How To Install Drip Edge On A Roof

August 15, 2023

Introduction

Have you ever looked up at a house and noticed a sleek, thin metal strip lining the edges of a roof? That, my friend, is called a drip edge. But what exactly is it? And, more importantly, how do you install one? Let's dive into the nitty-gritty!

What is a Drip Edge?

A drip edge is a metal flashing that's installed at the edges of a roof. It ensures that water drips away from the fascia and into the gutter. It's a small but mighty feature, often overshadowed by other roof components. Yet, it plays a pivotal role in preventing water damage.

Importance of Drip Edge

Picture this: It's a rainy day, and water is running down your roof, looking for a place to go. Without a drip edge, that water could slip behind the gutter, wetting the fascia, soffit, and other components, leading to potential damage or rot. With a drip edge in place, it directs that rainwater straight into the gutter, ensuring everything stays dry and damage-free. Simple but genius, right?

Why Install a Drip Edge?

Installing a drip edge is essential for the protection and longevity of a roof. A drip edge is a metal strip that is installed along the edge of the roof to direct water away from the roof deck. It is typically installed at both the eave and rake edges of the roof.

When it rains, the drip edge helps to prevent water from seeping underneath the roofing materials and causing damage to the underlying structure. It also helps to direct the flow of water into the gutters, preventing water from running down the side of the building. In addition to its functional benefits, installing a drip edge is often required by building codes. By following these codes, homeowners are ensuring that their roof meets the necessary safety standards. Overall, installing a drip edge is a smart investment that can significantly extend the life of a roof and protect the integrity of the entire building. 

How to Install Drip Edge: A Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1: Gather Necessary Materials

Ensure you have the following items:

  • Drip edge (usually aluminum or galvanized metal)
  • Roofing nails
  • Hammer or nail gun
  • Tin snips or metal shears

Step 2: Prepare the Roof

Remove any old drip edge, clean the roof edge, and ensure no debris will interfere with your installation.

Step 3: Measure and Cut

Measure the length of your roof and use the tin snips to cut the drip edge accordingly.

Step 4: Installation

Start at the lower edge of your roof. Position the drip edge so the narrower edge sits against the fascia board. Ensure it's flush with the roof's edge, then nail it into place.

Step 5: Overlapping

When installing multiple pieces, overlap the sections by at least 2 inches to prevent any water seepage.

Step 6: Installing on Roof Peaks

For the roof's peak, cut and bend the drip edge in the middle. This ensures a snug fit and provides optimal protection.

Step 7: Final Check

Once fully installed, do a thorough inspection. Ensure there's no part of the drip edge sticking out that might allow water to slip through.

What are the types of drip edges?

1. L-Shaped Drip Edge

The L-shaped drip edge is one of the most common types. It is installed under the roofing material, allowing water to flow freely into gutters while protecting the underlying structure.

2. T-Shaped Drip Edge

The T-shaped drip edge offers extra protection by extending onto the roof deck. This type is highly effective in preventing wind-driven rain from infiltrating beneath the roofing material.

3. Cant Drip Edge

Cant drip edges are often used with tile roofs. They are designed to accommodate the curves and angles of these roofs, providing optimal water runoff.

4. Eave Drip Edge

Eave drip edges are installed at the eaves of the roof and help direct water away from the fascia. They are crucial for preventing water-related damage in this vulnerable area.

5. Rake Drip Edge

Installed at the rake edge of the roof (the sloped sides), rake drip edges prevent water from getting underneath the roofing material, especially during heavy winds.

6. Sub-Fascia Drip Edge

Sub-fascia drip edges are used when a gutter is not installed. They protect the roof's edges and the underlying structure from water infiltration.

7. Drip Edge with Gutter Apron

This type of drip edge includes an apron that goes over the back of the gutter. It ensures that water doesn't run behind the gutter, preventing water damage.

How Long Does a Drip Edge Last?

The lifespan of a drip edge depends on several factors, such as the material used, climate conditions, and maintenance. Generally, a well-installed metal drip edge can last between 20 and 30 years. Aluminum and galvanized steel are commonly used materials that are highly resistant to rust and corrosion, allowing them to withstand the elements for a longer time. However, if the drip edge is constantly exposed to harsh weather conditions, such as heavy rain, snow, or extreme heat, its lifespan may be shortened. Additionally, regular maintenance is crucial to ensure its longevity. This involves inspecting the drip edge for any damage, such as bent or loose sections, and promptly repairing or replacing them.

Furthermore, maintaining proper drainage around the home and gutter system can also help prolong the life of the drip edge. Ultimately, with appropriate material selection, installation, and regular maintenance, a drip edge can easily last for a couple of decades. 

What is the Difference Between Drip Edge and Rake Edge?

Drip edge and rake edge are both important components of a roofing system, but they serve different purposes. Drip edge is a metal flashing that is installed along the edges of the roof to prevent water from seeping underneath the shingles and into the structure. It directs water away from the fascia board and into the gutters, protecting the roof and the underlying materials from water damage.

On the other hand, rake edge is also a metal flashing, but it is installed along the gable ends of the roof. It helps to secure the shingles in place and provides a finished look to the roof. Rake edge prevents wind uplift and keeps rainwater from entering the roof at the gable ends. Both drip edge and rake edge are typically installed over an underlayment and are attached to the roof deck. They work together to ensure the longevity and durability of the roof by protecting it from water infiltration and preventing damage to the fascia board. 

Conclusion

Installing a drip edge is a simple yet effective way to enhance your roof's longevity and protect your home. By following the above steps, you can ensure a smooth installation process. Incorporating quality materials like those from IBEX Roof can further amplify the protection and longevity. Remember, keeping your home safe from potential water damage is always worth the effort.

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