The Top 5 Gutter Drip Edging Products (2022 Update)
The unsung hero of your home is the gutter system. This part of your home often goes unnoticed, unless it’s not doing the job it was intended to – divert water away from your home’s foundation and exterior surfaces.
One of the most integral pieces in your gutter system is the drip edge flashing. Without it, the structural integrity of your fascia will quikcly decline. Over time, water will penetrate that fascia board and it will decay, rot, and allow water or insects into your home.
The next time you walk around your property, inspect the area between where your shingles stop and your gutters begin. If you see a gap, your drip edge is not functional or is missing entirely.
What is a Gutter Drip Edge?
A drip edge is a piece of material that is installed underneath roofing materials to help guide water into the gutter basin. A drip edge also protects the fascia board underneath from decay and rot due to continued exposure to water.
It offers a finished look to your gutter system in addition to being a highly-functioning portion of the gutters and can be made of different types of materials, depending on your needs, regional climate, home aesthetic, and personal preferences.
Why is it Important to Install Drip Edge Flashing?
There are many reasons to ensure a properly-installed drip edge as part of your gutter system. Including the importance to the safety and security of your home.
Prevents Damage to Soffit and Fascia
The drip edge flashing covering the gap between the roof and the gutters, protecting your soffit and fascia from continued exposure to any rainfall and melted snow. The drip edge also prevents dripping water from getting under your roof and instead directs the water into the gutter syste, channeled away from your home. Excess moisture can decay the fascia and soffit – the drip edge avoids that deterioration over time.
Keep your Porch and Covered Entryway Dry
When covered porches, decks, or patios get soaked with rain, warmer temperatures can promote moss and algae growth, but a well-installed drip edge keeps that water from seeping through any cracks and onto your entryway floor or relaxation spots on your property. In the colder seasons of the year, drip edge flashing prevents that water from forming to ice and causing a slipping accident as you, your family, and guests enter your home.
Stabilize the Roofing Structure
Drip edge flashing can help to stabilize your roofing material, namely when high winds invade your regional area. The method of installation of drip edge flashing is commonly underneath the lowest area of shingles which adds one more level of protection to keep the roof in great shape.
Helps to Avoid Pests
When the gap between the roof and the fascia is exposed, also known as a carpenter’s gap, rodents, spiders, and other small pests can freely enter your attic space and invade your home. A drip edge closes the gap and avoids pests creating a home inside yours – and causing unwanted damage to your attic insulation and structure.
Prevents Ice Damming
Ice damming occurs when only a portion of the snow melts from your roof and works its way toward the gutter system. Once it reaches the edge of the roof, the drip edge guides it into the gutter basin. However when the drip edge is missing, contact with cold air can refreeze that melted snow in no time, creating a “dam” of ice that puts added strain, weight, and pressure on your roof – creating more damage or potential collapse.
When water is able to reach between the gutters and the roof, it can seep into your home’s foundation and end up in your basement. Remediating water from your basement can be an expensive task and if not addressed, in just a few days’ time, can lead to mold and mildew growth – causing respiratory discomfort for you and your family.
Drip Edge Installation Requirements
There are a few requirements for drip edge flashing installation that contractors and DIY enthusiasts must ensure maximum efficiency and in some states, to abide by state regulations. Check the builder’s requirements in your area to be certain that your installation is up to code.
The drip edge must be installed at least two inches onto the roof from its endpoint and extend downward a minimum of ¼ inch below the sheathing and each adjacent piece should overlap by at least 2 inches. For the security of the drip edge flashing, 12-gauge roofing nails that have ⅜ inch-diameter heads are used to attach the material every 12 inches at a minimum.
The international residential code (IRC) requires drip edge flashing to be installed. When in doubt, consult with a roofing or gutter installation expert.
Common Drip Edge Flashing Material and Types
Just like gutters, drip edge flashing is made from various types of materials. Your drip edge material choice should be based on the temperature fluctuations in your area, the look you’d like for your home, ease of installation if you’re a DIY expert, and your preference for durability.
Gutter drip edge comes in various designs as well including Type C, Type F, and Type D. These profiles have different purposes. For example, Types C and D have different flange angles while Type F is commonly used for replacement when shingles or other roofing materials have already been installed.
