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Everything You Need To Know About Roof Valley

Posted on November 30, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 8 Min.

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Roof Valley

When it’s time to replace your roof, homeowners can be torn between several choices. From the color of shingles to the type of underlayment you will need, it’s an important decision. But small choices can make a big difference, like the type of roof valley you choose.

What Is A Roof Valley?

Roof valleys are one of the most critical parts of your roof. They are formed when two sloping surfaces intersect or meet at some point on your roof. There are three common types: closed valleys, open valleys, and woven valleys, which are a variation of a closed valley. They can also be made of various materials, which vary in durability and functionality.

Importance And Function Of A Roof Valley

Roof valleys are intentionally created to direct water away from the most vulnerable areas on your roof. As they direct water down the roof, these intersecting areas prevent water damage, including leaks. Roof valleys not only serve a practical purpose but also give your roof an elegant and seamless appeal.

Common Locations Of Roof Valleys On A Roof

Roof valleys are V-shaped structures formed at the intersection of two sloping planes. This can be anywhere on your roof, including around dormers. Dormers, while enhancing the aesthetics of your home, can introduce potential weak points in your roof. Therefore, a valley is created around dormers to help channel water down the roof.

So which one should you choose?

Roof Valley Types

There are several types of roof valleys

Closed Valley:

You can easily spot a closed-cut roof valley as they run in a straight line of cut shingles along the valley’s midpoint. Roofing professionals first position the shingles on one roof plane to achieve this look. Next, they come to a halt about 12 inches from the valley’s center. The shingles are then installed on the second plane, overlapping the first layer. Finally, they cut the second layer of shingles two inches from the valley’s center in a straight line.

The top layer of shingles overhangs the lower layer by a few inches due to this installation procedure. However, closed valleys are trickier to install and take longer to cut through the layers. 

Open Valley:

open valley roof

Installing open valleys is another way of adding curb appeal to your home and roof.  These valleys are constructed by inserting the long thin metal strips or flashing between shingles. The another advantage of open valleys is that they seamlessly direct water to rain gutters, eliminating the chance of water infiltration under shingles.

Open metal roof valleys function well, particularly when removing snow and preventing debris accumulation. They also perform better in the valley since they don’t require much nailing in between.

Professional roofers install metal flashing along the valley, preferably galvanized or painted steel. Then, they apply the shingles after the flashing and clip them back on both sides to make some of the metal visible.

Woven Valley:

As the name suggests, Shingles are woven together through the valley in a woven valley. The roofing contractor applies shingles to both planes at the same time. They weave the shingles from each plane together without trimming them when they reach the valley. This type of valley offers a seamless appearance. However, it isn’t easy to accurately position the weave in the valley’s center. 

Offering the blend of aesthetics and functionality to your roof, woven shingles adds life to your roof. They also resists the accumulation of debris in the valley area, clearing the path for a streamlined water flow. 

Regardless of the types of valley you want to install in your home, you must consult a local professional roofer first. Professional roofers in Wisconsin can guide you through all the details required to reach a better decision. 

Materials Used For Roof Valley Installation

Roof valleys can be made of a variety of materials, but usually match the rest of the roof. 

1. Metal Roof Valleys

Metal Roof Valleys

Metal roof valleys, also referred to as open valleys, are durable, rust-resistant, and long lasting. They create an elegant look while giving your roof enhanced protection from the elements. 

a) Copper Roof Valleys

Copper Roof Valleys

Copper is a timeless choice for roof valleys and is renowned for its durability and aesthetic appeal. Since copper has a natural tendency to resist corrosion and rust formation, it is seen as one of the most durable materials for roof valleys. Also, over time, copper develops a distinctive patina, adding character to your roof while maintaining its structural integrity.

b) Aluminum Roof Valleys

 Aluminum Roof Valleys

On the other hand, aluminum is a lightweight yet robust option for roof valleys. Its corrosion resistance makes it a popular choice. Aluminum roof valleys are known for their versatility and are particularly effective in climates with high humidity or salt exposure. Homeowners often prefer to install aluminum roof valleys for its affordable price range and the selection of styles. 

2. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt Shingles

An asphalt shingle roof valley, also called a closed valley, blends in with the surrounding roofing material. These shingles are cost effective, easy to install, and provide a traditional aesthetic. When properly installed, asphalt shingles create a watertight seal, ensuring effective and seamless water drainage in roof valleys.

3. Synthetic or Rubber Materials

For flat or low slope roofs, synthetic materials like ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) offer a modern solution for roof valley installations. EPDM is known for its exceptional weather resistance, durability, thickness, and flexibility, making it an ideal choice for areas with extreme temperature variations. EPDM roof valleys provide a reliable barrier against water penetration.

How To Install Metal Roof Valleys (Open Valleys)

Install Metal Roof Valleys

When hiring a professional to install metal roof valleys, here is what you can expect:

1. Select The Right Roof Valley Materials

Selecting the appropriate materials for your roof valleys is a critical decision. Common materials include metal, steel, aluminum, and copper. Choose materials that align with your roof’s design, climate considerations, and aesthetic preferences.

2. Install Roof Underlayment

Start by installing an underlayment over the roof deck. The roof underlayment serves as an additional barrier against water infiltration. You can use roofing felt or synthetic underlayment, ensuring complete coverage in the valley area.

