As a homeowner, you may not know all the ins and outs of your roofing system. You know there are shingles and that damaged shingles can cause leaks, but there is a myriad of components that make up a good roofing system. And the drip edge is one of the least visible but most important parts of the whole thing. The main purposes of a drip edge are:
- Direct water away from your fascia.
- Protect against wind-driven rain.
Simply put, the roof’s drip edge is a type of flashing that helps deter water from the roof’s edge. Our guide will go more in-depth as to what a drip edge is and why it’s so important.
WHAT IS DRIP EDGE FLASHING ON A ROOF?
Roof flashing is a thin piece of impervious material that is installed at any joint, corner, or seam on your roof that ensures a watertight seal. Types of roof flashing include:
- Step flashing
- Pipe boot flashing
- Valley flashing
- Counter flashing
- Chimney flashing
- Cap metal flashing
- Drip edge
The drip edge is just one of many types of flashing on your roof, which all together work as weatherproofing for your entire roof. In fact, drip edges are one of the most effective moisture control methods for shingle roofs or any structure.
The roof drip edge is often the very first thing installed on a new roof before your roof’s shingles. This metal flashing directs water away from the fascia boards and roof underlayment and guides it right into the gutters.
WHY IS DRIP EDGE IMPORTANT?
A well-constructed drip edge will protect your home in multiple ways. Most notably, it helps to keep water off the roof deck and away from the fascia. Additionally, the drip edge helps:
- Provide a finished look to the roof’s edge. This is especially true for homes with gable roofs, where you can see the drip edge from ground level.
- A good drip edge helps keep critters out of your attic. Rodents and other small creatures can easily sneak under the eaves or fascia boards, but when a drip edge is installed properly, it creates a barrier that prevents them from getting in.
- Protect the fascia and soffit boards from water damage. Water can collect in these areas, leading to rot and other issues. With a drip edge, the water is directed away from the area before it has a chance to cause damage.
- Protects against ice dams that can cause damage to your roof’s deck and shingles.
Without this critical component, water runoff can seep beneath the shingles and cause damage to the wood decking, which could eventually lead to wood rot and structural damage. Drip edges are an affordable way to protect your home and extend the lifespan of your roof. Without it, you are leaving your home vulnerable to the costly water damage caused by water and critter infiltration.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR DRIP EDGE IS DAMAGED
Once your drip edge is damaged, your roof is immediately susceptible to water damage or other issues. Some tell-tale signs that your drip edge is damaged or missing include:
- Leaking or water pooling near the roof’s edge.
- Water dripping behind the gutters, leaving stains on your home’s siding.
- Staining or rotting on the fascia boards.
- Water stains on the roof eaves or the ceiling near your outer walls.
- Warped shingles on the roof’s edge.
The moment you notice any of these signs, get your roof assessed right away. The drip edge is vital to keeping your roof healthy and leak-free. This is true for all of your roof’s flashing.
The flashing is often the first thing that needs to be replaced before any other roofing component, so always keep a keen eye out for any signs of leaks coming from the roof— it could mean flashing failure. But it’s a simple fix as long as you catch it early enough.
ENSURING A PROPER DRIP EDGE INSTALLATION
Most building codes require a new drip edge to be installed with any new roof replacement. Always choose a roofing contractor who ensures you’re getting a high-quality drip edge along with sturdy roofing materials. At MARS Restoration, we use only the best roofing materials in the industry and will always install your drip edge and gutters properly, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
Prevent rust, mold growth, and water leaks with a proper drip edge installation. Contact MARS Restoration for your next roofing project.