Drip Edge, Under or Over Ice Guard? Solution with Gutters


Anyone else struggling with the best solution for blocking ice dams when using gutters? Best practice has been recommending wrapping the Ice and Water Shield down over the fascia, while Manufacturer instructions and warranties want the Ice and Water installed on top of the drip edge. I think I have a solution and would like to share and hear your thoughts on it. For anyone that can’t see the photo I will describe it:

It’s an extra layer of flashing (gutter apron) before the starter strip. First, as usual, a drip edge, but custom made with an extended 3” leg to block ice. Then ice/water shield as usual. Then, before shingles go on, a second gutter apron with a 2” leg, then shingles. The gutter will get installed OVER the 3" leg of the drip edge and UNDER the 2" leg of the gutter apron. This will direct rain water into the gutter, it will allow the gutter to have up to 1.5" of pitch while staying behind the apron flashing, and it will block ice dams from the possibility of reaching wood.



Personally, in the situation when I am installing to bare fascia I prefer to install ice guard first (wrapped down to the bottom of the fascia) drip edge over the ice guard. However I see nothing wrong with what you want to do except making a lot of extra work (for the end result to be no better quality wise).


My understanding is that for the GAF warranty to stand the drip edge must be installed under the ice guard.


Not sure about that but its possible. If that’s the case I would then use a 1/2 rip of ice guard down over the fascia and onto the roof. Next install drip edge. Then install ice guard over the drip edge. Should make everyone happy.

P.s. I wouldn’t get too excited about gaf (or any other shingle) warranties. They are super easy to be weaseled out of.


We use Owens corning and they call for the same thing. Drip on first then
ice and then rake metal over underlays. We do it this way most of the time,
but we have done some for condos where we have done it the way Island
specified. a strip of ice under the drip and over the fascia, then the
drip, then put our 6 feet on. Note this is mainly just with the condos
where architects are in place and have ideas to fix everything.
the best way to eliminate ice dams is to have the best insulation with the
best ventilation that particular home and then monitor and remove when
needed. By best I mean a spray foam system with a soffit ridgevent system
properly installed to the 1/300 rule. or switch to metal, but you still
want good insulation, and ventilation.
almost everyone with a winter we had a few years ago had ice dams. I think
going that extra mile will make a difference if you can sell it. Having ice
dams voids warranties for manufacturers and the roofing company won’t cover
them either.

Ricky Southers


Southers Construction, Inc



Bad detail. Follow the flow of water and you will find that it puts water behind the gutter and down your fascia. Put the ice guard over the drip edge so water must flow into the gutter. If you are concerned that ice may get between the drip edge and gutter, use a gutter with a wing. Put the ice guard over the wing.


For the last few years I have been installing the ice & water shield first, then the drip edge, then stripping it in with 6" window flashing.

A GC I have worked with for yrs has had me do this for 15 yrs now so I just started doing it all the time.


Best practice is 2 piece it. Small piece,12" wide to wrap the fascia and onto the roof. Drip edge than full course on top. Excessive in most areas, but if your building new it isn’t a huge extra expense.


I think you missed that the ice guard is on top of the main drip edge. All rain water goes into the gutter due to the gutter apron. Any water under the shingles (if it ever happens from a leak or ice dam) can still come out in front of the fascia.


I think you need to look at the detail again. Without the water guard on top of the gutter apron (or nosing) water is free to get under this metal and run down the fascia. Wouldn’t it be better to totally keep water from running down the fascia and, instead, run it into the gutter? You’re building a belt and suspenders system that isn’t needed. More labor, more expense for nothing. As I said, winged gutter with water guard on top of the flange.


The only water getting on the fascia would be from a leak or melting ice dam under the shingles. Normal rain water can only go into the gutter since the gutter is under the gutter apron. The reason the first drip edge is behind the gutter is to make sure any ice dam coming up from the gutter can’t make it to the framing or sheathing, It is forced on top of the ice guard.


Something I have noticed about installing the ice & water shield over the top of the drip edge is that water seeps in through the nail holes where the nail goes through both the starter & the drip edge.

The ice & water shield doesn’t seal around the nail when it is stuck to metal so water gets past the nail and rots a couple inches of the wood at the eave.

This doesn’t happen every time but it happens enough to be an issue, I suspect that this is from the small icicles that form even with good ventilation.

Any place that has drip edge over ice & water shield I strip in with window flashing, that means 6’ up the rakes also.


Axiom, I don’t disagree with your solution. In fact, I like it. The detail shown just isn’t good. We both know that water will get under the nosing and not go into the gutter. If you don’t mind water running down the fascia board, why even have a gutter?


All manufactures follow the ARMA guidelines as if ice and water was felt paper, meaning under the drip on rakes, over on bottoms. While I totally agree it should be wraped down onto facia in order to be really effective. The house inspectors will just follow the guidelines and force you to fix it! In our area we have had to redo many due to this, so we just install it per manufacturers spec. Funny thing is the manufactures pretty much all agree it’s better the other way, they just don’t want to rewrite the spec and go against the ARMA spec. And let’s face it, the manufacturers don’t warranty application, just the material against defects! So they have no dog in the hunt so to speak.