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What Does a Drip Edge Mean on a Roof?

June 8, 2023

The roof is a very important part of keeping our homes safe from the weather. It is made up of many parts, but one that is often overlooked is the drip edge. A drip edge is an important part of a roof system because it keeps water from causing damage. In this blog, we'll talk about why a drip edge is important, what it's made of, how to install it, its benefits, common problems, maintenance tips, and how to hire a roofing contractor.

Introduction

Homeowners often focus on the shingles, sheathing, and flashing when it comes to their roofs, but the drip edge is just as important. A drip edge is a strip of metal that is put along the edge of a roof to help water drain away from the building. It acts as a shield to keep water from getting into the roof structure and doing damage.

Importance of Drip Edge

The drip edge is an important part of a roofing system because it has many uses. First of all, it helps keep water away from the soffit so that water doesn't pool and cause rot or mold. Second, it keeps water from getting under the shingles, which could cause leaks and damage to the roof deck. A properly placed drip edge also improves the look of the roof as a whole, giving it a finished look.

What's a Drip Edge?

A drip edge is a thin metal strip that runs along the eaves and rakes of a roof. It is usually made of aluminum, stainless steel, or galvanized steel. It is in the shape of an L, with one end overhanging the edge of the roof and the other end curved down to keep water away from the eaves. The drip edge has an extended edge that lets water drip off the roof without getting on the materials below.

What a Drip Edge is for

The main goal of a drip edge is to successfully handle water runoff. By keeping water away from the fascia, it stops problems like rot, mold, and bug infestations that are caused by water. It also keeps water from getting into the roof deck and flooring, which helps keep them in good shape and makes them last longer. A drip edge also helps water drain properly and keeps water from getting into the eaves and damaging the inside of the building.

What Makes Up a Drip Edge

A drip edge is made up of different parts that work together to give the best defense. The horizontal flange goes over the edge of the roof, the vertical flange is bent down to keep water away from the fascia, and the kickout keeps water from running back up onto the roof. The drip edge may also have holes already drilled for screws and a hemmed edge to make it stronger and more stable.

Installation Process

To install a drip edge, you have to be careful and pay attention to the details. Usually, the following steps make up the process:

  1. Measuring and getting ready: Roofers measure the outline of the roof and cut the drip edge to the right lengths.
  2. Installation of Underlayment: The underlayment is put down before the drip edge is put in place to add another layer of security.
  3. Putting the Drip Edge in Place: The drip edge is attached to the roof deck with nails or screws, making sure it covers the eaves and slopes in the right way. It's important to tighten the drip edge so it doesn't move or get holes that could make it less effective.
  4. Sealing and flashing: To make sure the drip edge is sealed, roofers put a waterproof sealant along the edges. They also have flashes, which makes them even less likely to get wet.
  5. Integration with Gutters: If the roof has gutters, the drip edge is built into the gutter system so that water flows away from the gutter and doesn't get stuck behind it.
  6. Quality Check: Once the installation is done, the roofer does a full check to make sure that the drip edge is properly aligned, securely fastened, and free of any problems.

Why you should use a drip edge

There are several perks for homeowners who use a drip edge. These things are:

  1. Water Damage Prevention: A drip edge keeps water from running off the roof and into the roof deck, eaves, and building's interior. It helps stop rot, mold, and other problems caused by water.
  2. Lengthens the life of the roof: A drip edge protects the roof's weak spots, like the eaves and rakes, which helps the roof last longer.
  3. Aesthetics: A drip edge that is placed correctly gives the roofline a clean, finished look, which makes the property look better from the street.
  4. Reduced upkeep: If a home has a drip edge, the homeowner won't have to do as much upkeep work to fix water damage, like fixing rotting fascia or replacing broken shingles.

Common Problems and How to Fix Them

Even though a drip edge is important for protecting a roof, it can have problems over time. Here are some usual issues and how to fix them:

  1. Installation Problems:  If a drip edge isn't put in the right way, it might not be able to shift water well. Hiring a professional roofer who knows how to place drip edges can help solve this problem.
  2. Clogged Drip Edge: Over time, debris like leaves and sticks can build up on the drip edge and stop water from flowing properly. Regular roof cleaning and repair can keep things from getting clogged and make sure they work well.
  3. Deterioration and Damage: If the drip edge is exposed to harsh weather and UV rays, it can wear down or get injured. To keep it working, it needs to be checked regularly and fixed or replaced as needed.

Maintenance Tips

Homeowners should follow these care tips to make sure their drip edge lasts and works well:

  1. Roof Cleaning: Remove garbage, leaves, and dirt from the drip edge on a regular basis to stop clogs and make sure water flows properly.
  2. Inspections: At least once a year, look at the drip edge to see if there are any signs of damage, such as rust, cracks, or parts that are loose. Fix any problems right away to keep them from getting worse.
  3. Roof Maintenance: Keep your roof in good shape by keeping the gutters clean, fixing any damaged shingles, and fixing any leaks or other water-related problems right away.

When to Hire a Roofing Contractor

When installing or fixing a drip edge, it is important to hire a reputable roofing worker with a lot of experience in the area. When choosing a roofing expert, think about the following:

  1. Experience and knowledge: Choose a contractor who has a track record of installing and keeping drip edges.
  2. License and Insurance: Make sure the worker has a license and enough liability insurance to cover any accidents that might happen.
  3. Referrals and Reviews: Ask friends, family, or other people you trust for suggestions, and read online reviews to find out how well-known the contractor is.
  4. Written Contract: Get a written contract that spells out the work to be done, when it will be done, and how much it will cost to avoid any confusion or disagreements.
  5. Guarantee: Ask the contractor what kind of guarantee they offer for installing the drip edge. A trustworthy contractor should give a warranty to make sure their customers are happy and to back up the quality of their work.
  6. Costs and Estimates: To compare prices, get more than one quote from different contractors. But keep in mind that the cheapest price does not always mean the best work.

By thinking about these things and doing a lot of research, homeowners can find a trustworthy roofing worker who will make sure the drip edge is installed and maintained correctly.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a drip edge is an important part of a roof system that helps keep water from running off and protects the building's structure. A properly installed drip edge makes the roof last longer and keep its overall integrity by keeping water away from weak spots and avoiding water-related damage. Regular care, like cleaning and checking, is needed to make sure that everything works well. If you want to install or fix a drip edge, it's best to hire an experienced roofer like IBEX Roof who has experience and knowledge in the field.

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