Flashing refers to thin pieces of water-resistant material used to protect a structure from water infiltration. Flashing is typically installed where two surfaces are joined together like around entry doors, chimneys, skylights, or dormer windows. Different kinds of roof flashing include ridge flashing, vent pipe flashing, and valley flashing. Today we will discuss drip edge flashing, what it is, and why it’s such an important component of your roofing system.
What is It?
Drip edge flashing, known by a number of names including roof flashing, is a thin piece of material typically made from aluminum, galvanized steel, copper, or vinyl. It helps protect the edges of the roof and your home’s exterior from excessive moisture and any resulting water damage. As the name implies, drip edge flashing is installed at the roof’s edge, under the first row of roofing shingles or tiles.
Benefits of Drip Edge Flashing
Drip edge flashing has many benefits to help you protect your home’s exterior. Benefits of installing drip edge flashing as part of your roofing system include:
- Is a cost-effective way to protect against water infiltration of the roof deck, roofing shingles, soffit, and fascia
- Reduces excessive moisture, helping to prevent mold growth and wood rot
- Protects against animal or bird intrusion
- Prevents wind damage
- Extends the lifespan of your roof
Types of Drip Edge Flashing
The three most common types of drip edge flashing are L-type, T-type, and F-type drip edge flashing.
L-type drip edge: The L-type drip edge is comprised of one horizontal flange and one vertical flange. The horizontal section extends over the roof deck and the vertical flange covers the fascia board, effectively channeling water away from the roofing shingles, preventing runoff from seeping into the underlayment.
T-type drip edge: Shaped like the letter “T” the bottom flange of this drip edge profile extends further down than the similar design of the L-type. This provides advanced protection against water infiltration, making the seal even more watertight.
F-type drip edge: This type of drip edge is designed to be installed in areas that are consistently exposed to high winds. The F-type drip edge has one vertical flange and two horizontal – one wide at the top to partly covers the roof deck and a narrower bottom flange offers better protection against wind tear-off and wind-driven rain and sleet. Because it’s specifically designed to prevent water from dripping behind the gutters, the F-type drip edge is also known as a gutter apron.
When Selecting Drip Edge Flashing
It’s not enough to install drip edge flashing on your home: in order to be effective, it must meet the following criteria:
- Cost – the total cost of materials and installation should fit your budget
- Climate – some types of material and its corresponding profile are better suited to specific climate and weather conditions than others
- Compatibility – make sure the roofing material is compatible with the type of drip edge you are considering
Water that doesn’t drain properly from the roof and into the gutters can cause structural issues and other kinds of water damage. While drip edge flashing is not required, it provides an added of layer of protection to your home’s exterior.