Gutter aprons vs. drip edges is a topic that many homeowners discuss when they are getting new gutters or getting the old ones repaired. Are you wondering which of these two options is the best choice for your home?
At Capital Roofing, we’re here to help with all your roofing doubts. We’ve been sharing our roofing knowledge with homeowners in Oklahoma for years, and our company aims to help you make better-informed decisions that are safe for your home and family.
In this post, we’ll explain what gutter aprons and drip edges are, the difference between the two, and which one is the right fit for your home. Whether you’re looking to tackle the project yourself, or working with a professional gutter contractor, this information will be extremely helpful for you.
So let’s dive in!
Gutter Apron & Drip Edges Are Part Of The Roof Drainage System
The gutter apron and drip edge serve the primary function of protecting your house from water damage. These are essential parts of a roof’s drainage system, which consists of the gutter system (gutter channels and downspouts) and additional functional parts like a gutter apron or drip edge, gutter guards, downspout filters, and more.
When water runs off the roof and onto the ground around the foundation, it can cause a number of problems, including soil erosion, foundation damage, and water seepage into a basement or crawl space. With a well-built drainage system, you can help direct the water away from the foundation, preventing these problems and protecting your investment. Having a gutter apron or a drip edge is a part of this process.
Let’s understand how gutter aprons and drip edges differ from each other, and whether you need both parts or just one of them.
Gutter Apron Vs Drip Edge: What’s The Difference?
The only difference between a gutter apron and a drip edge is in their profile and additional functions. So let’s understand their function and the difference between the two.
What Is A Drip Edge?
A drip edge is a narrow piece of metal flashing used to protect the roof’s edges from water damage. It is typically installed between the shingles and the underlayment along the eaves and rakes of the roof. It helps to direct water away from the fascia board and into the gutter.
What Is A Gutter Apron?
A gutter apron is an extended version of a drip edge. The metal piece bends down the roofline into an L-shape to cover the fascia board and the joint between the gutter channels and the roof. Many gutter aprons are also attached to the gutters from one end. It’s a more efficient way to prevent water from getting behind the gutter.
In short, a gutter apron covers the joint between the gutter and the roof, while the drip edge protects the eaves by directing water away from the fascia board.
How Gutter Aprons Can Benefit You
Gutter aprons protect fascia boards, siding, and the porch from water damage. Here’s a detailed explanation to help you understand better.
Protects Fascia Board From Water Damage
One of the main benefits of a gutter apron is that it helps to protect the fascia board from water damage. Since it completely covers the fascia, the apron shields the board against problems like rot, peeling paint, rust, mold, and algae. Such issues occur when lots of water flows continuously over the roof fascia that’s made of metal or wood.
More Efficient Than A Drip Edge
Another advantage of a gutter apron is that it can help to prevent leaks at the connection point between the gutters and the roof. By extending over the top of the fascia and sealing against the roof, the apron helps to create a watertight seal that prevents leaks better than the drip edge.
Covers Up Old, Damaged Fascia
If the wood fascia on a home is already damaged or in poor condition, you can utilize a gutter apron to cover up the damage and protect the fascia more efficiently. This can be a cost-effective way to address fascia problems without having to replace the entire board.
However, some homeowners don’t want to cover their fascia boards with a gutter apron, so it may not be a choice for them. It also requires great skills and a little more money to install gutter aprons. In such cases, you may want to have a drip edge.
How Drip Edges Can Benefit You
Drip edges are not clearly visible from the ground. They come in different lengths and profiles that may or may not touch the fascia. Some drip edges are also nailed to the fascia but don’t cover them completely, and are painted to match the color of the fascia for a seamless look.
Fits All Roof Types
One of the main advantages of a drip edge is that it can be used with any type of roofing material. This makes it a versatile option for homeowners who are looking for a way to protect their gutters and prevent water damage to their homes without creating a mess during installation or spending more than their budget.
Prevents Water Damage To Your Home
Drip edges may not protect the fascia completely, but they provide sufficient protection to a home’s foundation, porch, and siding from water damage. A drip edge allows a smooth flow of water directly into the gutters, which may otherwise leak behind the gutters, causing all sorts of problems to the house. So it is a good choice for homes with vinyl fascia boards as this material is already resistant to rot, rust, algae, and mold.
Easy To Install
Drip edges are typically easier to install than other types of gutter protection systems, such as gutter aprons. This can make them a more cost-effective option for homeowners who are looking to install new gutters or upgrade their existing gutter systems.
