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Question DetailsAsked on 5/19/2014

If not having a problem with 6 yo roof and no drip edge, do I need to replace?

New roof 6 years ago. Am told company did a great job except for some reason they did not think they needed to put in a drip edge. We now have a leak, not necessarily due to the lack of a drip edge. The new roofers say that the whole roof needs to be replaced as a drip edge is a necessity and that the barrier is not placed close enough to the edge. I am leaning toward repairing just the roof area where the drip is. How risky is no drip edge?

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2 Answers

Voted Best Answer

The lack of a drip edge does not cause roof leaks - the purpose of that is to prevent drips wicking from the edges of the shingles up under them to the sheathing, and rotting the edge of the sheathing and the rafter tails and fascia/rake boards right under the edge of the roof. That water will not wick more than a few inches up from the edge of the roof, so if your leak is not right at the edge of the sheathing (meaning outside the building "envelope" so a concern only with respect to rot potential), then has nothing to do with drip edge. Also, in most cases, shingles will droop over the edge of the sheathing if overhung 1/2-3/4 inches like they should be, and act as a drip edge themselves fairly well.

If your "new" roofer is saying lack of drip edge means you need a new roof, throw him away - I would say he is scamming you. I would say probably 3/4 of asphalt shingle roofs do NOT have drip edge installed. Drip edge, if desired/needed, can be added after the fact - just a nuisance to do so.

The barrier not close enough to edge - I presume they are talking the underlayment or ice and water shield, which should extend slightly past the edge of the plywood sheathing. Is that what they meant ? Again,if short, can be remedied without a total reroof - can be fixed by just removing the bottom few rows of shingles.

Use the Answer This Question button to reply back, and tell us more about where the leak is occurring - most likely at a penetration through the roof, if not right at edge.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD


Thank you so much for your answer; it is extremely helpful. I feel good about our new roofer and think he is honest; I just think he is a perfectionist so I need to be prepared to say what I want done.

We had an addition put on and the leak is where the new roof makes a valley as it connects to the old. The rain runs down the valley, hits the gutter and splashes back up to drip down along the old outside wall, now into the house.

With respect to the lack of drip edge and underlayment, the shingles do hang down and when you pull them up you can see wood that is stained from water. The underlayment is about 1 to 1.4 inches up short of the edge.

We definitely need to have something fixed where the leak is and it sounds like we don't need drip edging. Is the underlayment too short and should I worry about the wood I can see at the edge of the roof?

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_9331598


Not having the ice and water shield/underlayment all the way to the edge of the sheathing means that edge will deteriorate if any water gets to it - either running down from above on top of the underlayment due to a leak, or due to wicking from the shingle edges as appears to be happening.

Best fix - with a CAREFUL roofer, remove the nails in the bottom 3-4 rows of shingles and carefully peeling up the ice and water shield/underlayment, slip a piece of ice and water shield in under it. Comes in 12" as well as wider widths - the 12" is perfect for this, as it should underlap the existing underlayment by 4 inches, so a half-width 6 inch strip would work well, 12 " would be better of course. Then of course straighten up and renail the shingles. This should be done in warm weather so the shingles are pliable and do not crack when holding the tabs up to remove and redrive the nails. Nail removal should be individually with diagonal cutters or similar tool working them out, NOT with a nail puller like shown below, which will rip the nails through the shingles and tear the shingles, despite the manufacturer claims -

The above peel back method I would guess you are talking about $350-600 range for a normal sized house (about 100 LF of eaves) as it will be a 2-man job on ladders peeling back and slipping it in, and take 1/2-1 day for the house.

Simpler, and pretty good but not as foolproof method especially with respect to any future seepage coming down the underlayment from uphill, but you might consider in your case as it would solve the wicking back under the shingle edge issue - lifting bottom row of shingles (bottom row plus starter course under it) and removing firt row of nails ony as needed, slipping a metal drip edge at least 2 inches (preferably 4") up under the existing underlayment/ice and water shield (so probably about 3-6 inch wide "flange"), renailing bottom row. Depending on how the starter course was nailed, you might be able to do this without any, or hardly any, nail cutting/removal at all. Cost likely more like $250-400 range depending on how many nails need cutting/removing, and can be done by one man.

The key is getting the repair material UNDER the existing underlayment/ice and water shield, and having the drip edge overhang the gutters so water drips into the gutter, not down behind it and soaking the fascia.


For your valley issue, if water is overflowing gutter at the valley, you need valley splash guard, like these, installed - probably only about $50 more if done along with the other repair -

If you mean it splashes in the gutter and comes back against the fascia, then you need a wide lip drip edge extending from the top of the sheathingas described above, but extending will down into the gutter at that area, like this -

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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