What It Is
Put simply, the drip edge is a narrow band of a non-corrosive, non-staining, non-rusting material that is installed around the eaves and gables of your home whenever roofing contractors install shingles on your home. It's most often made from aluminum, galvanized steel or a sturdy material like what is used for flashing around chimneys and skylights.
What Is The Purpose Of The Drip Edge?
Its sole purpose is to prevent ice or snow from getting under your shingles and getting the underlay or decking wet, which can lead to roof leaks, wood rot, mold, mildew and a host of other problems. Properly installed, it can prolong the life of your roof for several years. Left off, it can lead to premature failure of your home's shingles. It is designed to channel moisture away from the underlay or decking by providing an outward projecting lower line. There are two areas where this is critical and where reputable roofing contractors will always install a securely fastened drip edge - along the eaves of your house and along the gables or rakes at either end. It should extend to the lowest row of shingles out and over the eaves and rakes as well as over the gutters. This will funnel water away from the roof or directly into the gutters so that no moisture can seep back underneath and rot the decking.
How Do Roofing Contractors Install It?
Experienced roofing contractors install the drip edge along the eaves and the gables in two slightly different ways so that they work together to protect your house all the way around and along all sides. Along the eaves (the lowest straight line of the roof along the sides of your house), it is installed beneath the underlay or ice and water barrier so that water flowing off of these elements can't seep underneath. Along the gables or rakes, it's installed over the ice and water barrier or underlay. The ends should meet and overlap at each corner.
How Important Is It?
Top quality roofing contractors always include a drip edge when they install new shingles or other materials because it protects the decking and ensures that the shingles will last longer. Without it, your home's roof will be prone to wood rot, curling shingles and other problems. Most manufacturers' warranties for shingles are void if they are installed without a proper drip edge, so it's always in your best interest to make sure it is included in any new roof installation.
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