When thinking about roofing materials, the shingles and gutter are the first things that most homeowners probably think about. However, while both serve important roles in a roof’s overall integrity, another piece can have just as big an impact is the drip edge.
Drip edge is a cut of metal that goes along the edge of the roof under the shingles. This metal piece serves a simple but important role: beyond supporting the shingles, drip edge also keeps water from getting into the home and small animals from getting into the attic. While it can be an asset to any home, its necessity in a roofing project is up for debate. Since drip edges are not always defined in weather code, some contractors won’t install them as readily as others. For your roofing project, it’s important to understand what drip edges offer in order to make sure your roofer handles them correctly.
1) They prevent damage to the fascia boards
With a properly installed drip edge, the water will be directed into the gutter and not down the side, which ruins the fascia. If your fascia is already ruined and needs to be repaired, make sure you get a drip edge installed before you ruin newly-installed boards.
2) They support your shingles
Without a drip edge, your shingles could slouch, causing water to get underneath the roof, inevitably leading to water damage. Without this support, your shingles could even need premature replacement due to the damage incurred.
3) They prevent animals from getting in your attic
A drip edge can seal the gap in your roof that many animals like squirrels and other rodents crawl through. Having pests in your attic can be both dangerous to your family and damaging to your home.
4) They protect the edge of the roof from ice dam damage
Ice dams occur during cold winter months when snow and ice get trapped on your roof, preventing melting snow from falling to the ground. When this occurs, it is important to remove the dam as soon as possible; with a drip edge, ice dams are no longer a factor.
5) They are inexpensive and cost-effective
Adding a drip edge to your roof is generally inexpensive, especially if you do it yourself (though this could lead to problems down the road if installed improperly). Even if you decide to have a contractor do it, the cost of drip edge application will almost certainly be cheaper than the cost of repairs you’ll have to make without it.
6) Many roofing contractors do not include them in standard installation
Because it isn’t always required by code that a drip edge be installed, some contractors may try to save money by not installing one on your roof. If a contractor does install it, it will probably be an added cost on top of the base replacement cost.
7) They can be difficult to install after the roof has been built
The drip edge is typically installed while the roof is being constructed. This can present a potential problem as a drip edge needs to be added to a roof. While it is possible to install a drip edge after the roof is complete, it is far easier to just get one when you’re getting your roof built.
Drip edge is one of the unsung heroes of preventing home damage. Given the relatively-minor cons of getting it put in, even on a pre-existing roof, it is well-worth it to get drip edge installed.