The Life of a Raindrop

For about 130 days out of the year, Edmonton experiences some form of rain or snowfall. That means that for about one-third of the year, your roof is dealing with water in some capacity. Those rainy days can add up over the course of time, and the valleys of your roof can start showing the wear and tear that naturally occurs from funneling water. How much damage occurs and how quickly largely depends on how the valleys of your roof — the intersecting points of two sloping planes — are constructed and designed to facilitate water flow. 

The Reality of Rainfall & Your Roof

Dealing with rainfall and its effects on your home’s roof structure is an unavoidable aspect of being a homeowner. As rainwater naturally falls on your roof, it’s funneled down to the grass via the structure of your roof, as well as through the draining systems that you have put in place. This brings us to the most critical part of your roof’s construction in regards to dealing with rainfall and melting snow — the valleys. 

What is a Roof Valley and How Does It Work?

At any point where the slopes of your roof meet, they naturally form a funneling system. This is called a “valley,” and any rain that collects on the adjoining slopes funnels down to this point. Typically, there is one slope that is larger and collects more water which meets a smaller side with less water flow.

Because of this structural form, these valleys are critical leak areas, and you’ll find that the shingles in these valleys wear out faster than on any other part of your roof structure. No matter how well the valley is constructed in your roof, there will always be some degree of a gap where the two slopes meet. How well your roof holds up to rain damage depends largely on what kind of valley system your roof has implemented. Many homeowners end up replacing their entire roof structure because the valleys of their roof become worn out, costing them a lot of money. 

The Three Types of Valleys

If you’re a homeowner, it is vital that you are aware of what kind of valley system has been built into your roof. This will determine what sort of damage and repairs you can expect in the future as a result of rainfall over the years.

Woven Valley

In the professional opinion of Sargeant’s Roofing, this valley style is the absolute worst for maintaining the integrity of your roof and protecting your home from water damage. In woven valley construction, the shingles of the two meeting slopes are installed over one another in a crisscrossing pattern, weaving them together — hence, “woven” valley. These crisscrossed shingles do little to speed a raindrop along on its journey to the ground, and can actually slow water down. This structural flaw can easily cause your shingles to wear out quickly.

Closed Valley

Fortunately, the “closed valley” roofing system is much more common and is a design that Sargeant’s Roofing installs for our clients regularly. Although it requires a little more time and expertise to install than a woven valley, the end result will be much better for the protection of your roof. Rather than weaving together the shingles from each slope of your roof, we first shingle the entire smaller slope, then move over to the larger slope, installing shingles over the first layer. The excess shingling from the larger slope is then trimmed to create the valley and the seam is sealed. This process allows for less shingle stress during installation and is much more watertight in the end. Most importantly though, this valley structure provides raindrops with a clearer, straight shot to funnel down your roof. 

Although this closed valley system is leaps and bounds better than a woven valley, the concentrated area of rainwater flow will still wear out those shingles over time. It’s a better solution, but it’s not the best solution. That designation goes to the next valley type!

Metal-W Valley

Our personal recommendation for our clients who want their roofs to last longer and look great for years is to install a “metal-W valley” system. This system is designed to be virtually impenetrable to rainfall and to be aesthetically appealing. This valley system usually lasts longer than the roof does! 

This valley system actually begins with an adhesive layer that is rolled out and applied to the valley of your roof and acts as an ice and water shield. Once this layer is installed, a sheet of specially w-shaped valley metal is laid over the top. This W-shape is intentional, as it collects and directs water from both slopes of your roof without the rain colliding and splashing, causing unnecessary shingle wear and tear. Once this metal valley is installed, the normal shingling of your roof is laid over the top of the structure, then trimmed, allowing the raindrops to flow seamlessly into what is essentially a nice water slide for rain.

Why Choose a Metal Valley Roofing System in Edmonton from Sargeant’s? 

The greatest benefit to the metal-w valley system, aside from looking fantastic, is that you will only ever have to replace your roof when the shingles on the slopes begin to show signs of significant damage. Those shingles take much longer to wear out than the shingles that are normally found in valleys, meaning the lifespan of your roof is going to be greatly prolonged, and you can rest easy knowing that your home is watertight during the next rainstorm!

Protect Your Roof with Sargeant’s Roofing

As long as the rain continues to fall, we’re committed to helping our customers implement the most effective way to manage it in regards to their roofs. For more information about designing your next roof installation, or to inquire about this money-saving and waterproofing valley systems, contact Sargeant’s Roofing in Edmonton today! We would love to hear from you soon, and we look forward to getting a better roof above your head.