If you’re planning to repair or replace your home’s roof, remember that every part is important. One often overlooked component is the roof valley. It plays an important role in facilitating rainwater runoff, but it’s only effective when you choose the right design and material.
At ReNew Roofing, we’ve created this guide to help you choose the perfect roof valley. Whether you’re a homeowner, realtor, or a professional, read this blog post for valuable information on different types of roof valleys.
Let’s begin with the basics.
What Are Roof Valleys?
Roof valleys are the long and narrow inclined channels present at the intersection of two roof slopes, creating a V or U shaped design. They are a critical part of a roofing system, as they are responsible for efficiently diverting rainwater, melting snow, and debris away from your roof, and into the gutter system. These valleys prevent water from pooling and seeping into your home, which can lead to leaks, structural damage, and costly repairs.
A smartly chosen roof valley design will ensure optimum water drainage, reduced debris buildup, and prevent water damage. The way roof valleys are designed and installed will also influence the aesthetic details of your home.
So, let’s explore the most popular valley systems.
Most Effective Roof Valley Types
There are four main kinds of valleys used in roofing that vary based on their construction and installation.
#1 Closed Roof Valleys
Closed valleys are designed to create a seamless, unbroken appearance on your roof. This is achieved by installing one set of roofing materials over the other at the valley area. The roofing materials used can vary but are typically shingles or tiles, depending on the roofing system.
Here are some of the major benefits you can enjoy with a closed roof valley type:
This roof valley type provides a clean and attractive appearance to your roof. By concealing the valley junction, they offer a polished look that many homeowners find visually appealing.
Reduced Debris Buildup
Since the valley is concealed, there is less chances of debris, such as leaves and twigs, accumulating within the valley. This helps maintain proper water flow and reduces the risk of blockages.
Potential for Enhanced Durability
When installed correctly, closed valleys can be durable and provide added protection against water infiltration, contributing to the long term performance of your roof.
Now, it’s time to take a look at some concerns regarding this design.
Installing closed roof valleys can be more intricate and require a higher level of skill and precision compared to open valleys. Proper installation is crucial to ensure the valley remains watertight.
The added complexity and materials involved in creating closed valleys can make them more expensive than some other valley designs. While they offer aesthetic benefits, this may be a consideration for budget conscious homeowners.
Damage to Roofing Materials
Due to frequent water runoff at the valleys, the roofing material in the area may wear out sooner. This will lead to frequent fixes and shingles replacements in the area.
The next type of roof valley is exactly the opposite.
#2 Open Roof Valleys
Open valleys, despite their name, don’t leave your roof exposed. Instead, they use a different approach to manage water flow and debris removal.
An open valley is characterized by the use of a visible gap or channel. This gap is covered with metal flashing or another material. This roof valley design serves as an extra solid barrier, preventing water build up, roof leaks, and damage to roofing shingles.
Open valleys are generally more beneficial when it comes to functionality, and even aesthetics in some cases.
Open roof valleys allow water to flow freely along the metal flashing, reducing the risk of mold, algae, and leaks. This design is particularly effective in areas with heavy rainfall or snow.
Simpler Installation and Maintenance
The installation of open valleys is generally easier and quicker than other types. Additionally, maintaining them is relatively easy, as it mainly involves inspecting and replacing damaged flashing as needed.
Budget Friendly Option
Open valleys are considered the most affordable and efficient roof valley type, making them more beneficial in the long run. They can be an attractive choice for cost conscious homeowners.
Despite being the most popular option, you should know some common concerns related to this roof valley type.
One common drawback is that the metal flashing in open valleys is visible, which can affect the overall appearance of your roof. Some homeowners prefer a seamless and concealed look, making closed valleys or other designs more appealing from an aesthetic standpoint.
Different Maintenance Requirements
While open roof valleys are generally easier to maintain, they require a different maintenance approach due to the presence of the exposed flashing. If not adequately maintained, the flashing can prematurely deteriorate and might need to be replaced.
#3 California Roof Valleys
The California roof valley, sometimes referred to as a cut valley, is a valley design that’s commonly found in regions, such as California, where the climate is drier and less prone to extreme cold.
Both open valleys and California roof valleys involve covered flashing to facilitate water drainage, but the California roof valley has a specific flashing overlay design, while open valleys have a simpler and more exposed channel.
If your area has a milder climate, this type of roof valley can be an excellent choice due to its various benefits.
