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

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

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After many years of standing in the sun, you may notice your roof starting to degrade and fade away. This can become a major issue down the line, especially if the rainy season is near.

For that reason, you may want to install structures like aprons or edges to keep your home dry. They’ll redirect water off the roof to keep moisture damage to a minimum.

So, if you’re choosing between a gutter apron and a drip edge, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the two roof structures. We’ll also take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each variety.

Gutter Apron Overview

A gutter apron is a metal structure that you place on the edges of your roof. This helps water flow down the slanted surface and into the gutter system.

Doing so reduces the chances of serious water damage.

Typically, the aprons have an L-shaped cross-section and consist of aluminum or steel. Plus, they come in a variety of colors to match the exterior of your home.

That includes black, white, bronze, gray, and brown.

The aprons cover the builder’s gap between the gutters and the roof. In addition, they take up a small portion of the gutter pipes.

This prevents water from collecting on the roof. It also stops small animals, like birds or squirrels, from nesting in the gutters.


  • Provides excellent water damage protection to the roof
  • An affordable option for reducing the chances of water damage on your roof
  • Covers the builder’s gap to avoid water and other debris from collecting
  • Doesn’t require much maintenance to function properly
  • Durable and can last for many years without fail


  • Requires special installation
  • Doesn’t always match the exterior of your house
  • Isn’t suitable when the builder’s gap between the roof and gutters is large

Drip Edge Overview

A drip edge is similar to a gutter apron, but with a few key differences. The structure is a metallic construct that helps you redirect water into gutters.

Just like the aprons, you install edge flashings on the outskirts of the roof. This creates a seal around the gutters to prevent water from leaking out.

That’s because of the unique T-shaped design of the flashings. Plus, flashings stop shingles from curling over and keep the baseboards from warping.

To top it all off, edge drips come in a wide variety of shades and sizes. That means you should be able to find a structure that works for your home.

However, drip edges take up a sizable portion of the gutters.


  • Can withstand extreme weather conditions with no issues
  • Reduces the chances of your shingles curling
  • Limits water collection and ice formation on your roof
  • Prevents water from dripping onto the ground level or foundation of your house
  • Protects against uninvited animal or insect guests


  • Installation requires following strict code specifications
  • Takes up a significant portion of the gutters
  • Requires regular maintenance

Gutter Apron vs. Drip Edge

Now that you have a little background data on each covering, we can jump into the comparison. In this section, we’ll dive into the major differences and similarities between the two.

1 – Installation

Installing drip edges can be a tedious and time-consuming process. There are strict guidelines that you have to follow to ensure the safety of your home.

For example, you can’t install flashings when your roof has curved edges. The arcs prevent the structures from sealing the space between the gutter and the roof.

So, neglecting to stick to the specifications may lead to foundational issues.

Thankfully, gutter aprons don’t have the same problem. While there are still a few installation rules, they’re much more forgiving.

So, if you opt for aprons, the process should be faster and more affordable.

2 – Materials

The first aspect we’ll talk about is the construction materials. Usually, gutter aprons come in one of two options.

That includes the aluminum and steel varieties.

On the other hand, with drip edges, there are a few more material options. Some of the most common include:

  • Galvanized steel
  • Aluminum
  • House warp
  • Plastic and vinyl flashing
  • Copper
  • Fiberglass

Each one of these materials has a set of advantages and disadvantages. For example, galvanized steel is durable and can handle a lot of wear and tear.

However, it has a tendency to rust easily.

Other than that, aluminum resists rusting and is lightweight and easier to install.

As you can tell, with drip edges, you have many more options to choose from. This gives you a little more freedom to customize the exterior of your house.

On top of that, you’ll get to pick the material that works best for your budget.

3 – Design

One of the most notable differences between the two coverings is the shape. Gutter aprons have an L-shaped cross-section, while drip edges have a T-shaped one.

This change in design affects the performance of each attachment.

For starters, gutter aprons are better at collecting water from low-sloped roofs. Besides that, drip edges are superior when it comes to protecting the fascia board.

As for color, both aprons and drips come in many shades. Although, the latter does come in a few extra hues.

4 – Durability

Both gutter aprons and drip edges are incredibly durable and effective roof coverings. They can last for years without the need for any major repairs.

Although, this will depend on the type of construction material you choose. That’s because metals like steel are more durable than aluminum.

Yet, if both coverings are the same material, there isn’t any difference in resilience.

5 – Weather

When deciding between gutter aprons and drip edges, you have to take the weather into account.

That’s because each device is better suited for different applications.

For starters, aprons can handle light rain. They should be able to direct small amounts of water from the roof to the gutters.

Moving on, drip edges are ideal for extreme weather conditions. These structures should be able to handle strong winds and heavy rainfall.

6 – Repairs

Even though gutter aprons are easier to install, pulling them back out can be quite a chore. That’s because of the way you secure the structures to the roof.

With drip edges, the process is much simpler. You should be able to remove the coverings without exerting a lot of effort.

7 – Maintenance

To ensure your aprons or flashings last for as long as possible, maintenance is crucial. You’ll need to clean the area regularly to reduce the chances of mold and rust forming.

With gutter aprons, maintenance should be a breeze. Since they collect water from the entire roof, you won’t have to worry about gathering it yourself.

As for drip edges, the process is a bit more involved. You’ll need to do more scrubbing to remove water and other debris from the structures.

8 – Cost

When it comes to the cost, there isn’t much difference between gutter aprons and drip edges. Both have similar installation rates, but flashings can be slightly more expensive.

The distinction in price is only apparent if you choose two different materials. For instance, galvanized steel is more expensive than aluminum.

Final Thoughts

If you’re debating between a gutter apron vs. drip edge, there are a few factors you should consider. For starters, both structures are coverings that help keep your roof dry.

They redirect water into the gutter to stop the moisture from damaging your home.

There are a few differences between the two roof coverings. For starters, aprons are easier to install and don’t require much maintenance.

However, you may find it difficult to remove the aprons in case you need to perform any repairs.

Moving on, there are also a couple of similarities between the two products. That includes the price of the coverings and their durability.


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