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Types of Roof Drip Edges (2024 Guide)

Default Author Icon Written by Angela Bunt Updated 03/25/2024

Your roofing system is more than just what you can see from the ground. Beneath the shingles, tiles, or panels are corrosion-resistant materials that ensure the roof can withstand all kinds of weather.

The drip edge is an important part of this system. If it’s not functioning properly, you may have to pay for a new roof sooner than you’d like. We’ll outline the different types of drip edges to help you determine which is best for your specific roofing project.

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Roof shingles with garret house on top of the house among a lot of trees. dark asphalt tiles on the roof background
Asphalt Shingle Roofing

The cost of asphalt shingle roof installation can range from $5,994–$9,791.

Man working on a flat roof
Roof Repair

Typically, the average cost of roof repair ranges between $379 and $1,755

House With a Metal Roof
Metal Roofing

A new metal roof costs an average of $9,150–$16,743.


What Are Roof Drip Edges?

A drip edge is an angled piece of metal flashing located at the roof’s edge. It attaches to the roof deck and extends out over the fascia boards, which are the horizontal boards located under the roof’s eaves. Usually, drip edge installation occurs before underlayment, shingles, or other roofing materials are laid down, though in some instances, retrofitting a drip edge to an existing roof may be necessary. Most contemporary building codes require drip edge flashing as part of a roofing system.

What’s the Purpose of Roof Drip Edges?

A drip edge’s primary purpose is to prevent wood rot and water damage to your home. Drip edges prevent moisture from getting underneath the row of shingles closest to the eaves, directing direct water away from the fascia and into the gutter.

Without a drip edge, rainwater can drip behind the gutters and run down the fascia into the soffit boards, causing water damage to wooden structures and roofing underlayments. This can shorten the roof’s life span, regardless of the type of roof you have. In a worst-case scenario, water can get into your attic or walls, causing further damage.

A drip edge also offers some protection from severe weather and pests.

  • Ice dams: When water does not drain well in cold climates, ice dams can form, putting extra stress on your roof. Drip edges help prevent the formation of ice dams by ensuring proper water flow.
  • Wind-driven rain: Strong winds can potentially push precipitation up under the lowest row of shingles, but a drip edge prevents wind-driven rain from loosening or corroding these shingles.
  • Pests: Drip edges seal the gap between the roof edge and the fascia, creating a barrier that can keep insects and other pests from making their homes in these tight crevices.

In the video below, general contractor Tom Silva demonstrates how surface tension can direct water onto the fascia board and under the shingles—and how drip edges prevent that from happening.

Types of Roof Drip Edge Material

Roof drip edges are most commonly made of metal since it’s a highly durable material. We’ve outlined the different materials below.


Galvanized Steel



Aluminum is lightweight and relatively inexpensive at about $0.30–$1 per linear foot.* Though not as strong as other metals, aluminum does resist corrosion and is available with an enamel finish in a variety of colors to match your roof.
Galvanized steel costs slightly more than aluminum at $0.50–$1.20 per linear foot, but it holds up better against strong wind. Note that all types of steel roof flashing must be galvanized to prevent rust.
Copper is the most expensive metal used to create drip edges, usually priced at $3.50–$7.50 per linear foot. However, it’s also highly durable and creates a unique appearance, especially as it ages.
Non-metallic options include plastic, fiberglass, and vinyl drip edges, but these aren’t durable enough for use on a roof. Instead, they’re typically installed over windows or doors.

*Article cost data in this article was sourced from Angi.

Types of Drip Edge Profiles

The different shapes, or profiles, that drip edges come in are named after letters. This can be confusing because the letter type doesn’t always describe the shape very well, so another letter is often used to identify the style.

Type C (L-Style)

A Type C drip edge has the simplest profile. It’s also called L-style, as it is comprised of an L-shaped piece of metal bent at a 90-degree angle, sometimes with an additional flange or flare on the bottom edge. This style is mostly recommended for low-profile roofs and usually costs between $0.30 and $1 per linear foot.

