Our home has some areas where the different pieces of roof meet the primary roof. These may or may not meet the criteria for "dormers." I recently had a local worker do some caulking & painting. I thought he was going to clear & seal these areas where the roof line meets another portion of the roof line. After he had completed the job I got home from work late & inspected the work the next am. There is still a 1 1/2 inch gap between the areas of intersecting roof lines. He replaced the flashing & caulked where he worked, but there is still open areas that are angled & go directly into my attic. These 4 areas a re approximately 12 to 18 inches in length & were infested with red wasps & a bird nest. The wasps do not bother us, but if they can get into my attic, I assume other insects & critters can too. Okay sorry for the history. Should I seal these areas? They are against the primary roof & might be considered dormer edges.

Gap in framing

Typical Gap - A similar one is on the opposite side



Full Image Gallery


2 Answers 2


Oh dear. That's an unfortunate detail. :( I'm afraid DA01 is actually correct, the proper solution is tear out and properly rebuild. The proper approach to this would have been to either stop the barge end (the gable end overhang) several inches above the lower roof so the bottom could be properly enclosed and the lower roof properly flashed. This would not be a good detail architecturally though.

Another approach would be to fully extend the barge end so that it is actually fully framed into the lower roof, then flashing applied around the intersection. The barge end trim could extend a bit over the flashing, stopping short of the lower roof an inch or so. But the main structure is actually physically connected to the lower roof.

Those are the correct options, which involves a lot of remedial work and undoing much of what has been done in this area. If need be, you could do a stop gap treatment that will seal off the gap for now. This is far from ideal, and proper treatment should certainly be done when it comes time to re-roof.

This would involve fitting carefully shaped wood shims into the gaps to give the appearance the barge end had been framed into the lower roof. The outward facing shims could be toenailed in place, but the parts under the soffit would be just a pressure fit or sort of glued in with caulking. There will likely still be small gaps that need to be filled with caulk. Use a paintable caulk so when it's done and painted, it will not appear to be a patch job from any distance.

I don;t like this final option at all, but I understand if you are unwilling to do a proper fix at this point and thus offer this suggestion.

  • I agree with not liking the final option. My fear is that water could get behind the gap somehow and once trapped, rot out the roof structure. The gap should have been handled with one of the first two options, but absent that, I wouldn't do more than install some sort of screening or flashing that would allow moisture to escape from the bottom.
    – BMitch
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 0:26
  • Yes, an ages old conundrum. Completely seal so water cannot get in, and thus trapping any that is inside? But virtually nothing is completely waterproof, so water will almost always get in. So ideally, there should be an escape path, but that often introduces an entry path as well, not only for water, but for insects and other critters, depending on the size of the path. Which way to go is certainly a judgment call.
    – bcworkz
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 21:20

This is typical of new construction in Texas. It provides free access for critters into your attic. Although it could have been constructed differently, the most practical fix is to stuff in a batting that will provide drainage, while also excluding access to unwanted attic tenants. See your local pest control service for assistance.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. Commented Nov 19, 2019 at 16:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.