Water leaks can lead to a large number of problems in your home. For example, if water leaks in, mould can grow, which can compromise your home’s structure and result in you paying considerable expenses for repairs.
Valley gutters are a vital component of a roof that can help to prevent roof leaks, but is that the only purpose of them?
A complete understanding of the purpose of valley gutters is critical because they are a crucial part of any roof regarding home protection. Our valley gutter guide will define them, lay out their purpose and more.
What Are Valley Gutters?
Valley gutters are a component of the drainage system for a roof. Water can sit on your roof if you don’t have a system to direct it away from it; this is the part that valley gutters help to play.
They are channels that you can find in the roof valley or roof ridge; they usually have a V or a U shape. These shapes help to guide rainwater away from your roof’s surface and into other parts of the drainage system, like the downspouts.
Because of this, installers usually place them on the area of your roof most vulnerable to heavy rainfall. They also take snowfall into account because snow can melt, which can also cause water leaks.
You will usually find that valley gutters consist of materials like PVC, metal or asphalt. We will explain the main valley gutter materials in more detail in our materials section.
What Are the Primary Functions of Valley Guttering?
Valley guttering has numerous purposes that all help to protect the integrity of a roof.
A valley gutter's primary function is to divert and direct rainwater away from vulnerable parts of the roof, like the surface. These gutters can catch rainwater that falls onto the sloped roof surfaces and naturally lead it towards downspouts.
Directing the water to the downspouts also has other benefits. For example, if your roof had no gutters, water would stream down the sides of the house, which could damage the foundation.
Valley gutters are also crucial for dealing with snow that falls on the roof. Once the snow melts, the water will trickle into the valley gutters, and they will direct it away from the roof.
How Do Valley Gutters Help Prevent Water Leaks?
As mentioned, valley gutters help prevent water leaks by directing falling rainwater away from the roof. They also do this with melting snow, which can pool on the roof if you don’t have a method to divert it.
Without valley gutters, your roof will be far more vulnerable to damage caused by water leaks.
If a significant amount of water leaks through your roof, it can cause parts of the wood to rot. If you leave this rot unchecked, it can grow and compromise the structure of your roof and home. If this happens, you must pay massive amounts to repair the damages. Therefore, having a system with valley gutters is essential.
What Are the Main Types of Valley Gutters?
Here are the main types of valley gutters you can use on a roof:
- An open valley gutter is the most common one you can purchase. The exposed metal built into the design makes them visually eye-catching. They are cost-effective and easy to install, making them popular for residential houses.
- A closed valley gutter has a more subtle appearance because it conceals the gutter material beneath the roofing tiles or shingles. The neater appearance makes them popular for houses with a subdued look.
- Box gutters are more heavy-duty than the other valley gutter types because they have more capacity for more rainfall. Because of this, they are more suitable for industrial or commercial buildings.
What Materials Are Available for Valley Gutters?
Here are the most common materials used for valley gutters:
- Metal – This is a durable material that resists corrosion from rainwater. It also looks great with various roof designs. However, the upfront cost of metal valley guttering can be higher than other materials. Examples of metal valley gutters include Bluescope steel, Zincalume Steel and Colorbond Steel.
- Asphalt shingles – These are cheaper than metal and easy to install. Also, you can order them in multiple colours so they can match the appearance of your roof. However, they aren’t as durable as metal, so you may need to replace them quicker.
- PVC – Like asphalt, PVC is easy to install and is available at a great price. Additionally, it has numerous colour options to match the valley gutter with your roof colour. However, it is less visually appealing than metal and degrades quicker.
How Do You Install and Maintain Valley Gutters on the Gutter Valley?
When installing your valley gutter on the roof, you must ensure the standard of installation is excellent. You must do this because your roof and home will be vulnerable with poorly installed valley guttering.
Excellent valley gutter installation is necessary. Therefore, we recommend hiring a professional with experience in valley gutters to install them on your roof. Even though the up-front cost will be higher than if you do it yourself, installers will do an excellent job, ensuring you won’t need to pay for expensive repairs because of poor installation.
If you install the gutters yourself, align them perfectly and use an excellent sealant to prevent leaks in the gaps.
Once installed, you must maintain the valley gutters to ensure they last long. Do this by inspecting the gutters regularly and removing tree leaves, branches and other debris that's blocking them. Also, ensure that you look for damage on the gutters when you check them and get repairs or replacements quickly if you find anything.
Do Valley Gutter Details Help Improve the Aesthetics of a Roof?
If you choose your valley guttering carefully, it can enhance your roof’s overall visual appeal.
For example, excellent valley gutters can make the roofline neater and more appealing. Additionally, you can make the guttering match the aesthetic of the rest of the roof if you choose a matching colour or style.
Also, you can add trim to the guttering to enhance its visual appeal even further.
Are There Building Regulations That Affect Valley Gutters?
When purchasing valley gutters and having them installed, you must adhere to specific regulations.
For example, the overall width of the valley guttering must not be less than 400mm if your roof pitch is more than 12.5 degrees.
You must also look out for local building codes and permits to see if you need to apply for anything specific in your area before installing valley gutters. Following these regulations is essential to avoid legal repercussions like major fines.
Are There Any Drawbacks of Using Valley Gutters?
Despite the benefits vastly outweighing the drawbacks, there are some negative elements of valley gutters you should be aware of:
- They require regular maintenance, which means doing it yourself or hiring someone. However, you should do this because it can significantly extend the gutters’ life.
- Poor installation of valley gutters can lead to a wide range of problems, including water leaking and causing structural damage.
- Some valley gutter materials are less durable than others.
- Some valley gutter materials are more expensive than others.
Final Thoughts on the Importance of Valley Guttering
In summary, valley guttering has many benefits that make it a critical addition to a roof. The main ones you need to remember are that valley gutters help to divert and carry water away from the roof, which, in turn, helps to prevent water leaks.
To have valley gutters installed on your roof to the highest level of quality, ensure that you contact a professional to do the job to get the best results.