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Syracuse Roofing: Article About Installing Drip Edges

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Drip edges are flat sheets of metal that are installed around the edges of the roof. They have several purposes; they prevent leaks by keeping water out of the roof and they support the layer of shingles that stick out over the edges of the roof. Further, the drip edges divert water away from the home's walls and foundations. However, when a new roof is installed where the homeowner is on a tight budget, the drip edges are often not installed. As any expert Syracuse roofing professional will tell homeowners, this component should not be forgotten due to the amount of protection it offers the roof.

When a new roof is being installed, new drip edges that are located along the eaves are the first things to be installed. It is actually even installed under the underlayment. The drip edges are an upside down L shape. Roofers will use tin snips to cut down the metal sheets to the right size. The base of the L is nailed directly into the roof deck so that the pieces overlap each other slightly. This will prevent any moisture from getting through the cracks.

Next, the roofers will install peel and stick underlayment directly over the drip edges. This underlayment should have a moisture and ice barrier to prevent potential ice dams from forming.

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This is then nailed down. It should be noted that this barrier is only installed along the eaves and the rakes. If it is installed on the entire roof deck, it can actually keep the shingles from drying out should moisture get underneath the exterior roofing materials.

Drip edges are also installed along the roof rakes, or the sides of the slopes. In these cases, the moisture and ice barrier is actually laid down first. Once the underlayment has adhered to the roof deck, the drip edges are then nailed down with roofing nails.

Finally, synthetic underlayment or felt paper, depending on the contractors' or the homeowners' preferences, will be installed on the remaining exposed roof deck. If the shingles will not be installed for several days or weeks, synthetic underlayment may be installed to better protect the roof against potential rainstorms.

Homes that do not have drip edges installed are far more likely to sustain water damage should an ice dam form during the winter or should the home get hit with a heavy rainstorm. Not only can drip edges keep the moisture out, they can also potentially extend the life span of the roof.

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