Installing a Rain Diverter

Danny Lipford installing a rain diverter on a roof.
Danny Lipford installing a rain diverter on a roof.

Nothing is more annoying than having to walk through a waterfall coming off your roof to reach the front door every time it rains. Fortunately, there’s an easy and inexpensive solution to the problem.

Installing a Rain Diverter.

Rain diverters are available at building supply stores, but if you can’t find one, see our article on How to Make a Rain Diverter to see how you can make one from sheet metal yourself. They are easiest to install on asphalt roofing and consist of an “L” shaped piece of sheet metal that fits under the roofing above the entranceway.

Holding the rain diverter.

First, cut the diverter about a foot longer on each side than the area you want to keep dry.

Cutting the rain diverter.

Center the diverter over the area to be covered using a plumb bob or a string with a weight attached. Using a pry bar or putty knife, loosen the second row of shingles up from the edge of the roof where the diverter will be located.

Prying the shingles.

Slide the diverter under the shingles.

Placing the rain diverter under the shingles.

Slant the diverter so that one side is slightly lower than the other to allow for drainage. A drop of 1” is plenty for a 6′ diverter.

Slanting the rain diverter.

Carefully lift up the shingle tabs to keep from breaking them, and nail the diverter in place with roofing nails. Position the nails so they will be covered by the shingles and are a few inches up from the bottom edge of the overlapping shingles.

Nailing the rain diverter in place.

Dab roofing cement on the nail heads, under each shingle tab, and in any gaps between the shingles to keep water from getting underneath the diverter. Press the shingles down to seal them back in place.

Use roofing cement to seal the rain diverter.

That’s all there is to it. Now you won’t get soaked on the way to the mailbox when it rains. Be sure and clean behind the rain diverter from time to time to keep leaves and other debris from building up.

Further Information

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Backed by his 40-year remodeling career, Danny served as the home improvement expert for CBS’s The Early Show and The Weather Channel for more than a decade. His extensive hands-on experience and understanding of the industry make him the go-to source for all things having to do with the home – from advice on simple repairs, to complete remodels, to helping homeowners prepare their homes for extreme weather and seasons.