Why is Drip Edge On Roof Replacements Important?

Drip Edge on roof installation is a key component often overlooked by novice or inexpensive roofing contractors when completing your roof replacement.  The drip edge is made out of a custom bent metal that’s placed at the steep edges of the roof and also placed at the bottom edge of your roof when you don’t have gutters installed.

Drip edge prevents water from damaging the plywood deck at the edges where your shingles are installed. It does this by driving away water onto the fascia (fascia is the wood or metal visible on all your home’s outer walls). The name, drip edge says it all, it is simply put, an edge that allows water to drip outside the home.  It’s important to note that Drip Edge on roof installations is non-corrosive, typically coated with a baked-on paint, and it doesn’t stain. So, it’s not only functional but also beautiful!

If it’s so important, why do roofers not install it? One of the main reasons is old roofing installations included fascia metal that had the top bent outward toward the shingle to hide the imperfections of the plywood hide gaps. In order to install a drip edge on this type of application, a roofer must cut off that pre-bent metal by scoring it with a knife multiple times and then bending it back and forth many times to remove it. This is very labor-intensive and ignored to save time. Time is money, especially in roofing installations.

Here are a few reasons why you should have Drip Edge on roof replacements installed: 

  1. Drip Edge prevents and diverts water from entering the home behind the fascia reducing chances of rotted fascia wood or plywood.
  2. Visible small gaps between the plywood and fascia can appear on some homes. The Drip Edge seals those gaps, preventing small animals to enter the attic space.
  3. During winter seasons in harsh cold environments, drip edge further protects the bottom of the roof from the ice dams penetrating the eave of the roof.
  4. Gutters along with gutter apron (at times referred to as drip edge) make the best team by directing all the water away from your house and directly into your gutters preventing damages from rot or delamination.

There are 3 different drip edge on roof types available in most markets.

  1. Aluminum: The most common material used drip edge on roof applications mainly because it doesn’t corrode and lasts longer and something very important is that it comes in several colors, this makes it easy to match the rest of the colors in your home.
  2. Galvanized Steel: We all know that when steel comes in contact with water it tends to rust. However, since this one is galvanized, it prevents the rust from occurring while still being functional. Minimum 24-gauge steel is needed to withstand harsh winds.
  3. Copper; this is a sturdy metal that helps gives a unique look to your roof.  When originally installed, you will see the copper look but as it ages, it will patina (rich green or brownish color).  This is commonly used on high-end homes as it is the most expensive of the three options. Copper drip edge on roof applications needs to be a minimum of 0.69 mm or 20 ounces.

If you’re looking to extend the longevity of your roof and improve the effectiveness of your roofing shingles, don’t shy away from drip edge as it’s a crucial component on your roofing system. Many cities have adopted this material as a code. However, some don’t check or enforce this application. Make sure that this component is included in your proposal and it’s stated where the product will be installed prior to signing with your residential roofing contractor in Arlington Heights IL.

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