Contractor installing metal drip edge flashing along the roofline of a home

How to Install Drip Edge Flashing on Your Roof

Roof flashing is an important component that can help prevent leaks and moisture intrusion. Using this article, you can learn how to install drip edge flashing on your roof.

Why Drip Edge Flashing

If you notice rain seeping into your soffits or siding, you might need to install drip edge flashing, also known as rake edge flashing or rake board flashing. Drip edge roofing is a metal flashing that goes under shingles and composite roofing.

The shape of the drip edge prevents rainwater from curling around the lowest edge of the roof decking. The flashing is made of sturdy metal, aluminum, minimum 24-gauge steel, or vinyl, and is installed at the edge of the roofing system. It can be called t style, l style, type f, or t style drip edge. It goes underneath the roof covering to keep water directed away from the fascia, towards the gutter, and to keep any unwanted small animals away.

How to Install Drip Edge Flashing on Your Roof -

Without a drip edge, the flow of water can end up under the shingles, causing water damage to the roof and home. When weather conditions get serious, the wind can push water around on the top. The drip edge is corrosion-resistant and protects against harsh weather while aiding the water flow around your home. It can even improve the longevity of your roof by preventing water damage. Most newer homes already have a drip edge installed. 

Preparation

First, you want to measure the length of the roof eave that is going to be covered with the drip edge. Using a tape measure, measure the length and select enough flashing to cover it, allowing for overlap.

How to Install Drip Edge Flashing on Your Roof -
This is a photo from a “new home construction” inspection we performed in 2021 where the owners ended up having to bring a lawsuit against the building company due to terrible work practices; as is evidenced by this beat-up and defective drip edge flashing that was installed along the rake edge of this home’s shingle roof!

When cutting the flashing, use tin snips or a hacksaw. Roof drip edges are divided into 10.5-foot lengths, but sometimes you can find them in smaller sizes. The length of the overhang should be between 2 and 5 inches. 

How To Install a Drip Edge

When using the most common type of edge, Type C, then there are many things you can do before installation that will make the drip edge flashing last longer. By installing a furring strip, you increase the performance of the drip edge.

How To Install Drip Edge Flashing the Right Way

A furring edge strip is a piece of one-inch by two-inch piece of wood that you install just beneath the roof’s edge. By installing the drip edge over the strip, the water is redirected from the home’s siding.

After installing the furring strip, install drip edges on the eaves. Place the drip edge down to guide water downward. The end with the flare should always point down and away from the roof.

Secure the drip edge with roofing nails. By nailing high up on the drip edge, the shingles will cover the nails. You should never have more than 16 inches between nails. When placing the next piece of drip edge, it should overlap the existing one by about one inch.

When you reach a corner, make sure the fit is proper on both sides:

  1. Place the drip edge on the bottommost edge ad mark one inch farther than the overhang. Cut where the mark is, so it hangs past the edge by one inch.
  2. Cut the top portion of the drip edge by the first mark.
  3. Make a perpendicular cut so you can remove a square of the drip edge.

Install the drip edge normally and bend in one side to form a corner. Once the eaves are covered with a drip edge, it is time to install the underlayment. By doing it in the correct order, the underlayment is over the drip edge.

How to Install Drip Edge Flashing on Your Roof -

Next, secure everything down with nails. When you hit a corner where things overlap, install the drip edge on top of the left open flap.

Lastly, when you reach a roof’s ridge, mark where the drip edge exceeds the roof. Make a straight cut through the bottom of the drip edge and fold it to fit over the ridge. Cut the topmost portion of the drip edge for a clean, finished look. Nail in a single nail in the outside piece to hold the drip edge in the correct place.

If there are any additional rules or regulations, the local building code office can answer any questions you might have.

Replacing Drip Edge Flashing on An Existing Roof

If you need to replace the drip edge on an existing roof, it is easier than you think:

  1. Gently lift the shingles on the edge of the roof and locate the preexisting nails. Using a flat pry bar and hammer, pry the nails out of the drip edge. Once freed from the nails, slide the old drip edge out and discard it.
  2. Install the new drip edge following the previously stated instructions. You can also add cement for additional security if needed.
  3. Replace the roof shingles to look natural once again.

Drip edge is the best option for preventing water penetration, moisture, and preparation for the winter months. It protects the sides of the roof, the bottom of the roof and can give your roof a unique look that is also functional. The overall effectiveness of the drip edge flashing is outstanding, and the roofing materials provide a lot to choose from. Regardless of the material you choose, your drip edge roofing will protect your home in the years to come.

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JDFerris
Articles: 68

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