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The Importance of Rake & Drip Edge

Many homes that I have inspected lack Rake / Drip edge. As a renovator, I have seen the damage caused by missing rake / drip edge. Whenever we stripped an asphalt roof covering, there was always moisture damage to the decking approximately 1 foot out from the edge when rake / drip was missing. This is caused by either water being driven under the shingle or by the water tracking under the shingle and on the roof deck. Some roofers who opt not to use rake / drip edge justify it by extending the shingles at least 2 inches past the leading edge of the deck. I always recommend to my clients that it is installed. It is very frustrating when seeing a new roof covering without rake / drip edge. Do we note satisfactory? I don’t because I feel that the roof may leak or deteriorate because of this missing flashing. Rake / drip edge is flashing. If flashing were missing anywhere else, we would consider it a major defect. In 2012 the International Residential Code (IRC) requires that rake and drip edge shall be provided at eaves and rake edges of single roofs. It also must be installed properly in order for the intended purpose. Here is what a home inspector should be looking for:

  • Rake / Drip edge shall be overlapped at least 2 inches
  • Rake / Drip edge shall extend not less than ¼ inch below the roof sheathing
  • Rake / Drip edge shall extend back onto the roof deck not less than 2 inches
  • Rake / Drip edge shall be mechanically fastened to the roof deck at not more than 12 inches on center
  • Rake / Drip edge shall be fastened with a minimum 12 gauge shank and 3/8” diameter head
  • Underlayment shall be installed over the drip edge along the eaves and under the drip edge along the rakes
  • Rake / Drip edge should be corrosion resistant
  • Rake edge should be installed along the eave from the bottom upward. The top sections should overlap the bottom section to prevent water getting in at the joints

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