Lead and Copper Valleys

The valley of a roof is the segment where the roof changes direction or a dormer or bay window is installed. Simply put, it is the portion of the roof where two slopes meet. It is covered by different types of materials. Metals like lead, copper, aluminum and zinc are most commonly used. The choice of valley material depends on the type of the roof and the primary roofing material.

The valley is a very important part of the roof that determines to a large extent the integrity of the roof. Depending on the section of the roof it is positioned and the angle of the roof, the valley conduits large volumes of water when it rains. Thus any slight damage could lead to serious leakages.

This calls for accurate installation. As much as anyone can follow the guide and do it, it is recommended to use the services of a skilled and experienced roofer. Also, regular maintenance and repair schedules should conducted so that any compromise is discovered early. Experts advise that roofs should be inspected at least twice annually. With this, the roof valleys will be maintained in good condition and the integrity of the entire roof preserved.

A good thing is that the materials used for the valley have water proof qualities. This design feature fortifies the valleys that are vulnerable to leakages. So with proper installation there is no chance of leakage as the water is guttered off the roof.

Types of Lead and Copper Roof Valleys

Whether it is a lead or copper roof valley, there are two main valley design used in roofing. They are: closed and open.

Closed Roof Valley

For closed valleys, the gap is covered by the primary roofing material or shingles. Rather, shingles are installed across the joints of the intersecting planes.  This can be done in two ways. The woven design where the shingles on the alternative slope overlap across the valley.

The closed cut design is the second way and it is done by first fixing the shingles on the lower roof slope on the valley before fixing the higher adjoining slope along the valley line. What follows is the cutting of shingles on the higher slope straight through the valley. A calculated design to ensure water falls from the higher shingles onto the lower one and flows down, and not sip under the shingles to the roof deck.

Open Roof Valley

As the name hints, it is a roof valley that is not covered by the primary roofing material. The gap/ valley is then filled with a self-adhering layer of ice and water shield then overlain with a metal (lead or copper or any other appropriate metal).

The open roof valley is often designed in two major ways. “V” design is whereby the valley roof material is bent to match the angle of the joining roof slopes. The second is the “W” design. It is designed with a bump in the center which is intended to prevent water from flowing sideways beneath the shingles of the joined slopes.

The type of roof valley to use is determined by many factors. Cost, type of primary roofing material, ease of installation and personal/ contractor preference are some of the determining factors.

Whether open or closed, each design type has advantages and disadvantages. Closed roof valleys are preferred due to cost effectiveness. This as it does not require additional roofing materials as in the case of open which inflates cost.

Also, it is easy to install and the work can be done faster. Another plus is aesthetics. Since the whole roof is uniformly covered, it is beautiful compared to the open design.

A big fail for the closed valley is that it is less durable. The design does not allow the installation of thicker and heavier shingles. The bending of the higher slope significantly weakens it too.

Durability is the great advantage open roof valleys have closed. Its design allows for the use of heavy gauge and thicker metals which enables it withstand the waters that flows over it and last longer.

Apart from that, it is easier to repair or replace in case of damage. With the use of heavy metals such as Lead and Copper, the rate at which granules are shed is lower. A factor that contributes to durability.

What are Lead and Copper Roof Valleys ?

The valley of the roof is where the roof changes direction or where a bay window is installed. At Roofing Experts we have extensive experience working on Lead and Copper Roof Valleys and can replace, repair and re-seal the lead to the highest standard. If you are unsure about the best products or options available for you, call us today on  (01) 497 2301 for more information.

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