Drip edges are a commonly overlooked roofing feature that plays an important role in making sure that your roof is protected from water. They hang down from the eaves and prevent water from sliding underneath your shingles or collecting behind your wooden fascia boards. Not all roofs have drip edges — they're becoming required by code in many areas, but some roofs may lack this protective feature. A roof that lacks drip edges is at a greater risk of allowing water inside your home. To learn more about why drip edges are important and why you should install drip edges on your roof if you don't already have them, read on.
What Is a Drip Edge?
Drip edges are made from metal or vinyl, and they're installed on the edges of your roof between your shingles and the fascia board that your gutters connect to. Most drip edges are L-shaped, with one edge nailed to the roof decking underneath your shingles and the other jutting out over your fascia to protect it. They're made out of waterproof materials because their job is to divert water away from the edges of your roof without being damaged by water themselves.
Why Are Drip Edges Important?
Drip edges prevent your roof deck and your fascia boards from rotting due to water damage. Without a drip edge protecting them, wind-blown rain can make it underneath the shingles on the edge of your roof, where it will begin to cause your wooden roof deck to rot. When the deck begins to become saturated with water, it can also drip down into your attic and cause further water damage. Since a drip edge is waterproof and sits beneath your shingles, it prevents water intrusion from wind-blown rain.
The overhanging portion of the drip edge directs water away from your fascia boards and into your gutters. If you don't have drip edges installed, water that's flowing slowly off of your roof will drip onto your fascia rather than running into the gutter. Water will collect on top of your fascia, and it won't evaporate quickly since this area is shielded from the sun. As a result, your fascia will rapidly rot away.
Note that if your home doesn't have gutters, then drip edges are still important. Even though there's no gutter system to divert rain towards, drip edges still keep rain from blowing underneath of your shingles or collecting on your fascia. They're still an important protective feature.
Should You Install Drip Edges on a Roof That Doesn't Have Them?
If your roof doesn't have drip edges, it's a good idea to have them installed by a residential roofing service. Drip edges are easiest to install when a contractor is first laying down shingles for a new roof, but it's still fairly easy to install them on an existing roof. With drip edges, your roof deck and your fascia will be better protected from the rain, which helps prevent water damage to your roof and your home. Drip edges are inexpensive, and they'll reduce the risk that your home will suffer from water damage that requires extensive repairs.
To learn more, contact a residential roofing service.