Drip edges are important and almost every home should or does have them installed. There are lots of components when it comes to roofing, and drip edges are something that can often be forgotten. Consider this your guide to everything there is to know about drip edges. Ranging from installation to pricing and benefits, this article will cover it all.

Are drip edges necessary?

When it comes to roofing, the drip edge is often overlooked. This less commonly known roofing element is extremely important for every roof to have. Drip edges are located around the entire roof area. Roof edges are designed to bind underlayment edges around the edges and create a water-tight sealant. Typically the edges where drips were mounted in 1’ faces or painted white. The most common colors of drip edges are white and brown. The color of your drip edge typically matches your roof’s shingles and gutters to help keep a uniform look. 

A drip edge is a metal flashing that is placed on the edge of your roof to help keep moisture away from the fascia as well as protect the underlying structural materials. Without a drip edge, water can get behind your gutters and cause your fascia to rot. One of the main reasons that drip edging is excluded from a roof installation is because it is not a part of a typical roofing bid. Homeowners typically get a price for the simple installation of a shingle roof. Unless the roofing job provides the particular use of drip edges, they will be disregarded in the bid process. There are even some roofer freelancers who argue that drip edging is not needed, however, we couldn’t disagree more. 

What are some benefits of having a drip edge?

Roofs can be expensive and they are definitely an investment. Having a drip edge installed is another layer of protectant that will help aid in preserving and extending the life of your roof. Drip edges protect the edge of your roof deck from both water and wind, they also aid in keeping your porch and basement dry. During the winter months, a drip edge can protect the bottom of your shingles line from ice dams melting and possibly causing mold or wood to rot. 

Drip edges also help keep out small animals and pests who would otherwise make their nests in your fascia boards. A drip edge would help keep these tiny animals from hollowing out sections of your roof. There are a lot of different benefits to having a drip edge installed, which is why we highly recommend doing so.

When are drip edges not required?

While a lot of building codes require a drip edge to be installed, there are a few unique circumstances where a drip edge isn’t “technically” a requirement. If you have an aluminum fascia that is flush with your roof’s decking then this will be your drip edge. There is also a rake-molded surface that is also a drip board on drywall before metal began to be more commonly used in the market. If your roof falls under one of the above categories then you do not need a drip edge. 

These circumstances are not very common. If you are unsure about whether your roof falls under either of these categories, feel free to contact us or your local contractor for an inspection and to better explore your options.

Types of drip edges

There are several different types of drip edges available, here are the three most common types.

  • The C-style drip edge is curved similar to the letter C. This type of drip edge allows water to roll away from the roof decking. C-style drip edges are shaped to lie under your roof’s decking perfectly and are usually used on roofs that do not have fascia boards.
  • The L-style drip edge is fairly common and is bent in the center to create a 90-degree angle or an L. One-half of this L is found under the roofing material while the rest of it sits on top of the roof’s fascia. This type of drip edge is most commonly found on roofs with a lower incline. L-style drip edges have a shorter flange at the bottom of them and are more simplistic than other drip edge styles.
  • The T-style drip edge differs from the other two drip edge styles as it is far more complex. They are also extremely effective at deterring water away from your home’s roof.

This can be a lot of information to take in. A licensed roofer will be more than happy to take a look at your roof and tell you what option is best for your home.

Drip edge profile types

Roof drip edges are typically sold at lengths of 10.5 feet. The length of the overhang itself generally extends from two to five inches. Other sizes and styles of drip edges could be found in our catalog including “j-channel” drip edges. The National Roofing Contractors Association has not recommended using ventilated drip edge systems for the roof. Drip edges are also available for windows, doors, and other applications. 

Can drip edges be installed after shingles?

The best time to install drip edges is with the gutter system during the initial construction of your roof or home. However, drip edges can still be installed on existing roofs. Many building codes require structures to have a drip edge installed for their health benefits. For this same reason, lots of homeowners choose to install drip edges on their existing roofs because of the value drip edges have in the United States.

The cost of drip edge installation

The standard drip edge, which is made of aluminum, is about $2.00 per linear foot. This cost includes the labor needed for installation. If you are upgrading your metal to a different type of metal, that would affect the cost. The roofing contractor you choose to hire can have a big impact on the cost you will pay when buying drip gutters and other roofing material. The overheads and labor prices charged by roofing companies vary by industry, keep that in mind the next time you receive a roofer’s estimate. The cost of the materials should be the same across the board.

What materials are drip edges made of?

There are a few options when it comes to the material for your roof’s drip edge. Here are a few of the most commonly used materials.

Aluminum is strong but not quite as strong as other materials such as steel. If you are looking for a way to prevent rust, then this is a great option. Aluminum drip edges are ideal for homes along coastal regions and they come in various colors.

Galvanized steel drip edges are another popular option. Drip edges made of galvanized steel are made to be in contact with water and lead it to the gutters. Any type of steel drip edges need to be galvanized or else they are likely to rust.

Copper is the traditional option when it comes to drip edges. Copper is a favorite due to its sturdiness and how long it lasts.

Overall, drip edges are made from a variety of different plastics and metals that are accepted by most buildings’ codes. Plastic or vinyl drip edges may also be offered in your area. These types of materials are most ideal for nonroof applications such as above doors and windows.

Installing a drip edge

It is very important to understand that drip edge assembly is different for eaves and rakes. We strongly suggest you check your local community’s building code for any additional rules or requirements. If drip edges are not installed correctly, water will not flow to your gutters properly. When water fails to flow to your gutters there is an increased chance of wood-rotting and water damage that can destroy the fascia and soffit. Ideally, the drip tip must be angled for the air to drain into a gutter without obstructions. Each roof is unique and will require the drip edge to be bent or installed appropriately to permit this effect to take place.

While yes, you can find drip edge installation instructions on the internet, it is not recommended you take on this project yourself. It is suggested you use a licensed and certified contractor instead. Failure to install a drip edge properly can result in additional damage and leaves your roof still vulnerable to water.

We are here to help

At Liberty Roofworks, we handle all aspects of roofing. There is no job too big or too small for our team of experienced and certified roofing professionals. We understand that your roof is an important part of your home and we work with each of our customers to make sure they know all of their options while also getting the best deal. 

If you are considering installing a drip edge on your roof we are happy to give you a quote and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to take the first steps in protecting your home and extending your roof’s life.

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