Vinyl, Fiberglass, and Plastic
While more affordable, vinyl, fiberglass, and plastic drip edges may offer specific looks customers go for, they tend to have a shorter lifespan and require replacement – especially in areas prone to extreme temperature fluctuations.
Aluminum drip edge material is fairly common and resistant to corrosion. It’s available in a wide range of colors to match most exterior home palettes.
Galvanized steel is perfect for areas that receive an excess of strong winds because of its durability and can withstand constant exposure to moisture without rusting or corroding. In wind-prone areas, it is reccommended to use a minimum of 24-gauge steel.
The most costly, but also beautiful and sturdy, copper drip edge material can add a finishing touch to historic homes where copper might be required to abide by preservation society standards.
Where Else on the Home is Flashing Used?
Flashing is used in home renovation projects and new builds, and in any location where water penetration prevention is necessary. Flashing is used in a more hardy material format as gutter flashing but the term “flashing” is also used when creating a water-tight barrier during the installation of windows and doors. Flashing tape is commonly used around those rough openings and prevents water from seeping through.
Top 5 Self-Adhesive Drip Edge Flashing Products in 2022
Flashing tape is not often used with gutter installation unless installed underneath the drip edge flashing, but to waterproof connecting areas where the roof pitches, around the new door and window installation, and other covered areas where the need for water penetration prevention is prevalent.
Check out these highly reviewed flashing tape products.
Huber ZIP System Flashing Tape – 9-inch
An extra-wide roll measuring 9 inches, the Huber Zip System Flashing Tape is a 50-foot roll made from an advanced acrylic material that’s self-adhesive, no need for additional nails, screws, or caulk to seal this Huber Zip Flashing tape into place.
It can be used and adhered to a slew of different material types – making it perfect for many different waterproofing projects around the house including gutter, window, and door installations. It can be applied in extreme temperature fluctuations between 0-degree Fahrenheit days and 120-degree Fahrenheit days and can withstand direct UV sunlight exposure for up to 180 days.
It can be applied by hand but installation must include a Zip System tape roller to roll it into place – as the flashing tape is pressure sensitive.
Huber ZIP System Flashing Tape – 3.75-inch
Huber also makes a smaller version for use on smaller waterproofing or rough opening projects. With a 3.75-inch width, this Zip System Flashing Tape measures 30 feet long and contains all the same product features of the 9-inch roll and must be applied using a Zip System tape roller to ensure maximum efficiency and a waterproof seal that protects your home for years to come.
ZIP System Flashing Tape
This Zip System flashing tape comes in a 6-inch-wide and 75-foot long roll, withstands the same temps up to 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and creates a strong watertight seal when applied with a Zip System tape roller.
Grace Vycor Pro Self-Adhered Window and Door Flashing
The Vycor Pro Self-Adhered Window and Door Flashing by Grace comes in 4, 6, 9, and 12-inch widths and can even be purchased as a single 75-foot roll or in a carton of 4, 8, or 12 rolls. For those contractors building new homes or single homeowners making some changes to their waterproofing measures, Grace offers multipacks of their product for ease of ordering.
This flashing tape self-adheres to a multitude of surfaces and in climates up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit and can be exposed to the elements for up to 120 days if needed. For those replacing windows, it is compatible with both flexible and rigid window nailing flanges and works alongside many well-known sealants and water-resistant barrier products.
It is made of a non-asphaltic butyl-modified adhesive with a unique polypropylene backing film that is strong and will not tear. Used to prevent water penetration that can lead to mold, mildew, and heating or air conditioning loss, the Vycor Pro Flashing tape is a versatile product for your home renovation or building projects.
E-SDS Deck Joist Tape
A bit different from the previous flashing tapes, the E-SDS Deck Joist tape is primarily made for the protection of deck joists to keep them safe from excessive water damage and allow your deck to remain strong and sturdy far into the future.
Used in temperatures from -20 degrees Fahrenheit to 176 degrees Fahrenheit but must be applied on a dry, clean, and debris-free surface, including metal and wood joists, for the best adhesion.
Whether you’re attempting to waterproof your fascia and soffits, your window and door rough openings, or your deck joists, flashing is crucial to protect your home from extensive water damage.
Be sure to use the correct product for the renovation or build you’re conducting because not all waterproofing products work well in all situations and for all purposes. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and any required code specifications for best results.