What A Drip Edge Is, And Why It’s Necessary On A Roof

Posted on February 17, 2023

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What A Drip Edge Is, And Why It’s Necessary On A Roof

A proper roof is made up of several components. As homeowners, we tend to focus more on the roofing material we want to install and ignore the other aspects of the system. When it comes to a roofing system, even the smallest roof components can play a crucial role in protecting your home from water damage and other types of wear and tear. 

One of these essential components is the drip edge, a small piece of metal flashing that is installed along the edges of a roof. Despite its relatively small size, the drip edge is a vital part of a well-designed roofing system and can help prevent water damage, rot, and other types of structural damage. In this blog post, we’ll explore what a drip edge is, why it’s essential, and whether it’s necessary for your roofing system. 

What Is A Drip Edge? 

A drip edge is a piece of metal flashing installed along the edges of a roof, where the roof’s shingles or other roofing material meet the eaves and overhangs. A drip edge is typically installed under the roofing material and extends slightly over the edge of a roof and includes a flange that bends away from the fascia. This creates a small gap between the roof and the edge of the building.

As we have already discussed in the introduction, a roof drip edge is small in size but plays a significant role in protecting your roof from damage. 

In the next section, we will discuss the topic further and discuss the advantages your home will have if you install quality drip edge flashing. 

Why Should You Install A Drip Edge For Your Roof?

You don’t want to install a component unless it offers to improve the condition of your roof and home. A roof’s drip edge protects the components of your roof from water damage and other harmful weather conditions.  

Here are some of the advantages of a drip edge:

Effective Protection Against Water Damage

If you are living in Pittsburgh, you are no stranger to the fact that water can be extremely damaging to a roof and the underlying structure of a building. 

A drip edge along a roof offers great protection against water damage. It will keep water away from the edges, which is the most vulnerable part of a roof, and help prevent roof leaks and wood rot. 

Prevents Ice Dam Formation 

In addition to preventing water damage, a drip edge can also help prevent ice dams, which occur when ice builds up at the edge of a roof and prevents water from draining properly. 

This may lead to significant water damage and is a common problem among homes in colder climates. However, with a properly installed drip edge, water is directed away from the roof, helping to prevent the formation of ice dams and the damage they can cause. 

Can Act As A Fascia Guard For Your Roof

If you install a good quality drip edge along a roof, then you can also save your fascia from getting damaged, enabling the beautiful components to last longer. The fascia board is important as it holds up the weight of your gutter system, so protecting it is beneficial.  

Water can cause the fascia board to rot, weakening the roof structure and creating entry points for pests. By directing water away from the fascia board and into the gutters or off the roof’s edge, a drip edge helps prevent water from seeping into the fascia board, which can prolong the life of the board, and the roof’s structure.

Prevent Pest Infestation

One of the essential but lesser-known benefits of installing a drip edge is that it can prevent pests from entering and damaging your home. Without a drip edge, gaps can form between the roof decking and the fascia, creating entry points for insects, rodents, and other pests. Once inside, these pests can cause damage to your home and pose a health risk to your family. 

Not only do they prevent pests, but drip edges prevent birds and other wildlife from nesting in a roof, which may also cause damage to roofing material like shingles, and pose a health risk to your family.  A drip edge can help maintain a clean, healthy living environment and prevent costly pest control efforts by keeping pests out of your home,

Improve Your Roof’s Lifespan 

In the advantages stated above, we have learned that installing a drip edge on the roof can help prevent water from running down beneath the shingles and causing damage to the decking.

A drip edge prolongs the roof’s life by preventing rot, mold growth, and other types of water damage that can lead to premature deterioration of a roof. 

Drip Edge
Drip Edge

Types Of Drip Edges To Consider For Your Home 

Several types of drip edge flashing are available on the market, each with its unique features and benefits.

The most common types include the following. 

L-shaped Drip Edge:

This type of drip edge is one of the most commonly used and consists of an L-shaped piece of metal installed under the roofing material along the roof’s edge. These are also more affordable than other styles of drip edges. 

T-shaped Drip Edge:

This type of drip edge is similar to the L-shaped drip edge but features a longer vertical flange than other styles that extends down the fascia to help protect it against water damage.

F-Shaped Drip Edge:

An F-shaped drip edge is another type of drip edge that is commonly known as a gutter apron. It is the preferred drip edge style for existing roofs since its top portion allows for easy installation over shingles. 

Top Metals Used For Making Roof Drip Edges 

Just like other roofing materials, drip edges are made from a variety of options but depend on the specific needs and requirements of a roof. Some of the most commonly used materials for manufacturing drip edges include those that we’ve listed below.  


Aluminum is one of the most common and affordable materials for drip edges. Aluminum is a popular material for drip edges because it is lightweight, durable, and corrosion-resistant. It can be easily bent and formed to fit the roof’s contours, making it an ideal material for custom installations.

Galvanized Steel: 

When it comes to a drip edge, regular steel is not generally used as it is prone to rusting and, therefore, not fit for facing rain. Instead, steel is galvanized for better protection, which means it’s coated with a layer of zinc. Galvanized steel is a robust and durable material that is also corrosion-resistant. It is often used in areas where the roof is exposed to high winds or heavy rainfall. 


With an array of metals in use for making drip edges, there are some non-metals used, too, one of them being vinyl. Vinyl is a lightweight, affordable material that is easy to install. It is a good choice for roofs with a low slope or for areas with little wind or rainfall. However, since it is primarily a plastic-based material, it does not offer as much protection as a metal drip edge would. 


Copper is a highly durable and corrosion-resistant material that is often used in high-end roofing systems. Copper drip edges offer exceptional results in terms of lifespan and durability. It is more expensive than other materials but can last for decades with proper maintenance.

What Is The Cost Of A Drip Edge? 

Till now, we have covered all the significant aspects of a drip edge. If you do not have drip edges on your home and are looking to install them, then your budget is a crucial thing that you need to consider before you make your decision on what material to purchase. 

Installing a drip edge can be an affordable and efficient way to prevent potential roofing problems, as long as it is done correctly. The average cost to install a drip edge varies between $1 to $3 per linear foot, as per the popular review site Angi.  

However, the final cost can vary depending on the type of material used. For example, a copper drip edge, a high-end metal material for a roof, usually costs around $10-$15 per linear foot. 

Failure to properly install this component could result in future complications that could cost a lot of money to repair. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your contractor has the expertise and techniques to accurately install a drip edge.   

Get The Best Roof Replacement Services In Pittsburgh!

A drip edge is a small, but critical component of a roofing system that can significantly impact a roof’s longevity and durability. By directing water away from the roof and into the gutters or off the roof’s edge, a drip edge can help prevent costly repairs down the line and ensure that the roof continues providing the protection and comfort you’ll need.  
If you find that your roof is in poor condition or want to improve your roofing system by installing a drip edge or any other component, then all you need to do is to contact the team of McClellands Contracting and Roofing, LLC. With our experience, expertise, and dedication, you could have it all! We offer the best roof replacement service in Pittsburgh and the surrounding area, so contact us today at (412) 353-5660 to learn more and book a free roof inspection to get started.

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