What a Drip Edge is and Why Your Home Needs it

We’ve talked about eave drip edge before when we were describing a squirrel removal job we performed in Silver Spring, Maryland. In that home, the lack of eave drip edge led to a squirrel problem in the attic. However, since then we’ve come across numerous other scenarios where a missing drip edge led to a wildlife infestation. As a Maryland wildlife removal company, we are urging you to check whether your home has an eave drip edge and its condition. Because if you don’t, there is a good chance you have critters living in your attic.

What is an Eave Drip Edge?

An eave drip edge is a strip of galvanized metal or aluminum installed over the fascia board underneath the roof shingles to cover the so-called carpenter’s gap. A carpenter’s gap is a space between a roof deck and a fascia board. This gap may range from 3/4” to 2,” and may vary throughout the roofline. In some cases, it’s unavoidable due to the different angles between the roof deck and the fascia board. In other cases, it’s wider than necessary due to the contractor’s lack of attention to detail. Either way, it should always be covered with a drip edge flashing. The picture above shows an example of a carpenter’s gap with a missing drip edge.

The Purpose of a Drip Edge

  • Stop squirrels, rodents, insects, and other animals, such as bats, from getting into your attic. Remember, bats need just 1/4” opening to fit!
  • Stop the bottom row of shingles from drooping over the roof deck edge and cracking.
  • Stop leaves, debris, and sideways rain from getting blown into the soffit.
  • Protects the roof deck from water damage and rot.
  • Create a finished look for your roof and your home in general.

How to Check if Your Home Has a Drip Edge

Because it’s covered by gutters in most areas, you wouldn’t see the drip edge unless you are up there cleaning them. Take a ladder and closely inspect the space behind your gutters. There shouldn’t be any gaps there. Or you can always call a roof inspector to get your entire roof evaluated. If it turns out that you don’t have a drip edge, it’s fairly easy to install. An eave drip edge is nailed to the roof deck over or under the underlayment, depending on your local building codes. Make sure your roofing contractors check the drip edge and install a new one as needed when they are doing roof replacement.

If You Think You Have Animals in Your Attic

If you lived in your home for a while without ever noticing the missing drip edge, it’s possible that your home has already become a home to a family of squirrels or a few generations of bats. If you are hesitant to go up in the attic and check for yourself, we don’t blame you! That’s what our Maryland wildlife removal professionals are for! Give us a call or contact us online and we’ll be happy to help!