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Best Practices for Valley Construction

Posted November 27, 2015 by Daniel White
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The easiest type of roof to take care of would be one that goes straight across. But the dormers and gables create the beauty and allure we all want for our home. Unfortunately, all of those complexities create valleys and transitions on the roof, and if they aren’t installed properly, they could cause you some major trouble.

A valley is where two portions of your roof meet. That transition area is the first place you’re going to see a leak on your roof. They’re never in the middle of the field. There are three main ways to install and deal with a valley, but all three are not created equal.

Closed Cut
We consider a closed cut valley about a fifteen-year fix. It’s where the roof installer will take the shingles and actually curve them. They’ll take the next shingle, trim it, and put it down over the top. You’ve basically folded the shingle in the valley. But when you take any material and fold it, where is the weakest point? Right inside the fold. So if anyone ever walks up there and steps in the valley, it might break. This isn’t our first preference at Roof Life.

Weaved Valley
Another version that’s out there is called a weaved valley. It’s also known as a “California valley,” because it works really well in their climate. Unfortunately, because of our heavy rain in Portland, this one is not a great idea for us. You’re actually taking the shingles and weaving them in and out of the valley. We’ve seen huge problems with them, so we don’t even touch them. This one is also considered a fifteen-year valley.

Metal Valley
The best valley is going to be one finished with metal. We use twenty-four inch valley metal. Your shingles then go down on top of that. We leave a gap on both sides and any debris that comes down hits that metal and then shoots off the roof. It’s virtually bulletproof and is going to last you for fifty years.

Why would you want a valley that would last you half the life of your roof, when you could have one that would last even beyond your roof? Of course, the choice is always yours, but we will present your options to you and let you know what possible outcomes you may see. 99% of our clients are going to go with the metal valley, which I think is the best choice for roofs in our area.


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