Closed Valleys: Architects Love Them But They May Cause Roof Leaks

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Last Updated: May 4, 2021

Pros and cons of a closed valley roof

Architects often prefer closed valleys to open valleys as they feel that it gives a home better architectural appeal. Roofers on the other hand, often prefer an “open valley,” because they feel it is more practical.

The reason that many roofers like an open valley is that they feel that tree leaves and needles will more easily slide down (or wash down) an open valley when it rains. There is less of a chance for leaves to gather in a spot in the valley and form a small water dam. Should a dam develop, then water may back up under the tile or shingles and end up creating a leak. Keeping the valleys clear as part of a home’s maintenance program generally will keep a dam from occurring.

A closed valley is where the tiles (or shingles) are butted up against each other in the center of the valley; an open valley has a gap, usually about 6 inches, between the tile or shingles at the valley area.

Roofing material manufactures or roofing associations may have recommended installation guidelines for their products or for various roofing materials. Consulting with these organizations will provide more information on open and closed valleys.

Bottom line

It’s often a matter of personal or architectural  preference.


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