If you are installing a roof system, drip edges and gutter aprons play the main role. We can also relate it to gutter systems. If not installed properly, this will impact the effectiveness of your whole gutter systems.
A drip edge or a gutter apron keeps your roof secure by filtering out all the water from the attic into the gutter. This keeps your roof safe from rotting and leaking. You can be confused among these two metals flashings as they are completely identical and serve the same purpose.
They differ for their shapes and installation. Do you want to study and compare each feature of drip edge vs gutter apron in detail? Let's go!
What Is Drip Edge?
Drip edge is applied on the edge of the house roof to filter out all the water from the roof system. It directs all the water away from the fascia and then into the gutter. Drip edges are usually available in the shape of 'T'. They are also known as D-metal.
It is vital to install drip edge flashing. Without it, your attic can get damaged due to moisture. Due to many weather factors, water droplets tend to remain on the surface and expose a great risk to cause a leak through your roofline.
However, if a drip edge flashing is properly installed on the eaves and edges, those droplets will go directly to your gutter. Even if your home has no gutter, this flashing will keep water away from the roofline or penetrating the soffit cavity.
Before discussing its other uses, let us give you a detailed explanation of how a drip edge prevent your roof from moisture and rot. You can easily understand what is drip edge by considering a metal sheet covering the borders of your roof to protect it from dripping and damaging.
Drip edges are mostly galvanized and are non-corroding plastics and metals. They are accessible in different colors to match with your home shade. The most common designs of this flashing are L-style, T-style, and C-style.
Material Types of Drip Edges
This D-metal is made up of different materials that are as followings
- Copper Drip Edge
- Galvanized Steel Material
- Aluminum Material
- Plastics and Vinyl flashings
- Fiberglass Drip Edge
Drip edge has become mandatory for shingle roofs by the 2012 International Building Codes (IBS). And no doubt it has to be because it gives strong protection to your wood. A wooden attic especially shingles roof is prone to rot and mildew.
Advantages of Drip Edge
With so many benefits, let us talk about some of its advantages.
Your fascia in simple words roofline can get extremely damaged due to heavy exposure to water. this damage can be in the form of roof dripping, rot or discoloration. But a drip edge simply sets the water flow towards your main gutter.
For example, if you have a curling shingle roof. Edges of shingles will be downward. So, any water will flow onto your fascia board exposing it to excessive moisture. But a drip edge installed on these shingles border will change its direction towards the gutter.
Protects from Wind and Rain
In extreme weather conditions, the heavy and stormy wind pushes water to the corners and gaps of the roofs. You should be aware of the concept of gravity here. Consider small drops of water on metal flashing. How do they flow directly to gutter without any pump?
The answer is gravity, right! A heavy wind will push rainwater on to your roof because there will be no drip edge gravity to pull it all into the gutter.
A big benefit of drip edge is that it prevents your home from an insect's attack. It simply guards a carpenter's gap in your house. What is Carpenter's gap?
It is referred to as the space between your deck and fascia board. Yes! that big gap can be a source for many pests to enter into your home. These tiny pests can also damage your roof by getting deep into the wood cavity.
Also Know: Which Home Warping System Your Should Use?
A drip edge will also save your ground area that is directly under the roofline. When it directs water away from the fascia and into the gutter, it also protects water dripping to the ground under that board.
A basement is often present under that ground. Without a drip edge flashing, water can just penetrate the ground and then into your basement.
It is so common that homeowners go for an insurance claim for roof damage. The top reason for that is the instability of the roof. This instability occurs due to heavy winds, moisture, ice dams, and rainwater.
During a strong winter, a drip edge stabilizes your roof by preventing ice dam’s formation and water flow towards your roof. It does so by covering water from going down into gaps.
You should always consider installing a perfect drip edge to save you from a future dilemma.
Drawback of Drip Edge
A drawback of drip edge is that it has code specifications. You cannot simply apply it to any roof edge. if you are not familiar with drip edge requirements, get professional help. Some important codes of
The drip edge is as follows:
- It is available in 10-foot lengths.
- Joined sections must be overlapped a minimum of 51mm.
- This metal drip edge should be extending beyond the roof casing for 6.4mm and 51mm for a roof deck.
But it is also a good thing that it has pre-defined standers. It can save you from the trouble of buying a metal flashing again and again.
What is Gutter Apron?
Now you have become completely aware of what drip edge is! A gutter apron serves the same purpose as a drip edge but differs in material and shape. They have the shape of 'L' rather than 'T'. These aprons are also identical to flashing metals but gutter aprons are mostly used on roofs with low slopes.
They are good for wooden attics where shingles do not extend far enough from the edge of the gutter. Water flows back through gutter aprons into the gutter. Though, it depends on your attic design to select a gutter apron or drip edge. Let us study gutter apron in detail.