More Visually Appealing Than A Gutter Apron
Some homeowners may prefer the appearance of a drip edge over a gutter apron, as the drip edge is typically less visible and may match the roof and gutter system more seamlessly.
If you’ve decided which type of water protection you need in your home, you must also go through the different options that are available on the market. Gutter aprons and drip edges come in different shapes and are made from a variety of metals.
Types Of Gutter Aprons
Gutter aprons are installed at the base of the gutter channels. Several different types of gutter aprons are available on the market, each with unique features and benefits. Here are the top four options for a pitched roof:
A flat apron is a single piece of metal that is folded over at the edges to form a shallow channel. They are attached to the fascia board at the base of the gutter. Flat aprons are cost-effective, but they may not offer 100% protection during heavy rainfall or a thunderstorm.
Another type of gutter apron is the molded apron. These aprons are made from a single piece of metal molded into a more complex shape, with a deeper channel and additional flanges to protect against heavy rainfall. Molded aprons are more durable than flat aprons and offer better protection against water damage, but they also cost more.
Box gutter aprons are made from two pieces of metal that are folded together to form a box-like shape. They are installed by attaching one side to the fascia board and the other to the gutter. Box aprons are more durable and offer better protection against water damage than either flat or molded aprons, but they are also more expensive and more difficult to install.
These aprons are made from a single piece of metal designed to enclose the gutter’s base completely. Wrap-around aprons are installed by attaching one side to the fascia board and the other side to the gutter itself, creating a fully enclosed protective barrier around the base of the gutter. Like box aprons, this is also a durable choice that offers better protection against water damage than flat or molded aprons. Moreover, it costs less than the box apron.
It’s not just gutter aprons, drip edges also have different profiles to match the roof style and offer maximum protection to the house. If you are considering a drip edge over gutter aprons, here are some of the best options for you:
Different Types Of Drip Edges
All types of drip edges are made from a single piece of metal. These strips have various lengths, and it is cut and folded in different ways to form a suitable shape for installation needs. Drip edges are either bought from the store or cut on-site by the roofing contractors after inspecting your roof. Here are the top three options popular across the country:
This is the most common type of drip edge, and it consists of a narrow strip of metal flashing that is installed along the edges of the roof. A standard drip edge is designed to direct water away from the roof and into the gutter, helping to prevent water from running behind the gutter.
Wide-Flange Drip Edge
A wide-flange drip edge is similar to a standard drip edge but has a broader flange that extends further out from the roof. It has a curved or pointed end that creates a better pathway for the water to reach the gutters rather than touching the fascia or slipping behind the gutters.
This type of drip edge has a “W” shape, with one leg of the “W” installed along the edge of the roof and the other leg extending down over the fascia. This profile offers additional protection for the fascia by directing the water away from the board and into the gutter.
Don’t like the idea of any of these styles? No problem! You can also get customized drip edges and gutter aprons to add a personal touch to your roofing system.
You Can Also Get Customized Drip Edges And Gutter Aprons
Whether you want to match the color of your fascia board or add a unique design element, customized drip edges and gutter aprons give you the freedom to express your creativity and make your home stand out. You can also create a contrast by installing a drip edge with a bold color that pops against the other trims.
Of course, it’s not just about aesthetics. Customized drip edges and gutter aprons are usually tailored to fit your roof’s specific dimensions and contours, ensuring a perfect fit and optimal performance. With customization, you will not only add a personal touch but also improve the product’s functionality and durability.
But the biggest factor behind a successful installation is to make sure that it’s done by an expert. In fact, it is essential to hire a licensed and reliable contractor for installing any type of drip edge or gutter apron. These protective elements require lifting the shingles up and reinstalling them, which is a task that needs precision and professionalism.
If you live in Claremore or the surrounding areas in Oklahoma, we can help you with all your needs related to your roof, gutter, and exterior.
Do You Need Gutter Apron Or Drip Edge Installation Services?
At Capital Roofing, we’ve been improving homes in Claremore, Oklahoma, for years. We understand the importance of a functioning gutter system, and we can tell you which type of water protection will best suit your roof. If you need a reliable roof repair or replacement service, we can also guide you on how to get started and which parts of your roof need attention.
If you need more advice from an expert gutter contractor or roofer, call us at (918) 260-4075. We will be happy to offer you a free consultation, roof inspection, and estimate. Our team of licensed and experienced roofing contractors is ready to provide you with top-quality service and workmanship.