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Albany Roofers: Article About Purpose Of Metal Drip Edges

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In wet climates, metal drip edges are critical to ensuring that melting snow and rain flowing over the eaves makes it into the gutters. Without these drip edges to gently guide the water safely away from the roof, the shingles at the roof's edge become vulnerable to water that might back up. In addition, water can drip behind the gutters, damaging the fascia board and soffit. Where an abundance of snow is common, metal drip edges also prevent ice dams.

Using a shingle overhang as a drip edge, even though it is more economical, can result in water soaked shingles. Drip edge materials are designed to protect the edge of the roof deck as well as usher the water into the gutters. They are not applied by professional Albany roofers for cosmetic purposes. Essential to guard against water penetration, drip edges, sometimes called drip caps or roof edge flashing, are constructed in such a way that their 90 degree bend keeps rain and melting snow away from the roof's edge and fascia board. When installed properly, the drip edge won't allow strong gusts of wind to get up underneath the shingles and rip the shingles off the house.

The portion of the drip edge that extends past the roof deck supports the end of the shingles, allowing any water to drip into the gutter rather than penetrate the roof.

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This extra support can help to reduce the tendency of the shingles to crack at the roof's edge as well as protect them from water saturation. When the shingles are not appropriately protected from water, deterioration sets the stage for the roof to start leaking.

These leaks can be easily avoided by applying a metal drip edge at the eaves and attaching the edge to the sheathing of the deck. Further pieces of drip edge can also be attached to the rake side of the sheathing, but in both cases, the drip edge does need to slightly overhang the gutter. If the metal flashing doesn't hang out far enough, the water will miss the gutter and flow over the fascia board and into the soffit instead. In those cases, the water damage could get quite intense.

Professional roofers will generally attach the metal drip edges to the edge of the shingles with an adhesive, such as roofing cement. Sometimes, small roofing nails are also used higher up and underneath the shingles. Since the metal drip edges are designed to protect the roof from the elements, they should always be installed by a professional.

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