What is a valley roof? (with photo)

The roofs use special techniques to prevent leaks on the roofs of the valleys.

A valley roof is formed when two portions of the roof meet at an internal angle. These valleys are common to many roofs. The Cape Cod style of architecture is a traditionally valley-free type of house if there are no mansard windows in the roof. Often valleys are created where the roof of the main part of the house meets the roof of the garage or when an addition is placed on the original roof.

A valley roof leak is the most common type of roof leak. These leaks can be caused by poor roofing practices or simply the age of the shingles. A carpenter must be careful where the nails are placed in the shingles of the valley roofs. If the nails are placed right in the center of the valley, leakage will occur. If nails are placed less than 6 inches (15.2 cm) from the center of the valley, tension can be applied to the tile, causing a torque. Within a few years, this strain can cause the tile to tear, which will then expose the bare roof to the elements.

A metal valley roof helps eliminate these problems because the metal cannot tear or twist. Another benefit of metal roofs is that they have a lifespan of at least 50 years. This is much longer than the average lifespan of asphalt shingles, which is around 20 years.

The roof valley shingles can be of the same type as are used in the rest of the house. Roofers employ some techniques that allow them to use the same shingles throughout the roof rather than purchasing special shingles. These techniques are variations on a herringbone pattern and create a very effective water barrier. One tool in the roof arsenal is called valley roof flashing. This metal flashing is an effective and impenetrable barrier that is placed under tiles as insurance against worn tiles.

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A valley roof can accumulate leaves and other debris. As debris accumulates in this vulnerable area, water no longer flows freely into the gutters. In winter, ice builds up in this area, and as the ice freezes and thaws, the shingles are pushed together, causing them to move and wear out. In addition to employing roofs that use proper roofing techniques, the homeowner should check the roof and gutters at least twice a year and clear out any debris that is clogging up.

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