Drip Edge

This month our blog posts are designed to teach you the basics of roofs. We’re discussing the technical terms for all the components that make up your roof, along with common problems that may arise with each individual structure. Today, after having already discussed soffit, fascia, eavestroughs, and downspouts; we’ve decided to continue our tutorial with a structure that works closely with each of these components: a roof’s drip edge.

The drip edge of your roof is generally comprised of a piece of metal flashing fastened along the edge of your roof in such a manner that it folds away from the building and allows water to fall effortlessly into your eavestroughs and away from the side of the house. If you are having difficulty visualizing what a drip edge looks like, imagine the lower case letter “ r ”. The small portion on the right side of the “r” is the drip edge of your roof guiding water into your gutters, and the taller, long side is the edge of your roof. Check out our instagram page, which is filled with examples of roofs, to see if you can find the drip edge on a home!

Drip edge flashing is affixed to the roof underneath your shingles or final roof covering, so it isn’t a portion of your roof that many homeowners necessarily know to look for. Although a drip edge is not required on every home, it is highly recommended, as it can be vital to protecting the integrity of your home. Without drip edge flashing, water run-off may creep behind your gutters and along the side of your house, inevitably causing water damage to your home.

This type of flashing provides a sturdy backing for shingles to lie on, so that they don’t curl under and break prematurely. It also provides an extra layer of strong defence from the elements and wild animals alike. Driving rain can sometimes work its way into small cracks in your roof when the wind and rain come down in just the right way, potentially causing serious water damage. Likewise, wildlife may seek to gain access to your home or attic along your roofline, a common issue in Toronto where raccoons can often find their way into homes. With a properly installed drip edge protecting your home, these issues can often be avoided altogether.

Problems related to your drip edge tend to occur from improper installation or simple aging and weathering over time. Watch to see whether your drip edge is serving its purpose: transporting water cleanly away from your home into gutters or along the rake of your roof. If you notice water creeping down the side of your home instead of falling cleaning off, you may have a problem with your drip edge and need to have it replaced.

We hope you have enjoyed this week’s discussion about an incredibly vital aspect of your roof: the drip edge. We can’t wait to see you next time, when we will go into detail about one of our favourite roofing components. Return in a few weeks to see what it is!