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When it comes to roof installation and protection, drip edge and gutter apron are both words you ought to be familiar with. However, we understand that not everyone is a professional local roofing contractor and that words like roof drip edge, metal flashing, and gutter apron might not be in your regular vocabulary. Lucky for you, that’s what we’re here for! In this post, our team of roofing specialists at Quality Exteriors will break down drip edge vs. gutter apron and the difference between the two of them.

Whether you have damage from a storm or are simply interested in enhancing your home, we have a team of dedicated home improvement contractors ready to help meet your specific needs. QEI specializes in providing roofing, siding, and window services to the Shreveport-Bossier City areas. We also provide free estimates and inspections of your home or business at your own convenience. With Quality Exteriors, you will get the highest Quality of service and workmanship, guaranteed.

What is Drip Edge?

There are many different things that can contribute to water leaking into your home and causing damage. One of the most common causes is a lack of proper protection along the roof shingles where your roof edge meets your house. This is where what we call a “drip edge” comes in handy. Drip edge is a type of metal flashing that prevents moisture from getting in at this vulnerable point. Its purpose is to direct water away from the internal areas where it shouldn’t be, which helps protect your existing roof from damage and potential rotting due to water penetration.

Drip edge flashing is an important part of the home, but it is not always installed at a home’s initial construction. Some states require drip edge installation, while others only highly recommend it.

A roof drip edge is a piece of T-shaped metal that gets installed along the outer perimeter of the roof of a house and essentially creates a watertight seal around the roof edge. The face of the metal drip edge must overlap the gutter so that water doesn’t fall into the gaps in between. Its purpose is to filter out water from the roof by directing it away from the fascia board and into the gutter. This prevents rotting of the fascia board, which holds up the gutters and keeps them from falling down onto your roof system.

Drip edges can come in virtually any color, but the most common colors are neutrals like white, black, and brown. It is also possible to color match your roof shingles or gutters to the drip edge to create a more concise look. Some people may even choose to use an accent color for their metal drip edge to make the roof “pop” or to complement other parts of the house, such as window shutters or doors.

what is drip edge

What is Gutter Apron?

A gutter apron serves the same purpose as a drip edge. As such, gutter aprons are intended to direct water away from potential problem areas of the house, down to the roof edges, and into the gutters. (See our blog: “Gutter Replacement” for more information on gutters.) The difference between the two essentially comes down to the shape and material that is used. The most obvious attribute that distinguishes a gutter apron from a drip edge is the fact that a gutter apron is more of an L-shaped metal rather than a T.

A gutter apron also comes in metal strips with aluminum and steel sheets. Like drip edge, a gutter apron may be available in many different colors. Also similar to drip edge, the more popular colors for a gutter apron among homeowners nowadays include black, brown, white, and bronze. 

what is gutter apron

Drip Edge vs. Gutter Apron (Pros & Cons of Each)

Despite the difference in appearance, a drip edge and a gutter apron are very similar to one another and serve the same purpose. So how does one choose between drip edge vs. gutter apron? This may be a rather difficult choice, as there is no clear winner between the two. Both have similar advantages and disadvantages. 

Below, we’ll provide some pros and cons for both a drip edge and gutter apron: 

  • Pros
    • Strong wind and rain protection.
    • Secures roof deck and gaps.
    • Protects against wood rot.
    • Durable fascia guard.
    • Prevents insects, pests, and small animals from entering your attic.
    • Shingle support.
    • Inexpensive and cost-effective.
    • Saves time in future maintenance.
    • Saves money in future repairs.
  • Cons
    • Generally not included in standard roof installation.
    • Difficult to install after roof deck has already been built. 
    • Has code specifications. 

As you can see, the advantages of drip edges and gutter aprons far outweigh any disadvantages they may present. 

When deciding between drip edge vs. gutter apron, it generally comes down to the style and design of your roof. It is best to seek professional advice for which option best suits your home and meets your needs. At Quality Exteriors, we offer free inspections where we can assess your home and determine which choice will be a better fit for you. A roofing contractor from our team of professionals would be happy to help aid you in this decision. 

Drip Edge vs. Gutter Apron Installation

Perhaps the biggest difference between a drip edge and gutter apron is the way in which they are installed. Below, we’ll briefly explain the installation process of a drip edge and gutter apron.

Drip Edge

Drip edge installed to the trim of the roof so that it hangs directly behind the back end of the gutter. Drip edges should be installed from the bottom of the rake upward, allowing each piece to slightly overlap the next so as to prevent water infiltration. The material should also be cut with as few seams as possible in order to give the roof and house a cleaner look overall. 

Gutter Apron

A gutter apron, on the other hand, is installed under the shingles (See our blog: “What Types of Shingles are Best?”) and above roof decking. Gutter aprons typically come in larger dimensions than drip edge, making them hang slightly over the roof sheathing.

Drip edge and gutter apron installation are similarly priced, with no large price gap between the two. (Depending on the type of material and the length required for your home, of course.) You are probably looking at about $1 to $3 per linear foot of material installed for both drip edge and gutter apron installation. 

Contact the Shreveport-Bossier Roofing Experts at Quality Exteriors Today

Both drip edge and gutter aprons are great investments for homeowners due to the inexpensive installation cost and the amount they save in future repairs costs. The choice is ultimately up to you, but it’s always best to consult with a professional Louisiana roofing contractor who can evaluate what works best for your specific home needs before making any decision. 

When it comes to making any type of home repair or upgrade, you want to work with a name you can trust. Our team here at Quality Exteriors has over 60 years of work experience behind us in drip edges, gutter aprons, and so much more! Contact us today for a free estimate or home inspection. You can reach us by calling (318) 747-1254 or leaving us a message directly on our website.