Roof drip edges protect your shingles and fascia from water damage by directing rain water flow away from the roof’s edge. Homeowners should know what, if any, types of drip edges they have. Our guide explains different roof drip edge types, do-it-yourself (DIY) drip edge installation, and when to contact a roofing professional. Read on to learn more about which drip edges work for different roof types.
What Is the Purpose of a Roof Drip Edge?
Roof drip edges, or drip edge flashing, is important for your roofing system’s structural integrity. It prevents rainwater from seeping under the first layer of shingles, which can lead to water damage in the roof’s fascia and soffit boards. Roof drip edges protect the roof’s underlayment and significantly extend the roofing system’s life span compared to roofs without roof drip edges. Essentially, they’re a piece of metal flashing that directs water away from your eaves into the gutters or directly off the house. They are typically installed during new roof installation.
Types of Roof Drip Edge Profiles
Roof drip edges come in three main styles and are typically made of only a few metals, including aluminum, galvanized steel, and copper. Let’s explore the pros and cons of each.
Type C (L Style)
Type C roof drip edges are shaped like an L (hence L style). They have a vertical and horizontal plane. One flange overhangs the roof, and the other hangs vertically flush with the eave’s edge. This is a common roof drip edge style and is especially effective on low-profile roofs. Their 90-degree angle allows them to direct water away from roofs with low inclines.
Benefits and Drawbacks
➕ Cost-effective at $0.30 to $1.00 per linear foot*
➕ Recommended for low-incline and flat roofs
➕ Particularly effective on metal roofing systems
➖ Limited application to specific roof inclines
➖ Flange doesn’t extend as far away from the roof as other styles
*Article cost data via Angi.
Type D (T Style)
Type D, or T Style, is a T-shaped piece of metal that overhangs the gutter, directing water away from roofs, porches, and foundations. The T’s top extends over the gutter and directs water away from shingles and fascia. T Style roof drip edges cost $1.00 to $1.50 per linear foot. These are highly recommended for roofs with asphalt shingles.
Benefits and Drawbacks
➕ Recommended by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association for residential roofs
➕ Extended flange more effective at directing water away from roofs than other styles
➕ Effective at channeling water directly into gutters
➖ Slightly pricier than other styles
➖ Mostly recommended for cold climates
Type F (Gutter Apron)
Type F drip edges are also known as gutter aprons. They function in similar ways to other drip edges with a longer flange designed to provide more protection from wind-driven rain. They are often installed when drip edges need to be retrofitted onto existing roofs. Gutter aprons protect the fascia boards and roof deck from rain blown upward by the wind.
Benefits and Drawbacks
➕ Good protection against wind-driven rain
➕ Its longer edge makes installation over an existing roofing easier
➕ Cost-effective pricing relative to other drip edge types
➖ Has longer top edge than other roof drip edge styles
➖ Typically requires professional installation
Gutter Aprons and Rake Edge Metal
Gutter aprons and rake edge metal are other metal flashing types designed to direct water off roofs and into gutters and downspouts. Gutter aprons are similar to Type C roof drip edges, with more metal overhanging the gutters. Rake edge metal comes in T-style or L-style and runs along a roof’s gabled edges. Both gutter aprons and rake edge metal are referred to as roof drip edges because they function in similar ways to protect soffit boards, underlayment, and the foundation.
The main difference between a rake edge and a roof drip edge is that they are installed differently, and rake edges are preferred for climates that get lots of snow and ice.
Other drip edge materials, such as fiberglass, aren’t recommended for roofs but are used over doors or windows.
Roof Drip Edge Materials
- Aluminum: Aluminum is lightweight and resistant to corrosion, making it an attractive option for a roof drip edge material. Aluminum drip edges aren’t quite as strong as other material types, but it does offer different enamel finishes for aesthetics. It is relatively inexpensive at around $0.30 to $1.00 per linear foot.
- Copper: Copper is very strong and offers a unique aesthetic presentation compared to other styles. Copper drip edges are more costly at $3.50 to $7.50 per linear foot.
- Galvanized steel: All steel used for drip edges needs to be galvanized to prevent rust. Galvanized steel drip edges are resistant to wind at a similar price point to aluminum. It is more durable than aluminum at a lower price point than copper.
How to Install a New or Replacement Roof Drip Edge
- Insert the flange underneath the first layer of shingles.
- Make sure the metal drip edge extends at least 3/4 inches away from the fascia boards.
- Secure the roof drip edge to the roof with roofing cement. Apply a continuous strand of cement along the metal flashing’s top and press down on the shingle to secure the drip edge.
- Insert roofing nails along the metal drip edges underneath the shingles for added security.
Replacing a roof drip edge requires you to remove the old drip edge and to install new drip edges. Note that roof drip edges are typically installed by roofing contractors during a full roof installation, but you can install drip edges on an existing roof.
Handy homeowners may be able to handle DIY roof drip edge installation. But the importance of this roofing component means it may be best left to professionals. Local roofing companies will know the right roof drip edge type and material for your climate and roof style. Whether you DIY or call a pro, roof drip edges are well worth the investment for how much they expand a roofing system’s life.
Roof Drip Edge Types FAQ
What are the benefits of using drip edge?
Drip edges became a mandatory building element according to the International Code Council in 2012. Drip edges were included in building codes because they extend a roof’s life span by directing water away from soffit boards, underlayment, porches and foundations. Water is more likely to seep underneath the first layer of shingles if a drip edge is not installed. This can cause unwanted ice dams in cold climates, and water under shingles can damage underlying materials and seep into walls.
What is the difference between Type C and Type D drip edge?
Type C drip edge is an L-shaped piece of metal flashing and is often used on low-incline roofs. Type D drip edge is shaped like a T and extends further away from the roof than Type C. Type D is slightly more expensive at $1.00 to $1.50 per linear foot, but is applicable to many roof types. Both are pieces of metal flashing designed to keep water away from fascia boards, underlayment, and foundations.
What kind of drip edge should I use for a low slope roof?
Type C drip edges are typically recommended for low-slope roofs because of their L shape, which directs water away from roofs with low-inclines. Their 90-degree angle is particularly effective for this application.
What is the best drip edge for flat roofs?
Type C drip edges are recommended for flat roofs as well as low-incline roofs. Their L shape directs water away at a perpendicular 90-degree angle that functions well for these roof inclines.