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What Is Drip Edge and Why Is It Important?

Date: April 28, 2024

When it comes to roofing, there are various components essential for protecting your home or building from the elements. One crucial element is drip edge, also referred to as roof drip edge flashing.

Drip edge plays a vital role in extending the lifespan of your roof and safeguarding your fascia from potential water damage. To ensure long-lasting protection for your home, incorporating drip edge flashing into your roofing system is essential. 

In this blog, we'll cover:

  1. What Is Drip Edge
  2. Importance Of Drip Edge
  3. How To Install Drip Edge
  4. Different Kinds Of Drip Edge 
  5. Different Materials Used For Drip Edge
  6. Signs Of Drip Edge Damage
https://youtu.be/LYB2tVmCRk4

What Is Drip Edge?

Drip edge, a metal flashing positioned along the roof's edge, serves to deter water from seeping back into the structure. Its core purpose is to channel water away from the roof edge, safeguarding underlying structures and averting water-related harm. Without a drip edge, rainwater flowing down the roof's slope may infiltrate beneath shingles and reach the fascia. 

The Importance of Drip Edges for Home Protection and Roof Longevity

  • Safeguarding Fascia and Soffit: Drip edges are crucial components in roof systems, effectively channeling water away from vulnerable areas such as fascia and soffit. By preventing excess moisture buildup, they mitigate the risk of discoloration and wood rot, ultimately extending the lifespan of these critical structural elements.
  • Pest Prevention: One often overlooked benefit of drip edges is their role in pest control. By covering the "carpenter's gap" between the roof deck and fascia board, drip edges create a barrier that deters pests from entering the home through the attic. This helps maintain a pest-free environment and protects against potential damage caused by unwanted intruders.
  • Keeping Porches Dry: Drip edges play a significant role in directing water flow during rainfall, effectively channeling it into gutters and away from vulnerable areas such as porches or decks. By keeping these outdoor spaces dry, drip edges help prevent water-related damage and maintain the integrity of external structures.
  • Roof Stability: During severe weather conditions, such as high winds or heavy rainfall, roofs are particularly vulnerable to damage. Drip edges contribute to roof stability by providing an additional layer of protection against wind uplift and water infiltration, reducing the risk of structural damage and prolonging the lifespan of the roof.
  • Ice Dam Protection: In colder climates, ice dams pose a significant threat to roofs and can lead to water damage if not properly addressed. Drip edges help prevent the formation of ice dams by facilitating proper drainage of melted snow and ice, reducing the risk of water infiltration and potential damage to the roof structure.
  • Basement Protection: Redirecting water away from the roof's edge, drip edges also play a role in protecting basements from water infiltration during heavy rainfall. By preventing water from pooling near the foundation, drip edges help mitigate the risk of basement flooding and water damage, contributing to a safer and more resilient home environment.

How To Install Drip Edge

Putting a drip edge on your roof is pretty easy. You can do it yourself if you're handy or get a roofer to help. Here's how:

  1. Get Ready: Take off the old stuff from the edge of the roof so it's clean.
  2. Measure: Figure out how much drip edge you need and cut it to size, leaving a little bit hanging over the edge.
  3. Put it in Place: Nail or screw the drip edge onto the roof, making sure to leave a bit of space from the edge so water can't sneak back under.
  4. Cover it Up: Lay down some underlayment over the drip edge, making sure to overlap it a bit. This adds extra protection against water.
  5. Add the Roof Stuff: Finally, put down your shingles or whatever roofing material you're using, following the instructions.

For Safe Drip Edge Trust It To Professionals

It's better to have professionals do the job. If a drip edge is put in the wrong way, water won't go into the gutters like it should. This can cause wood to rot and other damage to the fascia and soffit. Fixing these problems later can be expensive.

The drip edge needs to be slanted so water goes straight into the gutter. But every roof is different, so sometimes the drip edge needs to be bent or installed differently to make sure water flows right. If you see water dripping between your house and the gutter, it might just mean the drip edge needs adjusting.

Different Kinds of Drip Edge

Different drip edges come in many styles. When picking one for your home, it's important to choose a material and color that matches your house's style. This will make your home look better from the outside.

Here are three common types of drip edges:

  1. C-style: These are curved like the letter "C" and help water roll off the roof. They go under the roofing material and are shaped to fit under it. They're usually used on roofs without fascia boards.
  2. L-style: These are bent at a 90-degree angle, forming an "L" shape. One end goes under the roofing material, and the other sits on top of the fascia, protecting it. They're good for roofs with low slopes.
  3. T-style: These are more complicated than C- and L-style drip edges but work well at keeping water away from the roof. They use an extra piece to make a triangular shape between the roof and the house.

Different Materials Used For Drip Edge

Drip edge comes in different materials, each with its own good points. Here are the common ones:

  1. Aluminum: It's light, strong, and doesn't rust. You can paint it to match your roof.
  2. Galvanized Steel: This is tough and lasts a long time, but it can rust, especially in humid places. You need to keep an eye on it to stop rust.
  3. Copper: It's the priciest, but it lasts a really long time and doesn't corrode easily. It also looks fancy and gets a cool color over time.

Signs Of Drip Edge Damage

Sometimes, drip edge can get damaged or worn out. Here are signs you should look out for:

  1. Rust or Corrosion: If you see rust or corrosion on the drip edge, it might not work well anymore. It's best to replace it quickly.
  2. Bent or Warped Drip Edge: If the drip edge looks bent or warped, it might not do its job properly. This could let water get under the roof and cause damage.
  3. Missing or Broken Drip Edge: If parts of the drip edge are missing or broken, it leaves your roof open to water damage. You should fix or replace it as soon as possible.
  4. Water Stains on Fascia or Soffit: If you see water stains or discoloration on the fascia or soffit, it could mean the drip edge isn't working right. This might be a sign that it needs fixing or replacing.

Conclusion

For a secure and long-lasting roofing solution, it's wise to consult professionals for drip edge installation and maintenance. Their expertise ensures proper functionality and protection against water damage, safeguarding your home for years to come.

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