Details matter. Cutting corners, or in this case edges, can create big headaches later. A drip edge is a very simple concept: It is a strip of metal flashing installed along the edge of your roof at the point where water drips off. And you need it to protect your roof and everything it covers.
In a place that gets as much rain as we do in Raleigh, homeowners need to make especially sure that they have a well-installed drip edge in place.
Why do I need a drip edge?
The first major reason you need a drip edge is because it is part of the code and installation instructions for virtually every shingled roof. Not following code or manufacturer instructions can lead to issues with your home warranty, your home owner’s insurance and maybe even give you issues when you try to sell your house.
And the manufacturers didn’t just put this requirement there to make your life more difficult. You also need a drip edge because without one your roof can experience moisture damage. Water passes over the shingles and down towards the gutters. When it gets to the edge of the roof, there is a possibility of moisture getting between the fascia board and the gutters or even backing up onto the plywood surface of the roof.
A drip edge can also prevent an access point for pests like insects and rodents, who like getting under roofs to find shelter.
Where a drip edge is installed
A roof is designed to overhang past the outside wall of a home. This overhang is called an eave when it is at the bottom of the roof, leading to a gutter. Along the gable side, the roof also will extend past the wall by a bit, which is called a rake. While both the eaves and the rakes benefit from drip edges, the eaves are especially important to hit because gravity pulls far more moisture down the roofs pitch than it does off the side.
Along this edge, metal flashing is secured onto the roof deck. The deck is the area made of plywood underneath the shingles. Roof decks have a layer of black underlayment, often called tar paper or roofing felt, between the plywood and the shingles. The drip edge will generally go underneath the underlayment, directly on the plywood.
Installing a drip edge after the fact
If you moved into a house and realized later that it doesn’t have a drip edge, it’s not too late. Experienced roofers are able to install a drip edge to an existing home without damaging the current roof.
Some roofing crews skip the drip edge, thinking it’s a way to lower their bid and that the customer will never notice. This is dishonest and can cause an expensive repair for the homeowner once moisture damage has set in. If the problem is caught early though, the drip edge can be installed and the roof protected.
Consolidated Roofing Services can help
For professional, local roofing roofing in the greater Triangle area of North Carolina, Consolidated Roofing Services is your first call. Based out of Cary, we also serve Durham, Raleigh, Apex, Chapel HIll and beyond. To get an estimate on a drip edge, or any other roofing need, contact us at 919-377-2644.