From Asphalt Shingles to Zinc Strips

A Basic Guide to Roof Drip Edges

Don't overlook the eaves when installing a new roof. A drip edge is an overlooked but vital part of your roofing.

What Is a Drip Edge?

A drip edge is a type of flashing that is installed along the edge of your roof. It is shaped like an "L," with one section of the "L" descending out from beneath the shingles and over the fascia edge of the roof eaves. This shape protects the fascia and routes water outward so that it lands in the gutters and doesn't drip down the eaves or siding. A drip edge is a vital component that can prevent rot and water issues along the eaves and ensure that your gutters work properly.

Are Drip Edges Included in Every Quote?

Some local building codes require that every new roof has a drip edge. If you live in such an area, then the drip edge should be incorporated into a new roof quote. In areas that don't require a drip edge, you will need to verify that the drip edge is included in any quote you select. Often, it is one of the first items removed from a roofing quote since it isn't really visible and provides an easy way to cut the cost of a new installation.

How Important Are Drip Edges?

If your area gets any rain or snowfall, a drip edge is extremely important. Failure to install a drip edge increases the chances of water damage on the eaves, which can lead to leaks in the attic of your home. The shingles along the edge of the roof will also be more prone to damage and degradation. Further, if water doesn't route into the gutters properly, then it can run down the eaves or siding, causing water damage. It will then collect against the foundation where it may cause foundation problems.

What Types of Drip Edges Are Available?

Drip edges are typically made of one of three types of metal — aluminum, galvanized steel, or copper. Aluminum is the most cost-effective choice and should last for the life of your roof. Steel drip edges are sturdier and so are a good choice in areas with hail or high winds. Copper, the most costly option, provides some aesthetic appeal along the eaves. It is also long-lasting, so it can serve under your shingles through several roof replacements.

The good news is that you can have a drip edge installed either at the time of roof installation or on an existing roof. Contact a roofer near you to learn more.