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Roof Drip Edge 101

Last modified: 2022-06-02 | Approximate reading time 3 mins

Cynthia Pigeon

When it comes to the different components of a roof, most are familiar with and recognize the importance of fascias, soffits, or flashings, but what about drip edges?

Despite being relatively unheard of, they play an important part in protecting the roof and shingles. Learn everything you need to know about them down below.

Everything You Need to Know About a Roof Drip Edge

What is a roof drip edge and what is its purpose?

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Basically, a roof drip edge is a metal flashing (usually L-shaped) that is installed at the roof’s edges. Also known as “drip edge flashing” or “D-metal,” it is used to keep water away from the edge of the eaves and channel it toward the gutter. Otherwise, the water from the roof would flow between the fascia and the gutter and ultimately back up under the shingles.

Besides this function, the roof drip edge also prevents the side effects of strong winds in case of adverse weather conditions. It goes without saying that during such circumstances, the wind blows the water on the roof in every direction. As a result, the rainwater will have a tendency to flow down the roof with greater difficulty.

This is when the drip edge will come into play: As soon as water hits its edge, it will automatically follow the roof’s slope instead of spreading across the rooftop. However, for the drip edge to fulfill its purpose, its lower flange must be between 2 to 4 inches and placed away from the roof.

Are roof drip edges mandatory?

Should you look over the edge of your roof, you might not even notice the drip edge. In fact, a lot of houses that are not newly built are devoid of drip edges. Even if according to most building codes across North America, it is a mandatory component, it is not always an added feature. 

All the while, it is important to note that adding a drip edge is strongly recommended by experienced roofers and roofing shingle manufacturers. 

Manufacturing Materials

façade de maison_Tout savoir sur le larmier de toiture_Soumission Rénovation

As we have already mentioned in this article, roof drip edges are most often metal sheets. However, they can also be made from plastic, vinyl, or fibreglass. 

Although, it is preferable to use plastic drip edges for doors or windows, and metal ones for the roof of your house due to their substantial durability and resistance. It is also worth noting that one should opt for corrosion-proof or galvanized models. 

Specifically, metal drip edges can be made of copper, galvanized steel, or aluminum. In order to help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing the material, note that it is often preferable to opt for galvanized steel or copper drip edges as the aluminum ones tend to be less resistant than the previously mentioned models, even though they are not as susceptible to rust.

Should you choose a copper drip edge, in order for it to be wholly effective, it should be at least 0.69 mm thick. On the other hand, if you land on galvanized steel drip edges, opt for a 24 gauge.

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Three Drip Edge Profiles Available

Moving on to the different profiles available now that we have thoroughly examined the different types of materials used in the making of roof drip edges. Three are at your disposal (types C, D & F), see below:

  • Type C: This is the classic L-shaped model, bent at a 90-degree angle. It has a lower flange at the bottom.
  • Type D: This model is shaped like a “T” and has a lower flange at the bottom. This type is especially preferred for its capacity to keep water away from the fascia. 
  • Type F: This model differs from the other two due to its longer leading edge. This feature makes it a sensible choice when installing over existing shingles.

Aside from the three previously mentioned models, it is still worth noting that there is a fourth type of drip edge: the J-shaped one. However, this one is not as prevalent when it comes to its use on roofs as it is more adapted to window and door use. 

Should you be needing more information regarding your roof renovation, check out the following articles: 

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