Does Metal Roofing Need Drip Edge?

Are you installing a new metal roof and wondering if you need a drip edge? We've researched the purpose of a drip edge and whether it is necessary for all homes.

A drip edge is not needed for metal roofing. If you make sure to overhang your metal roofing at least an inch, the drip edge is not necessary at the eaves and rakes. If the metal roof is hanging over an inch, the water will be directed away from the fascia anyway if at a slant. However, it is highly recommended to install a drip edge to save from water damage later on.

This article will explain how drip edging works and how it can be installed with a metal roof. There are many good reasons you should install it; however, it is not one hundred percent necessary. Please keep reading for more information on installing a drip edge to your metal roof and how it can benefit your home.

A roofer installing drip edge on the side of the roof using a nail gun, Does Metal Roofing Need Drip Edge?

Benefits of a Drip Edge on Metal Roofing

Even though a drip edge is not needed on a metal roof, you may choose to have one installed. Some people think that it looks neater than having the roof overhang more. It also creates a barrier to deter little critters from nesting inside the nooks and crannies and getting into the homes attic.

Reasons for installing a drip edge to a metal roof:

  • Prevents rotting fascia by redirecting water
  • Seals openings to the attic
  • Protects the exterior of the home
  • Neater appearance

Redirection of Water

A piece of metal known as the drip edge ensures the water draining off the roof makes it into the gutter itself. The gutter then lets the water travel away from the house or building down to the ground. This keeps the water, ice, and snow away from the building's fascia, which prevents rotting and deterioration of the wood or structure. The water eventually breaks down wood causing it to flake apart and become weak.

Icicles forming on the sides of the roofing

Seals Openings to the Attic

If there are clear openings from outside your home into the attic, the drip edge can help close those off. Many critters such as bats, birds, and even squirrels can become an issue if they get into your attic. Even if it is not required, adding a drip edge will help seal off the opening to prevent a potential animal issue. This is especially important in cooler months when animals are looking for heat.

Protects the Exterior of the Home

Protecting the exterior of your home is always a top priority. By adding a drip edge, you can be certain that the water will be directed away from the structure itself. This will prevent the fascia from rotting and decay. When wood is constantly pounded with water, ice, and snow, it will eventually break down. A drip edge will keep that from happening to your home.

A roofer repairing the damaged roof of his clients house

Neater Appearance

Adding a drip edge to your metal roof will have a neater appearance overall. It will provide a clean, finished look better than extending the actual metal roofing out over an inch. It will look great while providing more protection for your home or building.

Installing a Drip Edge

  1. When buying the drip edging, make sure it is at least 36 gauges. The type of metal must not corrode easily. Aluminum is the most common drip edge used for a home.
  2. Make sure the roof is clean of dirt and debris. Have all of your tools and materials ready to go.
  3. The lower rim of the roof must be at least 3/4-inches to work properly. Then you must install a drip cap on the lower rim, made of sheet metal.
  4. Insert the wide flank of the cap underneath the metal roofing, all the way through. The outer edge must extend past where the gutter will be located.
  5. You must then seal the flashing to the roof by dripping roof cement on the metal while pressing down.

Check out this Youtube video demonstrating how to install the drip edge to a metal roof.

Related Questions

You may have additional questions that we have not covered above. Keep reading below for some more information that may help you with your drip edging needs.

Can You Paint a Metal Drip Edge?

Of course, you can! Any metal drip edge can be painted any color you want. Make sure your paint is weather resistant and made for metal and the outdoors. Thoroughly clean the edge, and get to painting.

Should Gutters Be Installed Under the Drip Edge?

Yes! Gutters should be installed directly underneath the drip edge. They will be installed at a tilted angle, so the water is directed away from the house itself. The water will then be directed down to the ground, away from the structure.

What is the Difference Between Drip Edge and Rake Edge?

The drip edge will be installed along the eaves trough, and the rake edge will be placed along the gable ends. The photo below may help you visualize the differences as it shows a roofer installing a metal roof drip edge profile.

A roofer using a drill to attached a metal drip edge

How Far Should Metal Roofing Overhang Drip Edge?

A typical overhang on a metal roof is 2- to 4-inches. Many times it is less than that. It is highly recommended, though, that there is some sort of overhang. This is done in conjunction with the flashing installed to keep the water from getting under the metal roofing. Water could cause decay of the wood underneath, resulting in damage to the home.

As always, seeking professional help is an option. Roofers who do this every day may be able to help you with further questions as well.

To Conclude

Drip edging is not always used on a metal roof. It is not a necessity but is highly recommended. In the long run, it will help to keep the water away from your home. This will keep your structure strong and beautiful for years to come. Along with keeping the wood dry and safe, it will add a finished look to your roof. Ultimately, you decide whether to install drip edging on your home's roof.

Do you have more questions about gutters? Check out these great articles below!

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