Efficient Water Drainage
California roof valleys excel at directing water off the roof quickly, which is beneficial in areas with more moderate precipitation levels. The design minimizes the risk of water pooling and potential leaks.
Eye Catching Design
When installed with appropriate roofing materials and colors, a California roof valley can add a unique and appealing aesthetic element to your roof design.
Here are some potential drawbacks to consider:
Not Suitable For Areas with Heavy Precipitation
As mentioned above, this roof valley is best for milder climates. This roof valley design is not ideal if you live in an area with heavy rainfall, snow, or hail.
Demands Precise Installation
Achieving a watertight California roof valley requires meticulous installation. It’s crucial to ensure the overlapping sections and flashing are sealed correctly, otherwise it can lead to leaks and other issues.
While this option offers many benefits, the complexity of the design and materials involved can make them costlier than more standard roof valley types.
Now, let’s look at a more unique style.
#4 Woven Roof Valleys
Woven valleys, also known as weave valleys, are a distinct design where shingles or roofing materials from both adjacent roof slopes are intricately woven together at the intersection point, creating a unique pattern.
Here are some impressive benefits of this roof valley style:
Unique Aesthetic Appeal
Woven roof valleys add a touch of artistry to your roof. The weaving pattern is visually appealing and can set your home apart from others in the neighborhood. It offers a balance between form and function, and can increase the value of your home.
Excellent Water Drainage
Just like open valleys, woven roof valleys are effective at channeling water away from the roof, preventing pooling and potential leaks. The weaving design helps guide water and debris toward the gutters.
Below are the most common concerns regarding woven roof valleys:
Complex Installation and Availability of Contractors
Installing woven valleys is more intricate than traditional valley designs, requiring skilled workmanship to ensure the weaving pattern is done correctly. Due to this complexity, it may not be easy to find a reliable local roofing contractor specializing in such detailed creative work.
The unique design and skilled labor required for installation generally results in a higher upfront cost compared to simpler valley designs. A woven valley falls among the most expensive roof valley types.
As you can see, each design is impressive in its own way. So choose wisely, considering the pros and cons and your personal requirements. Read on for tips shared by our experts on how to make a well thought out decision.
Tips For Choosing the Right Type of Roof Valley
Here are some things to consider before choose a roof valley design for your home:
Your local weather conditions play a significant role in determining the most suitable roof valley type. Areas with heavy rainfall or snowfall may benefit from designs like open roof valleys, which facilitate effective water drainage.
Think about the overall look you want for your home. Closed valley roofs provide a seamless appearance, while open and woven valley roofs can introduce unique visual elements. Choose a design that complements your home’s architectural style.
Different roof valley types come with varying costs. While open valleys are budget friendly, closed valleys and woven valleys may require a bit more investment. Balance your budget with your roofing priorities.
Assess how much maintenance you’re willing to undertake. Open valley roofing may require more frequent inspections, while the woven design, with their intricate design, needs specialized care.
Think Long Term
Consider the long term benefits and durability of your chosen roof valley. Investing a bit more upfront in a durable design can save you money in the long run by reducing maintenance and potential repair costs.
Explore Material Options
The type of roofing materials you choose can impact the effectiveness and appearance of your roof valley. Consult with your roofing contractor to select materials that work well with your chosen design. The common materials for roof valley flashing are galvanized steel, aluminum, and copper.
If you plan to sell your home in the future, consider how the chosen roof valley design might affect your property’s resale value. Some designs can be more appealing to potential buyers.
Get Professional Help
Complex roof valley designs often necessitate skilled installation. Don’t hesitate to hire a professional roofing contractor with experience with the specific design you choose. You can seek advice from multiple roofing professionals. They can provide valuable insights into the best design for your specific needs and circumstances.
Remember, the right kind of roof valley should strike a balance of functionality, aesthetics, and cost. By weighing the pros and cons, considering these expert tips, and consulting with professionals, you can protect your home without compromising on curb appeal.
If you want to upgrade your roof, or want to learn more about different parts of a roof, our roofing experts will be happy to be your guide.
Free Roofing Consultations For Homeowners In Wisconsin, Minnesota & Missouri
At ReNew Roofing, we’ve installed many types of roof valleys and worked on numerous different roof designs. If you need reliable and affordable roofing services in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Missouri, you can trust our professionals with the safety and beauty of your home. Call us at (833) 715-7663 and schedule your free consultation and roofing quote today!