Gutter Apron vs Drip Edge: What's the Difference and Why Does it Matter?


When it comes to roofing and rainwater management, a correctly installed edge metal system is crucial. Here at WeatherSeal roofing we use two different types of edge metal on every roof install we do; Drip Edge and Gutter Apron. While they both serve a similar purpose, they are not the same thing. Understanding the differences between gutter aprons and drip edges, and knowing when and why to use each one, can help ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your roofing system.

Drip Edge:

A drip edge is a metal flashing that is installed along the rakes of a roof, typically over the underlayment, but under the shingles. The purpose of a drip edge is to prevent any rainwater from seeping under the shingles and into the roof deck or run down along the fascia. A drip edge, is typically designed with a ½” to ¾” overhang which helps keep any water running over the edge of your roof away from the roof's fascia and other vulnerable parts of the home, helping to prevent damage and rot.

When installed correctly, and choosing the right material, gutter apron's and drip edge's work together to provide maximum protection against rainwater.

Gutter Apron:

A gutter apron is a metal strip that is installed under the roof's shingles and over the gutters on the eaves of a roof. Similar to drip edge the purpose of a gutter apron is to prevent water from running down the eaves of the roof behind the gutters and onto your fascia. A gutter apron, is designed with a very minimal or no overhang at all, which helps direct the water running down your roof's edge directly into the gutter, making it the ideal material to manage rainwater and prevent damage to your roofs fascia and home.

Why Use Both Gutter Apron and Drip Edge?

While gutter aprons and drip edges serve similar functions, they each help protect the roof and home from water damage a little differently. When installing esge metal flashing on the rakes, we use drip edge as we want the water to run out and away from the roofs edge as far as possible, which the ½” to ¾” overhang helps us achieve.

However, when installing edge metal flashing on the eaves, we want to allow as much rainwater as possible to run directly into the gutters, and avoid water from running behind or over the gutters. That’s why we use gutter aprons without an overhang on the eaves, as not to allow water to run or shoot out over the gutters as it comes down the roof. It is also important to run the back wall of the gutters behind the flashing, as to ensure that the water runs into the gutters and not behind it.

When hiring a roofing contractor, it always important to find out which materials your roofing contractor will be using, as every component is very important in order to achieve maximum protection to your home.

In addition to protection, a gutter apron and drip edge also improve the overall appearance of your roof. A well-installed gutter apron and drip edge provide a clean, finished look to your roofline, improving the overall look of your home.

Understanding the differences between gutter aprons and drip edges, and knowing when and why to use each one, is important to ensure the longevity and effectiveness of your roofing system. While many contractors accepted the practice to use drip edge along both the eaves and rakes of the roof, here at WeatherSeal Roofing we always use gutter aprons on eaves and drip edge on rakes on all our projects as they each serve critical independent functions in protecting your roof and home from water damage and improving the appearance of your roof.

At WeatherSeal Roofing we offer full service roof installations and replacements with our skilled team of experienced installers. WeatherSeal Roofing is based out of East Brunswick, NJ and providing roofing services in Middlesex, Somerset, Union and nearby counties in New Jersey. If you are looking for a Roofer, contact us today for a free roof inspection or estimate at (732) 576-3899.

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