that I could ask the landlord to do a minor repair to fix the problem, but apparently this might require some real work. (I wasn't a tenant when the landlord did the re-shingling but I suspect that his usual handyman did the work.)
    – Hank
    Oct 3, 2012 at 2:25
  • To me it doesn't look that bad - perhaps there's some minor damage somewhere, but I've seen much worse, including cases when sky can be seen through roofing. Those were real bad.
    – sharptooth
    Oct 3, 2012 at 7:27
  • Yeah, the roof at the place we are renting in Houston looks just as bad -- which is how I learned about how much is wrong with the pictures you posted. We have three layers of shingles over dry-rotted cedar shingles and no decking; I would not suggest walking on the roof that's installed in our rental. :-P Not much you can do in a rental unless it damages your stuff. And not renew the lease. Oct 3, 2012 at 18:03

Water dripping where it shouldn't means something is wrong in the roofing. If you want to find where exactly the problem comes from your best bet is to get into the space under the roof when it rains and try to find where exactly water appears first.

This will give you a good idea which are of the roof to investigate from the outside. This will require partially disassembling that ceiling made of perforated metal.

The most likely reason is some minor damage to one of the shingles - this can be repaired pretty easy once you locate it.

  • Unfortunately the perforated aluminum is just decorative in this case—above it is a solid plywood soffit. Do you think that will have to be taken out? There's not an obvious crawl space inside the house to get at that portion of the roof.
    – Hank
    Oct 3, 2012 at 15:20
  • @Henry Jackson: That plywood is likely attached from under the shingles, so you won't be able to remove it without first removing the shingles. At least you should inspect the plywood to try locate where water arises first.
    – sharptooth
    Oct 4, 2012 at 7:24

A few things:

  1. Multiple layers of roof shingles are fine if done properly. Would be interesting to know if a proper starter course was installed beneath the lower row of shingles. If not, the rainwater could be penetrating the original or former layer of shingles.
  2. Take a look at how the lower rows of shingles are "woven" together in the valley. Improper.
  3. What is with what appears to be a block of wood in the gutter at the base of the valley?
  4. Drip edge flashing is advised as well as sealing the gutter seams when weather is accommodating.
  5. Gutters need to be kept clear at all times! Especially at the base of a valley!
  • 1
    Welcome to the site, Andy. When you get enough rep, you'll be able to comment on any question. But until then, you can post a follow up question/comment as an answer and flag it for us to convert for your. It's a bit difficult to for us to do in this case, since this is half "answer" and half "follow up question" and I don't want to convert the entire thing.
    – BMitch
    Jun 14, 2013 at 10:30

It seems to me that the problem is in the rain gutter, which does not appear to have any slope to it. Without a proper slope to the gutter, water will just stack up in the gutter and run over the edge if it gets too full, looking like there is a roof problem. Before you worry too much about a new roof, I would look at the gutters. See if they are filling up when it rains. That COULD be your problem, although the shingle job on the roof is not very impressive.

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