Your roof is the first line of defense against the elements, and its roof valley flashing is a critical component of that defense.
However, like any other component of your home, the roof valley flashing can wear out over time, which can lead to serious problems. That’s why it’s important to be aware of the signs that your roof valley flashing needs attention so you can take action before it’s too late
In this article, we will discuss some crucial signs that your roof valley flashing needs attention and what you can do to prevent further damage to your roof and home.
What Is A Roof Valley?
Generally, homeowners see their roofing systems as a whole, and therefore, are not very aware of the individual parts that make it up, such as a roof valley.
If you want your home’s roof to continue protecting your property, then it’s crucial you know about this area. If you look closely at the top end of your building and notice an angled, V-shaped section where two roof planes come together, that is what is known as a roof valley.
The valley is formed when two roof planes intersect, creating a channel or trough that directs rainwater and other precipitation down toward the gutters and away from the building. Roof valleys can be found on many types of homes, including gable roofs and hip roofs.
In fact, roof valleys are so crucial to the integrity of a roof that they require a particular type of flashing to ensure that water is properly channeled away from the vulnerable intersection.
Types Of Roof Valleys
There are different types of roof valley designs that you can opt for. However, the two below are the most popular.
A closed roof valley is the most common type of roof valley, where shingles from one roof plane are cut and laid over the shingles from the adjacent roof plane in an overlapping pattern. Since the shingles overlap, they create a smooth, continuous appearance and provide good protection against water penetration. The contractor may also install an ice and water barrier beneath the shingles for better protection.
An open roof valley is formed by leaving a gap with no material between the two roof planes. A metal lining, known as flashing, fills this space between the roof planes and adds a protective layer above the roof underlayment.
This type of valley is often used on roofs with both asphalt shingles and metal roofing materials, as it allows the metal to be installed in the valley and provides additional protection against water penetration. You may also achieve greater curb appeal with an open valley roof, as the metal flashing tends to add more detail to your roofing system.
What Is Roof Valley Flashing?
If your home has a somewhat complex roof, then it will surely have a roof valley. It is not a wise idea to leave the valley vulnerable to water damage, which is why you need to install flashing on your roof.
Roof valley flashing is a protective material, traditionally metal, used to cover the V-shaped area where two roof slopes meet and form a valley-shaped region. This flashing is designed to prevent water from penetrating the intersection where roof planes meet, and it can also prevent tiny pests from entering your home.
Roof Valley Problems You Should Know About
The importance of roof flashing cannot be understated, especially in areas such as valleys. However, over time, roof valley flashing can experience various problems that compromise its ability to protect against water damage.
For your benefit, we have listed some of the most common roof valley flashing problems in the following section.
Rust And Corrosion
Rust is the biggest enemy of your roof’s flashing. As most flashing is made of metal, it can, over time, deteriorate due to corrosion. Roof valley flashing made of metal, such as galvanized steel or aluminum, can corrode over time due to exposure to the elements. This can cause the flashing to become weak and more susceptible to leaks. This makes your metal valley flashing ineffective against water and other weather conditions.
Improper installation is a common problem with roof valley flashing that can lead to water penetration and leaks. If the valley flashing is not installed properly, it may not provide adequate protection against water penetration.
This can be due to mistakes made during installation, such as not securing the flashing tightly to the roof deck, or failing to overlap the flashing correctly.
Improperly Sized Flashing
If the flashing is not the correct size for the roof valley, it may not provide adequate coverage to protect against water penetration.
The flashing must be installed tightly against the roof deck and secured in place with fasteners, and any gaps or space must be sealed with roofing cement or another type of sealant.
To avoid these installation errors, it is important to have a qualified roofing contractor install the roof valley flashing.
Age Of The Roof Flashing
Age is another common problem with valley flashing that can compromise its ability to protect against water damage. Just like other roofing materials, a metal roof valley flashing has a lifespan that affects its performance.
As your valley flashing nears the end of its lifespan, it will be harder for it to protect your valley. Over time, exposure to the elements and natural aging will cause the flashing to become worn and weak.
Here are some signs that you need to look out for:
- Cracks or splits in the material: This allows water to seep in and cause damage to the roof and underlying structure.
- Its length of exposure to the elements: Lengthy exposure to UV rays from the sun or other weather patterns cause the flashing to become brittle and more likely to crack or break.
- Warping: The flashing may warp over time, which can cause it to pull away from the roof deck and leave gaps where water can seep in.
If the flashing is showing signs of aging, it is important to have it inspected by a qualified roofing professional. You most likely will need to replace the old flashing to ensure your home is protected.
Holes In Flashing
Holes in roof valley flashing can also cause water to penetrate the roof and cause damage. Holes can be caused by a variety of factors, such as the following:
- Rust and corrosion can weaken the flashing and cause it to develop gaps.
- Flashing hit by falling debris or improperly installed can cause holes.
- Pests can create holes in your flashing material as they attempt to burrow into your roof.
If you have constant leaks during rain, or moisture in the attic, then there is a possibility that there are holes in the valley flashing. Holes or gaps will need immediate attention as they can eventually expand and cause bigger problems down the road.
How To Prevent Roof Valley Problems
Prevention is always better than fixing the final damage, and this applies to the problems you face with your roof’s flashing material. Here are some tips for preventing problems with your roof valley flashing.
Importance Of Regular Roof Maintenance:
Regular roof maintenance is critical to preventing problems with your roof valley flashing. This involves two things: roof cleaning and roof inspection. You can inspect the roof yourself, but it’s better to hire a professional to do it for you.
During a maintenance check, a professional roofing contractor can inspect your roof for signs of damage and address any issues before they become more serious. Regular maintenance can also help extend the life of your roof and reduce the risk of water damage.
Invest in high-quality roof valley flashing made from durable and long-lasting material, such as copper or aluminum. This will ensure that the flashing lasts longer and provides better protection for your roof. Quality materials are more durable, last longer, and can resist wear and tear better than cheaper materials.
Here are some of the best flashing materials available on the market:
- Metal valley flashing (aluminum, galvanized steel, copper metal flashing)
- Rubber valley flashing
- Concrete valley flashing
Make sure that your roof valley flashing is installed correctly by a professional roofing contractor. This will help ensure that it provides adequate protection against water penetration.
Roof Valley Flashing Services You Can Trust
As you may have heard, timely repairs are very important to ensure that your roof and home are kept in their best condition. If you notice any of the signs that your roof valley flashing needs a change, then we advise you to hire a professional roofing company such as the team of McClellands Contracting and Roofing, LLC.
We are the best roof repair contractors serving Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas of Pennsylvania. With our excessive knowledge of roofing and excellent reputation in the area, you are sure to get the finest roofing services. Want to get in touch and move forward with your project? Then call us today at (412) 353-5660, to know more about our services.