Replacing metal drip edge eave strips on a roof.

The strip of metal flashing that runs under the roof along the eaves of your house is called eave strip or drip edge. Eave strips help support the roofing that extends past the roof decking and keeps rainwater from running down the fascia board.

On many homes the drip edge eave strip is made of galvanized metal, which doesn’t hold paint well and can rust over time. A better alternative is vinyl coated aluminum eave strip, which won’t rust and don’t need to be painted.

The drip edge is often replaced when new shingles are installed, but it can be replaced at any time. Asphalt roof shingles can become brittle in cold weather, so wait until a warm (but not hot) day to remove and replace eave stripping.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Ladder
  • Flat pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Tin snips
  • Eave stripping
  • Galvanized roofing nails

Removing Drip Edge Eave Strips:

  1. Gently lift up the shingles along the lower edge of the roof, and find the nails attaching the eave strip to the roof decking.
  2. Use a flat pry bar and hammer to remove the nails holding the eave strip to the roof decking.
  3. Slip the eave strip out from under the shingles.

Replacing Drip Edge Eave Strips:

  1. Install the eave strips on the lower roof edges first, with the eave strips under the shingles and felt underlayment.
  2. Align one end of the lower eave strip even with the edge of the roof decking.
  3. Lift up roof shingles, and nail the eave strip in place with galvanized roofing nails.
  4. Overlap the other pieces of eave strip by at least 1” and nail them in place.
  5. Cut the last piece on the lower eave flush with the roof decking on the other end.
  6. Install the gable eave strips over the felt underlayment and on top of the lower eave strips.
  7. Cut and bend the end of the gable eave strip to cover the gap between it and the lower eave strip.
  8. Overlap higher gable eave strips over the lower ones by at least 1”.
  9. At the ridge run one gable eave strip even with the roof peak.
  10. Cut and bend the top end of the matching gable eave strip so it extends over the roof peak by at least 1″ and overlaps the matching gable eave strip.
  11. Miter the end of the gable peak eave strip so it’s plumb.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: Everybody knows how important your roof is to protect your home from the weather, but you might not realize how important this little metal strip is to your overall roof system. It’s called eave strip or eave metal.

Now, many homes will have eave stripping made from galvanized metal, which is designed to keep it from rusting. But without proper maintenance, it can become very unsightly with all the rust spots that can form.

Now, one alternative is to replace it with this type of metal, which is a vinyl coated aluminum which won’t rust. And it won’t need any type of painting, just a little bit of cleaning from time to time. Now, generally it’s replaced at the same time your shingles are replaced, but really it’s fairly easy to replace it anytime.

The shingles along the lower edge of the roof are gently lifted up, so as not to damage them, and then a flat pry bar is used to remove the nails holding the eave strip to the decking. The new stripping is slipped in over the roofing felt, but under the shingles. Finally, the tricky part is nailing down the new strip while holding up the shingles.

It’s fairly labor intensive to change out eave stripping on a home but nowhere near as much work as sanding, priming, and painting rusty metal.

Editorial Contributors
Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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