Type D (T-Style)

Type D is also called T-style because its profile is shaped like the letter T. The top of the T extends further out over the gutter at common roof pitches than the L-style edge, making a Type D drip edge more effective at directing water away from a roof. T-style drip edges are a little more expensive at $1–$1.50 per linear foot, but the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association recommends this type of drip edge for most residential roofs.

Type F

Type F drip edges are similar to Type D, but they have a longer leading edge, which makes them easier to secure over existing shingles. If you need to install a drip edge on a finished roof, Type F is usually what you need. It’s priced similarly to Type C at $0.30–$1 per linear foot.

Alternatives to Drip Edges

The following roof flashing types aren’t technically drip edges, but they serve a very similar function. 

Gravel stop: Protects walls underneath flat or very low-profile roofs.
Gutter apron: Similar to Type C drip edges but larger, with a wider angle, overhanging farther into the gutters.
Rake edge: These run along a roof’s gabled edges (the angled edges without gutters) and can be T-style or L-style. Although precipitation doesn’t typically run directly off these edges, the rake edge ensures any water that does reach it gets directed away from the frieze boards on the house’s side.

Drip Edge Installation

Installing a new drip edge is easiest if roof replacement is already underway. A roofing contractor can install the drip edge over the roof sheathing before shingles or other surface materials are put in place. This is also the least expensive method since you’ve already hired labor, and a roofing professional can lay a drip edge quickly.

The only reason to avoid installing a drip edge at this stage is to save money. However, the savings are minimal compared to the extra protection a drip edge offers. To maximize your roof’s life span, particularly in areas that receive a lot of rain or snow, you should factor the drip edge into the cost of a shingle roof or the cost of metal roofing.

Installing a drip edge is a little more complicated if you’re retrofitting it to an already-finished roof. It can still be a do-it-yourself (DIY) job for homeowners comfortable working on a ladder, but there’s a considerable safety risk.

To install a drip edge underneath existing roofing material, you’ll need to lift up the lowermost row of shingles and fit the drip edge’s leading edge to the roof’s surface. The other edge should protrude at least 1.25 inches from the fascia. You will likely need someone to hold up the shingles while you secure the drip edge with roofing nails every 12 inches. Make sure the nails are high up enough that they’ll be covered by the shingles. Overlap drip edge pieces by an inch or so, and seal any gaps with roofing cement.

If you’re more of a visual learner, check out the video below where Tom Silva walks a few apprentices through the process of installing a drip edge and step flashing.

Our Conclusion

Drip edges direct precipitation away from your roof’s edges and into the gutter, ensuring that water doesn’t pool on the roof or drip down the fascia boards. This part of your roof is vital for preventing water damage, pest infestations, mold, and moss.

It’s a good idea to install a drip edge if your roof doesn’t already have one. This is easiest while your roof is still being built or replaced, but it can also be done on a finished roof. Since this is important to your roof’s structural integrity, we recommend hiring a professional roofing company for the task. Start your search by filling out the form below to get quotes from licensed roofers in your area.

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FAQ About Roof Drip Edges

What is the best roof drip edge?

The best roof drip edge depends on your specific roof, climate, and budget. However, a Type D or T-style roof drip edge in galvanized steel is an excellent choice for many roofs. For expert advice tailored to your needs, consult a qualified roofing professional.

Do you use screws or nails for drip edges?

Roofing nails, which have large heads and barbed shanks, are the best choice for securing a drip edge. Place nails about 12 to 16 inches apart.

What is the difference between a rake edge and a drip edge?

Both rake edges and drip edges deflect water away from your home, but they serve different areas. A drip edge runs along the horizontal eaves of a roof, guiding water into the gutters and away from the fascia. A rake edge runs along the angled sides (or gables) of a roof where there are no gutters, directing water away from the siding.

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