Roof Drip Edge 101 and Understanding the Different Types

Roof drip edges are an indispensable part of any roofing system that provides protection and enhances the roof's functionality and appearance. When planning your roofing project, consider the type, material and profile of the drip edge to align with your home's needs and aesthetics. A well-chosen and properly installed drip edge can significantly extend the lifespan of your roof.

What is a Roof Drip Edge?

A roof drip edge is a metal flashing that is installed along the edges of a roof. Drip edges play a vital role in directing water away from the fascia and into the gutter, and they help prevent moisture from seeping under shingles. Without them, moisture can cause significant damage to wooden structures and roofing underlayments, which can reduce the roof's lifespan.

In severe weather, they prevent wind-driven rain from affecting shingles and help avoid ice dam formation in colder climates. They also seal gaps between the roof edge and fascia to deter pests​​.

Not only do they protect the structural integrity of a house, but roof drip edges can enhance the overall appearance of the roof and give it a smooth and finished look to your home.

Different Types of Roof Drip Edge Materials

Understanding the different types of roof drip edges can help you choose the right one for your specific roofing needs.

Roof drip edges are made from durable materials designed to withstand the test of time and weather. From aluminum to copper, the material type of a roof drip edge plays a pivotal role in its longevity and effectiveness:

  • Aluminum Drip Edges: Lightweight, cost-effective and corrosion-resistant, aluminum is a popular choice for its versatility in color and style.

  • Galvanized Steel Drip Edges: Sturdy against strong winds, galvanized steel is durable and rust-resistant.

  • Copper Drip Edges: Offering durability and a unique appearance, copper is a premium, albeit more expensive, option.

  • Non-Metallic Drip Edges: Options like plastic, fiberglass and vinyl are available, though less durable and typically used for windows or doors rather than drip edges.

Roof Drip Edge Profiles

Aside from the materials, the profile or shape of the roof drip edge also plays a crucial role in its function and effectiveness. Various profiles cater to differing requirements, which makes the selection process crucial to ensuring the best fit for your roofing needs.

Type C "L" Profile

A diagram of an L-style drip edge with measurements.

Referred to as the "L" shaped drip edge, this design features a 90-degree angle with a lower flange at the bottom. It effectively directs water off the fascia on sloped roofs, which makes it particularly suitable for low-slope and flat roofs.

Type D "T" Profile

The image shows a diagram of a drip edge.

The "T" profile is characterized by a lower flange at the bottom that resembles the shape of a "T." Also known as drip metal, "D-metal" or "T style", this profile is considered effective in keeping water away from the fascia. Although not as widely utilized as Type C, it is still deemed acceptable by most building codes.

Type F "Extended Leading Edge" Profile

The image depicts a diagram of an extended edge profile.

The extended drip edge is designed with a longer leading edge which makes it a suitable choice for installation over existing shingles or on rake edges. It is often referred to as "F style" or "gutter apron." This versatile product is ideal for retrofitting on finished roofs or for installations that require additional coverage. With its enhanced features, the extended drip edge offers a practical and efficient solution for various applications.

Drip Cap

The image shows an aluminum drip cap.

Drip caps serve as an extra safeguard for doors and windows by redirecting water away from these openings. They are often utilized alongside other drip edge types to offer comprehensive moisture protection around the roof perimeter and other susceptible areas. Drip caps are particularly suitable for low slope and flat roofs, especially when the underlying roof membrane extends over the roof edge into the gutters.

Installation and Replacement Considerations

Installing a new drip edge is most efficient during roof replacement, as it can be done quickly and cost-effectively by professionals. Retrofitting a drip edge on an existing roof is more complex and may pose safety risks. The installation process involves securing the drip edge with roofing nails and sealing any gaps with roofing cement​​.

Choosing the Right Drip Edge

Selecting the appropriate drip edge type largely depends on personal preference, as all types offer similar protection. Type-F is popular for pitched residential roofs while Type-C and Type-D have simpler profiles suitable for various applications. The material choice, such as aluminum, galvanized steel, copper or vinyl, depends on factors like durability, aesthetics and budget​​.

Cost and Practicality

The cost of drip edges is relatively uniform with copper being an exception due to its higher price. The installation process is straightforward, and the cost is usually a minor part of a larger roofing project. When selecting a drip edge, consider the overall visual appeal and how it complements your home's style​​.

Enhance Your Home's Aesthetics with Alsco® Premium Siding and Roofing Products

Alsco Metals, a leader in the roofing and siding industry, offers exceptional quality products designed for longevity and durability. Our range of drip edge solutions, crafted from robust, rust-resistant aluminum, combines lightweight properties with strength to help ensure enduring performance even in harsh weather conditions.

Choosing Alsco Metals for your roofing and siding accessories is a wise investment for lasting aesthetic appeal and robust protection for your home. For more details, contact us today!