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How Drip Edge Overlap Contributes to a Longer-Lasting Roof

Posted on : June 4, 2023

How Drip Edge Overlap Contributes to a Longer-Lasting Roof

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. It protects you from the elements, keeping you safe and dry. But even the best roofs need some maintenance from time to time. One important part of roof maintenance is drip edge overlap. 

In 2023, drip edges are still considered to be among the top ways to control moisture during building design, construction, and maintenance. According to the EPA, drip edges can help to reduce the amount of water that enters a home, therefore limiting the risk of water damage. This can lead to significant savings on energy costs, as well as a reduction in the risk of mold and mildew growth.

In this blog post, we will explore the important aspects of roof drip edges, the types of drip edges, their crucial function in preventing water damage, the importance of drip edge overlap for a longer-lasting roof, step-by-step installation tips, and effective ways to inspect and maintain your drip edge. 

What is Drip Edge Overlap?

When it comes to installing a drip edge, you should know the importance of overlapping the drip edge. The drip edge is a key component that shields the edges of your roof from water damage. When sealing the edges of your roof there might still be gaps, which is why it’s crucial to overlap these pieces on top of each other to ensure complete protection. 

By ensuring a proper overlap, you're maximizing the effectiveness of the drip edge, providing an added layer of defense against potential leaks and rot. It's a small detail that can make a big difference in safeguarding your roof's longevity.

If you want to know more about drip edge, you should check out our blog post on what a drip edge is.

Is It Okay To Overlap A Roof Drip Edge?

Yes, it is okay to overlap a roof drip edge. In fact, it is recommended that you overlap the drip edge flashing strips by at least one inch. This will help ensure that the drip edge is secured properly and water does not seep behind the shingles. This will also prevent water from leaking through the joint.

Let’s understand the role of overlapping drip edges in detail.

The Role of Drip Edge Overlap

Drip edge overlap plays a vital role in safeguarding your roof and ensuring its longevity. By ensuring proper overlap, you can effectively direct water away from your roof's edge, preventing damage and maintaining the integrity of your home.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Neglecting to achieve the required overlap leaves vulnerable areas exposed to water infiltration, leading to potential leaks, rot, and structural damage.
  • Paying attention to drip edge overlap establishes a reliable barrier that shields your roof and preserves its strength and durability.

Note: The requirement for drip edge overlap is not merely a suggestion but a mandatory standard set by building codes. By adhering to these standards, you ensure that your roof meets the necessary criteria for effectively managing water and protecting your home.

If you are overlapping a roof drip edge, it is important to make sure that the overlap is tight. You can use roofing nails or screws to secure the overlap in place.

Drip Edge Overlap

Here are the proper steps for overlapping a roof drip edge:

A Step-by-Step Guide on How To Install a Drip Edge With the Correct Amount of Overlap

For the installation of a drip edge with correct overlap on your roof, follow these steps:

1. Measure and cut the drip edge to the appropriate length.

2. Position the drip edge along the roof, angled flange facing up and extending beyond the roof.

3. Secure the drip edge with roofing nails, spaced about 12 inches apart.

4. Install the next section, ensuring a proper overlap of around two inches.

5. Continue installing drip edge sections, overlapping each one.

6. Trim any excess drip edge length.

7. Check for alignment and make adjustments as needed.

8. Inspect the installation for gaps or issues.

9. Follow manufacturer instructions and local building codes.

By following these steps, you can properly install a drip edge with the correct overlap for effective roof protection.

How Drip Edge Overlap Ensures Your Roof’s Longevity

By providing a secure installation, drip edge overlap helps extend the life of your roof. Here's how:

Protects Fascia Boards

Without overlapping your drip edge, water can seep behind the fascia boards, leading to rot and weakening of the roof structure. By providing this extra layer of protection, drip edge overlap helps to maintain the integrity of the fascia boards and prolong their lifespan.

Prevents Wind-Driven Rain

Wind-driven rain refers to rainwater that is propelled horizontally by strong winds, hitting the exterior surfaces of buildings or structures. It occurs when the force of the wind pushes raindrops against walls, roofs, or windows, potentially leading to water infiltration and damage if proper protective measures are not in place. Drip edge overlap acts as a barrier against wind-driven rain. This prevents water from penetrating the roofing system and causing leaks or damage.

Guards Against Ice Dams

Ice dams are formed when snow on the roof melts due to heat escaping from the attic or warm air from the interior of the house. As the water flows down the roof, it reaches the colder eaves where it refreezes, creating a barrier of ice. This process repeats over time, causing the ice dam to grow larger and trapping melting water behind it, which can lead to water seeping under the shingles and causing damage. 

Proper overlapping of the drip edge helps prevent ice dam formation by creating a continuous barrier at the roof's edge. The drip edge extends beyond the roof's surface, directing the melting water off the roof and away from the vulnerable eaves. By channeling the water away, drip edge overlapping prevents the accumulation of water at the roof's edge, reducing the likelihood of ice dams forming and protecting the roof from potential water damage.

How to Inspect and Maintain Your Drip Edge

Here are some tips for routine maintenance and inspection to ensure proper performance. You should consider professional help with any of the following:

  • Regularly inspect the drip edge visually for damage, such as cracks or rust.
  • Clear debris to prevent water flow obstruction.
  • Check, tighten, or replace loose fasteners.
  • Verify overlap for proper coverage.
  • Promptly repair or replace damaged sections.
  • Maintain clean gutters to support proper water flow.

If you’re dealing with any extensive damage, inaccessible areas, or issues where you lack expertise, call a professional for help.

End Note

For reliable roofing solutions, turn to McClellands Contracting and Roofing LLC located in Pittsburgh. We understand the importance of proper drip edge installation with the correct overlap to safeguard your roof's longevity. Our expertise ensures that water is effectively diverted away from vulnerable areas, preventing leaks and minimizing the risks of damage, rot, decay, and mold growth.

Feel free to reach out at (412) 353-5660 to access our trusted roofing services and get any of your roofing questions answered by one of our experts.


1. Question: What are the risks of improper drip edge overlap?

Answer: Improper drip edge overlap can increase the risk of leaks, which can lead to damage to the roof, the home's interior, and the foundation. It can also reduce the lifespan of the roof and impair its performance.

2. Question: How can I tell if my drip edge is installed correctly?

Answer: There are a few things you can look for to see if your drip edge is installed correctly. First, check to see if the drip edge is overlapped properly. The overlap should be at least one inch. Second, check to see if the drip edge is sealed properly. The drip edge should be sealed to the roof with caulk or sealant. Finally, check to see if the drip edge is in good condition. The drip edge should be free of rust, dents, and other damage.

3. Question: What is the difference between drip edge and flashing?

Answer: A drip edge is a type of metal flashing that is used to protect roofs from water damage. Flashing can be found in many areas along a roof. While a drip edge is installed along the eaves and rakes of a roof to redirect water away from the roof's edge, other forms of flashing are installed along the intersections on a roof, such as roof valleys or where the roof meets the chimney.

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