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Drip Edge – What Is Its Purpose?

Whether it be a ventilated roof drip edge or not, there is no doubt this hidden yet effective member of your roof is extremely important to the health and longevity of your home. I encourage you to read the article and give feedback below.

  1. Get a completely free quote, without any obligations.
  2. What is a roof drip edge and what is it used for?
  3. Is it very important for your home and why?
  4. Is a roofing drip edge required by code?
  5. What are the different types of drip edges?
  6. What materials are commonly used for them?
  7. Step by step guide to install a roof drip edge

What is a roof drip edge and what is it used for?

A drip edge is a type of roof flashing installed at the leading edge of your shingles, on top of your roof deck but underneath your shingles. Usually made out of metal, this flashing is installed under the roofing material on the very edge of your roof with an outward projecting lower edge, directing water away from your roof and into the gutter.

The main reason you would want to install one is to control the direction of dripping water ensuring it does not get under your shingles, protecting your building from water damage and possible black mold. It is intended to control the direction of water to protect your building.

Is a drip edge really important?

The short answer is, yes, its very important. While some states do not require a drip edge to be installed at all, it is no doubt extremely important to have. It provides a great deal of protection for the underside of your roof and protects you from things like black mold to spread across your roof.

It is sad to see that a lot of roofing contractors choose to cut corners and cut costs when repairing or installing a roof by avoiding installing a drip edge altogether. It is imperative that you do not allow this to happen with your roof. It may be tempting to accept a quote at a lower price to save some money, but make absolutely sure your roofing contractor is doing the job right and protecting your roof in the long run.

Is this actually needed, as in, required by code?

Do you need a roofing drip edge? Well, we could quite simply answer this question with a yes, however, let’s think about the things that it protects you from, to convince you to want to have it installed on your home.

As I have said before in this article, this important part of your roof prevents water from getting into your roof and damaging your building, but that is not all. If you have one, will have added protection from pests such as insects or squirrels being able to make their way into our roof. You also get the added protection of supporting your shingles which in turn will prolong their life span.

Now we need to answer the question of, are they required by code? Again I would like to give a resounding yes, and here is the reason why. On top of the fact that the State of Georgia’s building code requires it on every home, it is also required from the International Building Code as well as the International Residential Code. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association recommends using one and the Roofing Contractors Association calls for them to be installed on homes.

Roof drip edge types.

Hemmed:Applied with metal and standing seam roofing, an open hemmed version will deter water from going upward as a result of capillary action and passing the drip-edge meta

L Shaped: Utilized on low incline roofs, L shape variations are situated on the roof deck and atop the fascia board. Prior to installation, the roofing material is fastened tightly with glue to the outside edge.

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What materials are commonly used for a drip edge?

There are many materials that can be used. They are all intended to do the same job, some have a longer life span than others, but ultimately they all will protect your roof in the very same way.

Galvanized steel:If you are going to be using steel, it is imperative that you used galvanized steel as these will be in direct contact with water. If not the steel will be prone to rust and could lead to serious damage to your decking. It is also recommended that you use 24 gauge steel as a minimum as these would need to withstand strong winds as well.

Copper: This is not a very common material used for your roofing drip edge but it can offer a very unique ascetic to your home.

Aluminum: This is by far the most common material used. It does not corrode like steel would however, it is not as strong as steel so under high pressure from winds there is a risk of it being damaged.

How do you install gutter drip edge.

Installing a drip edge is not too difficult as you will see, however, if you are planning on doing this work yourself, it is highly recommended you at least consult a trusted contractor in your area who knows the local building codes to see if there is anything extra you may require before starting the work.

PRO TIP: If you are using an L – shaped drip one, it is recommended that you install a furring strip as well. This will keep the lower flange further from the building’s siding, this, in turn, keeps water further away from the building.

Step 1 – First you will want to start by installing the drip edges on the eaves of the building. Align them flush with your roof decking so that the end with the flange is pointing down into your gutter and away from your roof. Hammer roofing nails no more than 8 to 10 inches apart to secure it to your roof decking. Once you have finished with the first, secure the second in the same way, ensuring it overlaps with the previous by an inch.

Step 2 – Once you reach a corner you are going to need to make a cut in it to ensure a clean fit. Place it on the rake edge and mark where it overhangs, measure one inch over and here is where you will cut. You will then need to cut the topmost part of the drip edge by the first mark that you made, now make a perpendicular cut and remove a square from it.

Step 3 – You will now want to start by installing this drip edge like normal ensuring that the first mark that you made, now with some force you are going to want to bend it around the corner so that it is sitting flush. Follow this process along the entirety of your roofing eaves.

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