While the different parts of a roofing system are familiar to roofing professionals, they may not be familiar to homeowners. In this article, we’ll take you through the difference between a gutter apron and drip edge, as well as explore their similarities, advantages and disadvantages, and more, so that you can choose between a gutter apron vs. drip edge
If your roof system is suffering from damage, or you’re looking to install a new roof on your new home, the Monroe roofing experts at Golden Roofing are here to help. Our experienced team of contractors will ensure you and your family are protected from the elements year-round. Call us at (318) 355-6300 to schedule a free Monroe roof inspection with a member of our team.
Understanding Gutter Aprons and Drip Edges
Before deciding between a drip edge and gutter apron, it’s essential to understand what they do and how they differ.
Drip edges and gutter aprons are both types of metal roof flashing. Metal flashing is made up of metal strips that are attached to your roof, creating a watertight seal to divert water away from vulnerable parts of your roof. For example, chimney flashing can be installed to direct water away from your chimney and off of your roof.
There are two different types of gutter flashing: gutter aprons and drip edges. They are both in charge of directing water into the gutter and preventing it from dripping onto the roof’s fascia, which covers the roofing components around the edge of the roof.
Both drip edge and gutter apron flashing are installed on top of the roof sheathing, also known as the roof deck, and underneath the roof shingles.
Importance of Proper Roof Water Management
Both a gutter apron and drip edge can protect your roof and home from extreme weather conditions and prevent future repairs. When water seeps into your roof’s fascia, it can cause the wood underneath the fascia, or even the fascia itself, to rot and fall apart. This water damage can be costly to repair and can even leave your home vulnerable to an animal or insect infestation.
If you notice water leaking from between your roof edge and your gutter, your roof may not have a gutter apron or drip edge, or it may not have been installed properly.
If you notice water leaks, wind damage, or damage to your roof, hire a professional, like the licensed roofing experts at Golden Roofing. We provide our top-notch roofing services to the residents of Northern Louisiana, including those in Monroe, Ruston, Alexandria, Minden, Bossier, and Shreveport.
Not sure if you need repairs just yet? Call a Monroe roofing contractor at (318) 355-6300 to schedule a roof inspection at no cost to you.
When deciding on a gutter apron vs. drip edge, it’s important to know what exactly a gutter apron is and how it helps protect your roof.
A drip edge is a piece of T-shaped metal flashing that diverts water from the roof edge into the gutter channels. Unlike a gutter apron, the outermost part of a drip edge is at the top of the drip edge flashing, closest to the roof’s shingles.
A drip edge is able to direct water away from the roof’s fascia board by blocking water from dripping down it. When water drips down past the shingles, it may try to drip down the roof’s edge. The metal drip edge extends outward right underneath the shingles, preventing this from happening. Also, similar to a gutter apron, the lower part of the drip edge prevents water from splashing out of the gutter and onto the fascia.
Now that we’ve explored the gutter apron, let’s talk about what a drip edge is and what it can do to protect you and your home.
Gutter aprons are strips of L-shaped metal flashing that help divert water into the gutter alongside the edges of your roof. This gutter flashing is attached to the roof decking under the shingles, and the outward-most part is at the very bottom of the flashing, closest to the gutter.
A gutter apron serves to protect the edges of the roof structure from water damage, by ensuring that any water that drips from the shingles falls into the gutter. The shape of the gutter apron allows water to drip from the shingles onto the flashing, and the bottom lip of the metal ensures the water drips into the gutter instead of back onto the fascia board.
The gutter apron also makes sure that any water that falls into the gutter doesn’t splash back onto the edge of the roof.
Advantages of Gutter Aprons and Drip Edges
Both gutter aprons and drip edges work to serve the same purpose: to prevent roof damage. Your home’s drip edge or gutter apron system helps protect your roof deck and attic from water damage that could be caused by water seeping into the fascia. This can increase the lifespan of your roof and ensure you get the most out of your roof
Roof edges aren’t protected by shingles like the rest of the roof, making them vulnerable to water damage and rot. A gutter apron or drip edge can help ensure this part of your roof is safe and protected from damage.
In addition to protecting your roof from water intrusion, it can also ensure water is able to easily and effectively drip off of your roof, which can prevent ice dams. When ice or snow builds up on a roof, it can melt in the sun and begin dripping off of the edges of your roof. If water can’t effectively make its way off of your roof, it can re-freeze overnight, creating a buildup of ice at the edge of your roof.
