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Add a Rain Diverter

Without gutters, rain and snow melt can flood steps, entryways and sidewalks. A rain diverter solves the problem without the expense of installing gutters by simply channeling water away.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Install the diverter

If your house lacks gutters, rain that's pouring off the roof will give you a good soaking when you come and go. In winter, melting snow creates a slip-and-fall hazard when it drips and freezes on porch stoops. Avoid those problems by taking 25 minutes and using the techniques shown in Photos 1 – 3 to install a rain diverter.

Purchase metal D-style drip edge (ordinarily used as roof edge flashing) and install it upside down as a diverter. Drip edge comes in 10-ft. lengths and is usually available in white, brown and unpainted aluminum. Cut it to length, equaling the width of your stoop. Also buy a 10-oz. tube of clear silicone caulk for use as an adhesive and sealant.

Work carefully to break the bond to release the shingle tabs (Photo 1). Work from a stable ladder centered on the doorway and release only those tabs along the third course of shingles up from the eave. To avoid breaking the tabs on older, brittle shingles, lift them only 2 to 3 in. On newer roofs where the shingles are more pliable, fasten the diverter in place using both silicone (Photo 2) and roofing nails. Space the nails every 2 ft. under the shingle tabs. Caulk the nailheads with silicone.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Hammer
    • Caulk gun
    • Extension ladder
    • Pry bar
    • Tin snips

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Roof diverter (D-style drip edge)
    • Roofing nails
    • Clear silicone caulk

Comments from DIY Community Members

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March 20, 10:29 AM [GMT -5]

I have a metal roof and need to add either a rain diverter or gutters; all instructions are for asphalt shingled roofs. Rain diverter apears to be good idea, but doesn't solve my problem if I can't install it.

February 06, 3:21 PM [GMT -5]

Great tip

May 19, 10:41 AM [GMT -5]

what about ice dam, when the snow melts?

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