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A sunroom contractor is adding a screened in deck to my house. The drip edge was not delivered before the roofer installed the roof and he said that the drip edge could be installed later by lifting up the shingles and nailing. When the drip edge arrived, they did not lift the shingles. They nailed the drip edge to the fascia using aluminum siding nails.

Is this okay? On one hand, I can see how water could get through the nail holes; but on the other, there are already similar holes present for the aluminum siding wrap on other fascia on the home.

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    I find it quite lazy, but it's entirely a matter of opinion. It probably won't cause problems, but it wouldn't have been that difficult to nail from above. – isherwood Jan 19 at 14:55
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    Yeah, I have found that there aren't too many craftsmen that actually care about being masters at their craft, sadly. I paid to have this project done, instead of using myself, to keep the wife happy. I have been on pins and needles watching them the entire time. – Evil Elf Jan 19 at 15:29
  • For what it's worth, the project overall looks good to my eye. – isherwood Jan 19 at 15:31
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    According to Tom Silva of This Old House, the drip edge should not touch the fascia. It should be 1/4" proud of it. – Steve Wellens Jan 19 at 16:07
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    @SteveWellens yeah, I have read that many times, but I have actually seen drip edge applied that way at all in practice. Having aluminum wrap protecting the wood fascia saves me here a bit as well. – Evil Elf Jan 19 at 16:09
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I'll offer some thoughts in lieu of an answer. I think this is a subjective question with no objective truth to be found. I personally wouldn't have done it like that.

  • It's not difficult to lift shingles and nail from the top, even though it may mean pulling a few roofing nails. Your contractor just didn't feel like it.
  • The primary issue I have with this approach is that it ruins the aesthetic of the metal--not only do you now have nail heads where there shouldn't be any, but you get a wavy surface that's likely rather conspicuous at some times of the day.
  • You're not likely to have water problems as a result of those nails. Your shingle overhang is adequate to prevent most water contact, and not much would flow through the drip edge and the fascia anyway.
  • I would not try to seal the nail holes from the face. Any caulk will discolor and accumulate dirt and leave you with big splotches on your nice white surface.
  • If anything, I'd seal behind the edge flange, over the fascia. I probably wouldn't bother, though.
  • Those nails are typical for fascia installation, where they're usually driven up from below, into the edge of the sub-fascia. They're adequate for the job. If they ever did work loose I'd replace the edge and install it correctly before I'd put larger fasteners there.
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    You are so right on the aesthetics; I just looked in the sunlight and it looks horrible. It is all wavy. I already called and the owner of the company stated he would have the roofer come out and do it correctly. – Evil Elf Jan 19 at 21:12
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TBH, it would probably be pretty difficult to lift the edge of the shingles enough to actually be able to nail the drip edge down from above. The shingles should be nailed pretty close to the fascia to prevent them from lifting in the wind, so (IMHO) you're doing pretty good that they were able to slip the drip edge under there to begin with.

Personally, though, I agree with your concern and would probably put a little smear of clear or white silicone over each of those nails to ensure water doesn't get through. Whether it's strictly necessary to do so, I couldn't say, but that's what I'd do.

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  • How did they get the drip edge under the underlayment on the eaves side? – Robert Simpson Jan 19 at 15:20
  • @RobertSimpson I have no idea. Pry bar and hammer I would guess. – Evil Elf Jan 19 at 15:28
  • @EvilElf Well, successful "experts" build as sloppily and hurriedly as they can get away with. Capitalism works. – Stian Yttervik Jan 20 at 6:58
  • @EvilElf the overhang doesn't seem to be too much. While I haven't seen it left like this (there are not much shingle in my country, but when used, I usually see it bent down and nailed on the side). If the shingle is nailed closed enough to the edge it will be OK (as far as shingle lasts in time, eg less than tiles): with years and hot days it will probably bend down naturally though – Kaddath Jan 20 at 8:29
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The larger issue isn't with water penetration. Some water will get in because you need some sort of fastener. As long as the water has somewhere to go besides inside the wood, this shouldn't be a problem. Remember, this is a vertical surface and it's just under the shingle, so water exposure should be minimal in the first place. The best siding has some small channels to allow the water to fall down inside and collect there). Tiny amounts of water won't wreck the wood. If it's still an issue in your mind, a coat of some exterior paint should prevent even that tiny amount, but it's a lot of money and hassle that's likely unnecessary.

The problem is they use some simple penny nails to do the job. While they will hold it up, I've found them unreliable in the long term (and your fascia pulling away is a far worse problem). If/when they pull out, I like to replace them with stainless steel pan head screws. They can be screwed flush and they don't allow much more water in than the nails, but they hold much better.

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  • Super relevant point about the fasteners that are used. For instance, rust stains will accumulate with cheap fasteners. The overall aesthetic will suffer in time. – Robert Simpson Jan 20 at 9:59

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