New roof, leak in soffit


About a month ago I had a brand new roof put on. Roofer removed existing shingles, put ice/water barrier up 9 feet at my request as well is all the way up the 2 valleys.

Last storm of the year was a wet snow and then we had cold weather which caused it to freeze. When it warmed up I believe there was a small ice damn. I noticed the first warm day that water was dripping from my soffit vent. I went into the attic to see if there was a leak anywhere and there wasn’t. I opened up the soffit vent and discovered what the problem is.

The sheathing for the roof does not go all the way to the facia. There is a 2-3 inch space. Also the ice/water barrier only extends about a half inch past the sheathing and not all the way to the facia. So the ice damn cause water to go under the shingle, hit the ice/water barrier and go down the roof and drip into the attic/soffit because the ice/water barrier doesn’t extend to the facia. You can see this if you zoom in on the attached image.

My roofer doesn’t believe me and thinks the dripping was from condensation. You can see the wood is soaked.

My fear is this was a small ice damn and if I get a large one it’s going to be much worse.

My thought is he has to remove the roof all the way up to where be started the ice/water barrier and replace that making sure it extends to the facia board. I don’t see any other solution to this. Would this be the correct fix or is there something else that can be done?



Unless I’m misunderstanding, the problem is with poor original construction and not the roofer. Perhaps it is different where you’re at but I’m not familiar with extending the IWS past the edge of the decking and wrapping it over the fascia. If that’s what you need, why not install drip edge or gutter apron?

Also, if your roof is that susceptible to ice dams, why didn’t you cover the entire roof in Grace Ice & Water Shield. And even install the copper grid heating system under the shingles in the problem areas?

If your roofer made an error, it was likely not informing of the issue with your decking and subsequently insisting that you pay for new decking to be installed along the eaves to solve the problem. If you’re going to blame them for something, just make sure you’re blaming them for the right thing.

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Yes I understand it may have been done incorrectly in the original construction but I had already told the roofer to replace any plywood that needed it and any problem areas. I agree the original construction was done incorrectly but they should have cut a 3-3 inch piece of plywood to run along the missing area to fix the issue. Then the ice and water barrier would run to the edge of the plywood which would essentially go to the facia.

I suggested to the roofer doing the entire roof with the ice and water barrier but he strongly encouraged me not to.

A drip edge is installed but it goes over the ice and water barrier as you can see in the image I provided.

I am not trying to blame the roofer for the original construction, but when I hire a professional to do work I would expect them to tell me when something is wrong and work towards resolving it. Don’t leave it and then tell me, well that’s the way it was originally. The bottom line is, now water runs down the roof and falls into the soffit area. If something is not right, tell me and fix it before putting down the roof and then identifying the issue. I would have paid more to resolve it so it was done right.

Besides, this post was not about blaming, I am asking for professional options on what can be done to fix the issue.




The problem is the ice and water shield doesn’t cover the facia board. Poor construction just doesn’t help the issue. In my area it’s common to wrap the ice and water shield behind the gutter as well.

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correct, the issue is that the ice and water barrier does not even extend to the facia and therefore all water that runs down it will end up in the soffit. My question is, does the roofer need to remove the shingles and current ice and water barrier and lay down a new one that extends to the facia or is there another solution without removing the shingles and ice and water barrier. I do not want a Kludged resolution that will in the long run be worse.

My thought is the only fix is to remove and replace because there is no way to extend the ice and water barrier at this point.



You didn’t include all that information in the original post. I still think the root cause problem begins with the sheathing not extending out as far as it should. So the first thing to do is to correct that. If it is common in your area to extend the ice & water shield down the fascia, have at it. I would think if everything else is done correctly, that shouldn’t be necessary. Bottom line, it sounds like your roofer didn’t follow their instructions.



Drip edge should always be under the ice/water shield and ideally should be sandwiched in between two layers. It is never an excuse for a roofer to blame faulty construction after a reroof. That is the same thing as not upgrading ventilation because it wasn’t vented properly originally.

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I have been installing the I&W shield first then the drip edge and after that strip it in with 6" window flashing anywhere there is I&W shield.

I have seen many roofs where the drip edge was installed first (over bare wood) with the bottom 2" of the sheeting rotted out from the I&W shield not sealing around the nails through the drip edge.

This is something one of my general contractors requested that I do over 20 yrs ago, some GC’s are actually pretty damn good.



That’s why I said to sandwich it between two layers. To keep it from touching the wood.
If you put a strip down first, then drip, then ice water there will be no seams facing uphill.



I like to wrap the ice shield over fascia and then add eave metal on top of ice shield. This stops water from entering soffit and will not add any time or cost to to project. This method also has the benefit for the homeowner of leaving streaks on the fascia when your shingles are leaking so you know it’s time to remove ice or do a roof repair!

If you don’t want the early warning system, go with the sandwich, it’s a great option.
Alternative sandwich: Wrap ice shield over fascia, install eave metal, then run synthetic underlayment over eave metal and up rest of roof. Benefit: Shingles don’t stick to ice shield Making the future repairs and tear-off easier on the next guy.

As a retroactive fix to your problem at this point, you may be able to sneak a piece of drip metal under the ice shield and shingles to extend the runoff out over the fascia. Of course the success of this depends on a lot of factors such as how well the ice shield is fastened/adhered to the roof deck and how much overhang you have.

Tearing out the shingles is the only other option, but you would need to tear up past where you need the ice protection and reinstall the ice shield. If you tear-up just a few layers of shingles to sneak in the ice shield patch and try to put it back together, it will probably not work. Ice shield pffers marginal protection against standing water even when installed properly.

Good Luck!