What Is Drip Edge and Why Is It Important?

What Is Drip Edge and Why Is It Important?

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Does the roof of your home have a drip edge? If not, it probably should. 

According to one report released by the EPA, drip edges are among the top ways to control moisture during building design, construction, and maintenance. But what is the purpose of a drip edge, and why do you need one on your roof? Without a drip edge, this excess water can damage your roof, siding, porch, and even your basement. Learn more about what a drip edge can do for your house or structure below.

What Is Drip Edge?

A drip edge is an angled piece of flashing that is installed over top of a fascia board. The purpose of a drip edge is to help redirect water from the fascia and into the gutters. The gutters then carry this water away. 

Drip edges can be installed on the rake, eaves, and gable of your roof. They extend beyond the fascia and are a minimum of one-third of the gutter width

Metal drip edges are typically made of a non-porous, non-corroding metal, like galvanized steel, aluminum, or copper. They can also be constructed out of durable plastic, vinyl, or fiberglass. 

Why Do I Need a Drip Edge on My Roof?

why do i need drip edge

Any homeowner who is interested in protecting their home and prolonging the lifespan of their roof should consider having drip edges installed. Benefits of installing a drip edge follow:

  • They prevent fascia and soffit damage: Drip edges redirect water away from your roof’s vulnerable soffit and fascia areas and funnel it into your gutters. If your soffit and fascia are left exposed, they can be damaged by the excess moisture. This damage can take the form of discoloration and wood rot.
  • Drip edges keep pests out of your home: Drip edges cover the “carpenter’s gap” of your roof. A carpenter’s gap is the area of space between a roof deck and a fascia board. This area of your roof is often responsible for letting small animals or other unwanted pests enter your home through your attic.
  • They can keep your porch dry: Because drip edges redirect water into gutters, you don’t need to worry about a downpour washing down from your roof and onto your porch or deck during heavy rain.
  • They stabilize your roof: Roof edge flashing can help stabilize your roof during strong wind or rain. Since wind damage is among the top reasons homeowners file an insurance claim, this is one benefit you should not ignore.
  • Drip edges protect your roof from ice dams: Winter can be a dangerous time for your roof. Ice dams are a culmination of ice that collects and freezes on the edge of a roof. Ice dams prevent snow from thawing and draining correctly. If snow is unable to thaw and drain, that moisture gets backed up and trapped on your roof, which adds weight and can cause wood rot. Should this moisture enter your home, it can lead to mildew or mold growth. Drip edge flashing helps prevent ice dams from forming.
  • They protect your basement: When drip edges redirect water off your roof, they also redirect it away from the part of the ground directly beneath your roof, which often leads to your basement. Without a drip edge to intervene, water can soak through the ground and into your basement during heavy rain.

Understanding Drip Edges

Although the importance of drip edges is undeniable, many homeowners have questions about drip edge installation.

Can a Drip Edge Be Installed on an Existing Roof?

Although the ideal time to install drip edges is with gutters during the initial construction of your home or roof, it’s possible to install them on existing roofs. In fact, in many places across the United States, building codes require structures to be equipped with drip edges because of how beneficial they are. For the same reason, many homeowners are choosing to install drip edge flashing on their existing roof.

Are Different Kinds of Drip Edges Available?

Numerous styles and types of drip edges are available. When you’re selecting drip edges for your home, you’ll want to make sure you choose a material and color that matches or complements your home’s style. A cohesive exterior will boost your home’s curb appeal.

Three common types of drip edges are:

  • C-style drip edge: C-style drip edges are curved like the letter and help roll water away from roof decking. They’re placed under the roofing material and shaped to lie under the decking. C-shaped edges are typically applied to roofs that do not have fascia boards.
  • L-style drip edge: L-shaped drip edges are bent in the center, forming a 90-degree angle. One end of the “L” is under the roofing material, and the other rests on top of the fascia, keeping it safe. L-style drip edges are usually used on low-incline roofs.
  • T-style drip edge: Although more complex than C- and L-style flashings, T-shaped roof drip edges are very efficient at keeping water away from a roof. T-style drip edges use an extra piece to form a triangular shape between the roof deck and the house.

Who Should Install a Drip Edge?

When it comes to installing drip edges, it’s best to let experienced professionals take care of it. If a drip edge is installed incorrectly, water will not flow into the gutters properly. This issue can lead to wood rot and other water damage, which can destroy the fascia and soffit. Damages caused by an incorrectly installed drip edge may lead to costly repairs in the future.

The drip edge should be angled to allow the rainwater to drip directly into the gutter, however, each roof is unique and may require the drip edge to be bent or installed in a way to allow this action to take place. If you notice water dripping between your home and the gutter, it may be as simple as readjusting the drip edge.

Contact a Professional for Proper Drip Edge Installation

contact professional for drip edge

All Season Gutters is a local and family-owned company in Central PA that specializes in caring for gutter and roofing installations, fascia and soffit replacement and gutter guard installation. We combine 15 years of experience with high-quality materials and reliable service and offer them to you at a competitive rate. At All Season Gutters, we’re passionate about helping homeowners keep their homes safe for years to come. Read our testimonials to learn more about the quality of our work.

Are you interested in drip edge installation? Fill out our online form for a free, no-pressure estimate.  

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