Although just about all shingle manufacturers include a metal roofing drip edge in their installation instructions, many residential roofing contractors don't have them installed. Often, the roofing drip edge isn't included in a bid if it's not a specific requirement.
The reason for omitting it is usually to save money. Many roofers don't think the drip edge is needed, but this just isn't true. You actually do need a drip edge for your roof edges. Here are some of the reasons a roofing drip edge is so important, along with a few considerations and warnings.
What Is a Roofing Drip Edge?
Perhaps you've never heard of a roofing drip edge. Simply put, it's a metal flashing or piece of aluminum that's designed for preventing water from flowing into the fascia so that underlying roofing parts are protected. Included in a drip edge is a tiny, metal projection that's angled away from the fascia. Thanks to its slanting lip, water is barred from getting into a house. One way to understand its purpose is to picture it as a "middle man" between your shingles and gutter.
Prevents Water Damage That Can Occur Under Roofing Shingles
The main reason for including a roofing drip edge is to stop damage from occurring underneath roofing shingles. Consider how water getting under shingles can create temporary staining. What's more, it can lead to long-standing roof deck deterioration, besides damage to the fascia board.
When water damage continues to stay on a roof for a long period of time, the ends of your roof joists and trusses can be compromised. This eventually leads to leaks getting into your house and causing other interior damage that can be extremely expensive to repair.
Stops Critters from Accessing Your Attic
Have you ever heard the pitter patter of tiny feet in your attic? Chances are, you have rodents or other uninvited pests who've set up housekeeping in your attic. Even worse, sometimes these critters can get inside your living quarters. Thus, another benefit of using a roofing drip edge is that it seals gaps between the fascia and decking so that mice, squirrels and other small animals won't crawl into your attic or home.
Where to Install a Drip Edge
Of course, the most important spot for a drip edge to be installed is exactly where most of the drips occur, which is the gutter eaves. We do more than just a standard installation. In other words, we also install it on the rake boards, using a large f5 drip edge. The rake edges also need to have metal edging, although they aren't as critical as the eaves.
Because drip edges, fascia and gutters are trim, they need to match each other rather than the color of the roof. You can paint a drip edge to match your trim. However, if you want to keep your trim a light color, then use white for your drip edge. But if you don't plan to paint it, and you don't have white trim, then black would be a good option.
There are three basic styles of drip edges:
- The "L" shape is commonly seen on low sloped roof decks.
- The "T" style is used on a gable roof rake edge.
- The Hemmed drip edge is used with metal roofs. Its open hem prevents water from wicking caused by capillary action.
Other Benefits and Considerations
- Another benefit of a drip edge is that it helps in protecting the bottom of a roofline during ice dams that often take place in winter weather.
- A drip edge stops movement between deck boards and fascia.
- Moreover, using a drip edge can add years to the lifespan of a roof as well as make your roof more effective.
- It doesn't stain or corrode, which helps in maintaining a roof's good appearance, while still being structurally secure.
Don't be fooled by any roofing contractor who tries to convince you that you don't need a roofing drip edge because it's a waste of your money. At BRAX Roofing/Ben Matthews, we take pride in offering superior home improvement services. In addition to roofing, we also specialize in siding, windows and doors for residents throughout Maryland and Washington, DC. Please contact us and learn more about our wide selection of high quality products and services.