The Purpose of Drip Edge

The Purpose of Drip Edge

We never think of a drip as a good thing. It’s not a good thing when a faucet drips, or an oil pan drips, or when people are dripping with sweat. Yuk! Well dripping in the roofing business isn’t a good thing either. When it comes to roofing… water is the enemy. We don’t want water to drip from the ceilings in your house because the roof did not do its job adequately.

So as an added layer of protection we install metal edging around the perimeter of your house called drip edge. Drip edge directs the water away from the structure and lets it drip from the metal edging. And that’s a good thing.

Let’s talk about drip edge and its purpose. Drip edge is a metal flashing that is located along the edges of your roof line. It is important because it diverts the water away from your roof. Drip edge is common on most roofs but often underappreciated. Oftentimes, drip edge is excluded from roofing construction in order to save money.

Excluding drip edge from your roofing project may be a means of saving money up front, but in the long run can be a very expensive choice. Installing or replacing drip edge is always recommended. Most shingle manufacturers always include drip edge in their recommended installation process.

Drip edge is designed to protect the edges of your roof from water damage. It also protects against rotting and erosion. Unless you are specifically looking for your drip edge, when you look up at your roof you probably won’t even notice it.

The drip edge can be installed on top of or beneath the underlayment, and along the length of the fascia board.  It should extend along the entire length of the fascia board. The drip edge should be run straight and not cut short. Allowing the drip edge to buckle or be cut short will permit moister to enter along the edges of the roof line.

Without drip edge the integrity of the roof can be compromised. It can be damaging to your shingles, your underlayment, and to your roof’s decking. The most important area for drip edge is on the eves of your roof.  Your shingles should hang over between a half an inch and three-quarters of an inch beyond the drip edge. Allowing overhang longer than this can permit wind damage and also bending and cracking of the shingle.

It comes in ten foot lengths and in several different colors. It can also be painted to match whatever color the trim is on your home or the shingles on your roof. Drip edge is easy to cut with metal sheers and there is generally little waste. Drip edge can be purchased at any home improvement store or roofing supply center.

It is always good to check with your contractor to see if the drip edge is included in the installation of the roof on your new home or re-roof. Some contractors do not include it in their roofing estimate.