When it comes to the safety and function of your home, your roof is invaluable. It does much more than just keep the rain out: the various parts of your roof work together to redirect heavy precipitation, it ventilates to prevent extreme interior temperatures, and stops rot and mold from setting in to the home.
Your shingles can’t handle all this work on their own, though. There’s many different parts of a roof, and in particular the eaves of your property work hard to protect your home. Every roof is unique, however: make sure to consult a professional contractor for an inspection, should you suspect that something is wrong with yours.
The soffit of your roof is the solid piece that runs underneath your eaves, facing the ground. While it may initially seem insignificant, the soffit plays a vital role in the wellbeing of your roof.
Its first function is the ventilation of your roof. When properly ventilated, however, the soffit allows air to move in and out of your roof and attic to prevent your home from trapping the temperature outside. This helps to improve the cost-efficiency of heating and cooling your home. Unvented or poorly ventilated soffit, in turn, can trap extreme heat or cold inside your roof and encourage moisture build-up in your attic.
That’s not all your soffit does, though. Aesthetically, it also serves to hide the rafters from view, and in doing so, prevents mould and mildew from setting in to the wood. By protecting the rafters from the elements, from heavy rainfall to snow build-up, the soffit once again prevents key areas of your home from moisture damage.
Similar and often grouped with soffit, fascia is the solid piece above the soffit, facing outwards. Unlike soffit, it’s unvented and therefore used primarily as a barrier between your home and runoff moisture and potential critters that would like to nest in your attic.
It also holds up the weight of the gutter, which is no easy task during heavy rainfall or through the winter thaw characteristic of our region. This sort of heavy wear and tear means that the fascia can be aesthetically damaged: to keep your house looking its best and ensure that your roof continues to function, keep a close eye on the fascia, especially where it supports the gutter.
Most homeowners are familiar with their gutter system and the maintenance it requires to continue to function properly. Its role in moisture management of the home is extensive: the job of directing excess water does more than just protect your home from water damage.
Eavestroughs also function to keep your yard healthy. Through draining excess precipitation and doing so at a controlled speed, it protects any potential plants around the overhang of your roof and maintains soil quality. The system also redirects potential floods that could end up in your basement through the over-watering of your yard.
Besides flood management, redirecting water can also prevent serious damage to your home. Moisture build-up can be a huge problem for rotting and mould, but it isn’t the only way water can damage property. Built up water is heavy, and without anywhere to naturally flow it can weigh down your roof to the point of damaging it.
The eavestrough provides the water with somewhere to go, and a path to take to that destination. This prevents physical and flood damage to the home and yard, as well as keeping your roof safe from rot and mould.
The shingles are the first thing most people think of when they think of roof upkeep, and they do play a vital role in keeping your home safe from the elements. When it comes to keeping your shingles safe, however, don’t underestimate the value of your eaves. With care and maintenance, they work together with the rest of your roof to keep not only your home safe, but the roof as well.
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