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Posted on September 27, 2021

Estimated Reading Time : 4 Min.

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Too often in the roofing industry, drip edge flashing falls in the optional category for homeowners or General Contractors looking to cut costs or stay on budget. Even though, more times than not, drip edge is a standard line item to company’s estimates, there is no building code requiring contractors. While not including a drip edge on your roof may save you money short-term, it is often the reason costly damages develop over time and lead to expensive repairs or even worse, full replacements. That’s why it’s important to fully understand the product and why it’s priced into your roof replacement estimate. 

What Is a Drip Edge?

A drip edge is a metal flashing that comes in a variety of different styles, sizes and colors. Most contractors offer only prebend options but some, like All Around Roofing, Siding & Gutters, give customers the ability to get a little creative and offer custom fabricated drip edge with endless color options available. Either way a baked-on coat of paint is applied during production that comes with a 20 year color fading warranty. Drip Edge’s main objective is to terminate the perimeter of the roof system being installed. The design directs water from the roof system to the gutter system. This product adds additional protection to other exterior systems present. Along with all the positives, being seen from the ground gives the newly installed roof system the final touches that everyone will notice.

Where Should Drip Edges Be Placed?

The correct placement of a roof drip edge is on top of the newly installed underlayment and under the shingles to be installed. There is a lot of debate in the industry with how drip edges should be installed. Some recommend it being installed directly to the substrate/ decking with the underlayment and shingles applied over top. We as a company feel and feel strongly that this is the incorrect method of installation. One reason supporting this is the basic fact that this product is part of the roof system and is not categorized with the underlayment. The self-adhering ice guard is designed with the purpose of sealing directly to the sheathing and in some situations down onto the fascia board. This forms a seal at a critical intersection between the fascia board and decking. The drip edge works hand in hand with the starter shingle of the roof system and not the felt and ice guard underlayment products.

Why Is a Drip Edge Important?

Drip edges not only act to preserve the appearance of your roof but work together with other exterior products from potential damages. It helps deter insects and other small pests from accessing the space between the fascia board and a deck at the bottom of the roof, which could otherwise give pests the opportunity to enter a home or attic. It also protects the edge of the decking and fascia board from eroding over time. Strong gusts of wind and wind-blown rain have less of a chance of damaging shingles when a drip edge is present. Being a part of the shingle install it gives a solid surface to the starter shingle’s tar strip to adhere to.

Types of Drip Edges

All drip edge products chosen should be fabricated with closed hems on both edges. Specified for all different types of roof systems offered. Metal Roof Systems, low sloped single ply systems, Modified and built- up systems to name a few. It is also a product that can be designed for different and multiple facets of a particular project. Examples of different facets would be side wall and end wall details, dead valley area that a salesperson feels would add value. It also has been utilized in the field of a structure where (2) different roof pitches join.

During the estimating stage of the process, the amount of drip edge needed for that specific project is determined by adding the Lineal Footage of the perimeter of the structure. After adding in a waste factor that total measurement is divided by 10 and that gives the pieces needed for the project.

How to Properly Install a Drip Edge

Use metal snips to cut pieces to specific lengths. A vase number of different snips are recommended when metal products are being used regularly. This allows you to cut metal from different directions and long lengths if needed without destroying the metal’s edges. Relief cuts to the bottom of the piece should be standard procedure in the process. The layout of the structure should be what the installer should base their starting point on. When overlapping two pieces, one direction is considerably more noticeable than the other. Wind direction should also be taken into consideration. Extra attention should be paid to assure proper installation.

Begin Installation

Begin at the lower corner of a section of the structure and work around. Your shingle’s tar strip should be faced down to form a seal to the drip edge. Tack each piece at both ends and in the middle while making sure the piece is parallel with the substrate being fastened to. Once all pieces are applied and inspected for any flaws, roofing nails are added to the nail flange to prevent any movement caused by the shingles being nailed into position. Do not install metal too tight to the fascia board. Doing so affects the shingles and the seal created. It also may allow wind to uplift the edge.

Overhang Joints

As you get to the end of a piece, begin overlapping the edge following the piece by notching the leading edge of the previous piece. That notch, especially on low slope applications, prevents any shadow form being created. A 2in overlap is industry standards for this region we service. Repeat this process until all edges have been covered.

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