That buildup of ice called an ice dam, can prevent any additional water from dripping off of your roof, causing it to stay stuck above the roof dam. When water sits on your roof for extended periods of time, it can cause mold and mildew growth and can damage the integrity of your roof.
Water damage and rot can deteriorate your roof and damage its structural integrity. Having a gutter apron or drip edge on your existing roof can extend the life of your roof and ensure it works at peak performance for longer by effectively preventing damage. It can also decrease the number of roof repairs you’ll need over the years, which can save you money over time.
Disadvantages of Gutter Aprons and Drip Edges
With so many advantages, it’s hard to imagine that there are too many disadvantages to having metal flashing alongside your gutter. Drip edge and gutter apron flashing have to be installed underneath your roof’s shingles, and certain shingles can’t be lifted. This means that if your home has flat tar shingles, slate shingles, or tile shingles, and your roof doesn’t have a gutter apron or drip edge, you may only be able to install one if you buy a new roof.
Additionally, a gutter apron and drip edge can be difficult to repair, but gutter apron flashing can be more difficult to repair than drip edge flashing due to its shape.
Gutter Aprons vs. Drip Edges
After gaining an understanding of what a gutter apron and drip edge can do for your home, let’s compare them a little more closely.
Key Differences and Similarities
Borth drip edge and gutter apron flashing serve the same purpose: to protect your roof deck and fascia board from water damage and divert water from your roof shingles to your gutter.
Additionally, they can both be made out of similar materials: you can purchase a vinyl, galvanized metal, or fiberglass drip edge or gutter apron for your home, depending on your preferences.
The price between the two kinds of gutter flashing are very similar, and you can buy aluminum and steel sheets of both gutter aprons and drip edges for around the same price per linear foot. You can also buy both gutter aprons and drip edges in a color that will match your home. Both gutter aprons and drip edges come in black, brown, and white.
The primary difference between a gutter apron vs drip edge is the shape. A gutter apron is L-shaped, whereas a drip edge is T-shaped. Another major difference is in how they are installed.
Installing a Gutter Apron vs Installing a Drip Edge
When installing gutter aprons and drip edges, roofing professionals will measure the outer perimeter of your roof and order the flashing and materials needed to install it to your gutter system. How it’s installed, however, depends on the kind of flashing.
Below, we’ll go through both the drip edge and gutter apron installation processes.
Contractors have to install gutter apron flashing between the roof shingles and the roof deck. This means that installing a gutter apron to your existing roof structure can be difficult and even impossible, depending on the roofing material your roof is made of.
A gutter apron can be easily installed during a new roof installation, but if your roof already has shingles on it, a gutter apron installation can affect the warranty on your shingles, if it’s installed incorrectly. This can prevent you from making a successful insurance claim in the event of extreme weather or other roofing incident.
Drip edge installation is a little easier. If you want a drip edge installed along the edge of your roof, contractors can nail and cement them to the roof fascia, ensuring that the edge of the T-shaped lip extends enough to protect the fascia from water seepage.
Drip edges can also be installed under the shingles of a roof during a new roof installation for extra security.
Gutter Aprons and Drip Edges: Code Compliance and Regulations
Some type of gutter flashing may have been installed during your home’s initial construction or a roof replacement, but if your roof is a little older, that flashing may not have been installed at all. Chapter 9 of the International Residential Code (IRC) requires all residential roofs to have a drip edge installed around the outer perimeter of the roof. If your home predates this addition to the building code, your home may not have a gutter apron or drip edge at all.
Louisiana adheres to this section of the IRC, meaning the state requires all new residential buildings to have a drip edge. Additionally, drip edges must be installed to the specifications listed in Louisiana Residential Code R905.2.8.5.
Choose Golden Roofing for Gutter Apron Installation and Repair Services in Monroe, LA
Homeowners have a lot to worry about, and keeping a roof over their heads is one of their biggest concerns. Hopefully, understanding the difference between a gutter apron vs. drip edge can help you get a better idea of what your roof is supposed to do and help you identify when things go awry. If your roof is in need of repairs or replacement, the Monroe roofing experts at Golden Roofing are here to help.
In addition to residential roofing services, we also offer commercial roofing installations and repairs. We also offer emergency roofing services to the residents of North Louisiana so that you can get the help you need exactly when you need it.