Gutter aprons ensure that rainwater on your roof directly flows into gutter. It also prevents the roof wood from rotting and damaging due to water penetration. Besides this, a gutter apron also ensures that no water gets in the back of the gutter.
You already know that it also functions the same as a drip edge. Like drip edge, it guards soffit cavities and fascia boards against moisture exposure. It gets installed on the roof borders. It hangs into the gutter folded at 120 degrees.
Now you might be wondering are gutters aprons are made up of the same materials as drip edge! Apron flashing is also metal strips including aluminum and steel sheets. They are also available in different colors and sizes. Most famous colors of gutter aprons are white, black, brown, and bronze.
Advantages of Gutter Apron
The gutter apron has so many benefits and is also a good choice for your roof system!
It prevents the attic from damage. In heavy weather, It will keep your house safe by directing rainy water directly into a gutter. Your house will not start dripping.
It also secures your roof deck, gaps, and fascia as water will not go down there. Gutter aprons are made up of galvanized material that tends to flow all the water smoothly into the gutter.
The main benefit of the gutter apron is that it protects pests and small animals seeking residence in your home. It covers the gaps in your attic designs to prevent any insects from nesting.
So, by installing a gutter apron you are saving yourself, your home, and your beautiful attic.
A worthwhile investment
By selecting a gutter apron for your roof, aren't you just saving money for the long run? This is simple to understand. Without any gutter aprons, your roof will become exposed to weather conditions damage like excess moisture due to rainwater or wind-driven water.
Your roof can become completely cracked and you will be eventually re-roofing your house. Of course! spending a lot of money again. Save yourself from all that disaster by simply installing gutter aprons.
Less maintenance is required if you just simply install a gutter apron with your roof. This will catch all the rainwater and will not allow it to deeply penetrate.
For example, if you did not install a gutter apron, you will have to collect that rainwater from the attic and clean it. It will be time-consuming and not 100% effective. So save yourself from a lot of stress and do install a gutter apron.
Drawback of Gutter Apron
It also has code specifications depending on the styles and edges of the roofs. It cannot be installed on an existing roof. A gutter apron is not recommended if a gutter is far from the edge of the shingles.
Difference Between Gutter Apron VS Drip Edge.
After knowing each one in detail, we are going to compare the main differences between the gutter apron and the drip edge. Make sure you don't skip any fact.
A gutter apron is installed on the corners above roof decking. It is put under the shingles of an attic to flow water directly into the gutter.
While on the other hand a drip edge is installed to the trim and usually hangs directly behind the back of the gutter. A gutter apron is used where shingles are not far enough from the edge of the gutter.
It is recommended to seek professional advice on which one to choose. They can serve different purposes depending on the style and roof of your designs.
If your attic is designed in such a way that it has lots of sides and curvy edges, then prefer a gutter apron over the drip edge. A drip edge can leave the curvy edge sides exposed.
However, don’t proceed with choosing one by yourself unless you are an expert. By carefully lifting the shingles, a gutter apron can be installed with the help of roofing nails.
However, keep in mind that tile shingles or materials like slate cannot be lifted so always install a gutter apron for new roofing.
For drip edge installation, align it for directing water flow into gutter alongside the roof edges. You can use nails to tightly secure it. Ideally, it is recommended to nail about every 12 inches. Don't exceed it more than 16 inches.
Both gutter aprons and drip edges should be strong enough to bear UV rays and moisture at the same time. A gutter apron is of no use if not installed properly because you will have to consider other options for your roofing.
Drip edge, on the other hand, comes in more styles and can be installed on the roof again. They are both made up of the same materials like aluminum and steel and possess good durability.
However, it also depends on manufacturers and the thickness of the material. A folded edge on both increase strength in rigidity and effectiveness.
Gutter apron and drip edge also come in stronger UV resistant and waterproof material like vinyl plastics.
Installation on Existing Roof
It is always recommended to install any kind of flashing before constructing a roof structure. However, it is not impossible to save your constructed roof from water. for installing on an existing roof, use a drip edge. A drip edge can be easily installed and there will be no need of lifting the shingles.
On the other hand, installing a gutter apron on the existing roof is not possible. As it will require you to lift the shingles which are just not possible.
There is simply no big price difference between the two. They serve the same purpose and are very inexpensive. The prices differ depending on the material and length you choose. However, an estimated price is that they can cost you around $1-$3 for each linear foot installation.
They are very cost-effective because sometimes roofer will not charge any extra fee for their installation. So, if you want to do it yourself for your satisfaction, you can do it no doubt in that. But always choose a professional who will know about designs, settings, and proper folding.
You should always choose among gutter apron vs drip edge carefully. Keep in mind that investing money in the right material at the right time will save you from the extra expenditure. Seek professional help for both the gutter apron and drip edge.
Both will indeed prevent water from getting onto the roof and causing mold. But if not installed properly, there is no purpose for them. Different manufacturers have different recommendations and specifications for both materials. Contact them if you are doing it by yourself or hire a contractor.
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