3. Install Metal Valley Flashing

After you have installed the roof underlayment, install the flashing. For metal roof valleys, install metal flashing along the valley lines. Secure the flashing with roofing nails or screws, ensuring a snug fit, and seal the edges with a waterproof adhesive. 

4. Add the Roofing Materials

After the flashing is in place, the roofing materials can be added. For an asphalt shingle roof, start at the bottom near the eaves and install the shingles row by row according to the manufacturer’s instructions. With an open valley roof, the point is to leave the metal flashing uncovered, so stop installing shingles once you reach the valley flashing on either side. 

How To Install A Shingle Roof Valley (Closed Valley)

Closed Valley

If you opt for a closed valley system, here is what the installation will look like: 

1. Material Selection

Selecting the appropriate shingles for your roof valleys is crucial. Typically, the shingles will match the type and color of the main roofing material.  

2. Underlayment Installation

Begin by installing a synthetic underlayment over the roof deck. Roof underlayment prevents water infiltration down the roof and protects your home from being damaged. This acts as an additional barrier against water infiltration. 

3. Install The Shingles

Begin by installing the shingles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When you reach the valley, there are different installation methods depending on your chosen type of closed valley.

a. Woven Valley

Woven shingles give your roof a seamless and classic appeal with added practical advantages. Carefully weave the shingles into the valley, alternating sides for each row. Ensure proper alignment and overlap to create a watertight barrier. Secure the shingles with roofing nails, placing them strategically along the centerline of the valley.

b. Traditional Closed Valley

Closed valleys create clean lines on your roof, giving it a traditional look. For a closed valley, install shingles from one of the intersecting roof faces completely over the valley. Then overlap shingles from the connecting surface over the previously installed ones. Carefully cut down the center of the valley, removing part of the top layer of shingles. The overlapping shingles create a watertight and aesthetically pleasing roof valley.

Common Problems With Roof Valleys And Their Solutions

While roof valleys are primarily installed to channel water down your roof, they may develop major problems over time if the following signs go unnoticed. 

1. Clogged Valleys

Roof valleys, due to their narrow shape, have a chance of debris accumulation. Debris collection can disrupt proper water drainage from the roof. If your valleys are clogged with dirt, twigs, grime, and debris, water can pool and cause leaks. 

Solution: Routinely Clean The Area

Regularly inspect and clean your roof valleys, especially during the fall when there are more leaves on your roof. Use a soft brush or broom to remove debris gently. This simple maintenance task prevents clogs and promotes efficient water flow.

2. Ice Dam Formation

In colder climates, ice dams can form in roof valleys, leading to water backup and potential leaks. Ice dams form when the heat from the attic escapes and melts the accumulated snow on the roof. When melting snow refreezes at the eaves, it blocks proper drainage.

Solution: Adequate Insulation and Ventilation

Poor attic insulation is one of the culprits of ice dam formation on roofs. Ensure your attic is well insulated to prevent heat from escaping and contributing to snowmelt. Proper ventilation in the attic helps maintain consistent temperatures, reducing the risk of ice dam formation. 

3. Material Deterioration

All roofing materials experience wear and tear over time, and roof valleys are no exception. Over time, materials like asphalt shingles or metal flashing may deteriorate, compromising the effectiveness of the valley.

Solution: Timely Replacement

Regularly assess the condition of the roofing materials in the valleys. If you notice signs of deterioration, such as rust on metal flashing or cracked shingles, schedule timely replacements. Investing in high quality, durable materials to ensure the longevity of your roof valleys.

How To Maintain Your Roof Valley

By following these tips, you can enjoy a cozy, leak free home for years to come. 

1. Regular Inspections are Key

Scheduled roof inspections are the key to the longevity of your roof valleys. Check for any signs of wear and tear, including missing or damaged shingles, cracks, or debris accumulation around your roof valley. Early detection can save you from costly repairs down the road.

2. Clear Debris Promptly

Leaves, branches, and other debris can accumulate in roof valleys, obstructing the natural flow of water. Regularly clean these areas to prevent water pooling, which can lead to leaks and water damage.

3. Maintain Proper Ventilation

A well ventilated roof minimizes the risk of moisture buildup and prevents potential damage, including such caused by ice dams, to your roof valley. Ensure that your attic has proper ventilation to promote air circulation and reduce the likelihood of mold or rot in the valley area.

4. Timely Repairs are Crucial

If you spot any issues during your inspections, don’t procrastinate on repairs. Even minor damage can escalate quickly, compromising the effectiveness of your roof valley. Address problems promptly to ensure a watertight and resilient roofing system.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, roof valleys are not just architectural nuances, they are guardians of your home’s integrity. Understanding their types, maintenance needs, and the intricacies of installation allows you to make the best decision for your home.

By selecting suitable materials, scheduling regular inspections, and addressing issues proactively, you can safeguard your home for years to come.

Consult Roofing Professionals In Mayville, WI, For Your Roof Valley Design And Installation

If you are thinking of roof replacement or installation, planning for roof valleys is essential. Roof valleys not only serve a practical purpose but also give your roof an elegant and distinctive appeal. 

The roofing team at BRH Enterprises in Mayville, WI, is known for its streamlined approach when it comes to any roofing or home exterior project. We have a team of expert roofers who are skilled at handling any roofing task with care and professionalism. 

So, if you are also thinking about a new roof installation or a complete roof replacement, consult the expert roofers at the company. Call us today at (920) 249-4228 and talk with an expert about your roofing project.

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