Understanding Roofing Valleys and Side Walls: A Comprehensive Guide

Roofing is an essential aspect of home maintenance, providing protection and enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your property. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of roofing valleys and side walls, offering detailed insights that will help homeowners make informed decisions about their roofing needs. This guide aims to be a thorough resource for anyone looking to understand these critical components of a roof.

What Are Roofing Valleys?

Roofing valleys are areas where two roof planes meet, forming a V or W shape that directs water down and away from the roof. Valleys are crucial for the efficient drainage of rainwater, snow, and debris, preventing water from pooling on the roof surface. Proper installation and maintenance of roofing valleys are essential to avoid leaks and structural damage.

Types of Roofing Valleys

  1. Open Valleys: These valleys have a metal lining exposed, which provides a clear path for water flow. The metal can be made of various materials, including aluminum, galvanized steel, and copper. Open valleys are durable and offer excellent water drainage, making them a popular choice for many homeowners.
  2. Closed Valleys: In closed valleys, the shingles cover the valley area, creating a seamless appearance. There are two main types of closed valleys: woven and closed-cut. Woven valleys involve interlacing shingles from both roof planes, while closed-cut valleys have shingles from one plane cut and laid over the other. Closed valleys offer a more uniform look but may require more maintenance to ensure proper drainage.
  3. Woven Valleys: Woven valleys involve the interlacing of shingles from adjacent roof planes. This technique provides a continuous layer of protection but can be challenging to install correctly. It requires precise alignment of shingles to ensure water flows smoothly through the valley.

Importance of Proper Installation

Proper installation of roofing valleys is crucial for their effectiveness. Incorrectly installed valleys can lead to leaks, water damage, and costly repairs. Professional roofing contractors, such as MasterRoof Contracting, ensure that valleys are installed with precision and care, using high-quality materials that provide long-lasting protection.

Understanding Side Walls

Side walls, also known as dormer walls or gable walls, are vertical surfaces that connect the roof to the side of the building. These areas are particularly vulnerable to water infiltration due to their exposure to the elements. Proper flashing and sealing are vital to protect side walls from moisture and wind damage.

Flashing and Its Role

Flashing is a thin material, typically made of metal, that prevents water from seeping into joints and seams. It is installed around areas where the roof meets side walls, chimneys, and other roof penetrations. Flashing directs water away from these vulnerable points, ensuring a watertight seal.

Types of Flashing Used in Side Walls

  1. Step Flashing: This method involves placing small, overlapping pieces of metal along the side wall where it meets the roof. Each piece is bent at a 90-degree angle to fit under the shingles and against the wall, providing a layered defense against water infiltration.
  2. Counter Flashing: Installed over step flashing, counter flashing is embedded into the side wall to create a secondary barrier. This two-layer approach enhances the roof’s ability to repel water and protects the underlying structure from moisture damage.
  3. Continuous Flashing: Also known as apron flashing, this type is used in areas where the roof slopes downward towards a side wall. It provides a continuous shield that directs water away from the wall and into the gutter system.

Maintenance and Inspection

Regular maintenance and inspection of side walls and flashing are essential to prevent leaks and prolong the roof’s lifespan. Homeowners should look for signs of wear, such as rusted or loose flashing, cracked caulking, and damaged shingles. Professional roofing companies in Xenia, Ohio, like MasterRoof Contracting, offer comprehensive inspection and maintenance services to keep your roof in top condition.

Common Issues with Roofing Valleys and Side Walls

Despite their importance, roofing valleys and side walls are often overlooked until problems arise. Common issues include:

  • Water Leaks: Improperly installed or damaged valleys and flashing can lead to water infiltration, causing leaks and structural damage.
  • Ice Dams: In colder climates, ice dams can form in valleys, trapping water and leading to leaks. Proper insulation and ventilation are crucial to prevent ice dams.
  • Debris Accumulation: Leaves, branches, and other debris can accumulate in valleys, obstructing water flow and increasing the risk of leaks. Regular cleaning is necessary to maintain proper drainage.

Choosing the Right Roofing Contractor

Selecting a reputable roofing contractor is vital for ensuring the quality and durability of your roof. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a roofer in Xenia, OH:

  • Experience and Expertise: Look for contractors with extensive experience in roofing, particularly in installing and maintaining valleys and side walls. MasterRoof Contracting has a proven track record of delivering high-quality roofing services in Xenia, Ohio.
  • Certifications and Insurance: Ensure the contractor is licensed, insured, and certified by relevant industry bodies. This guarantees they meet industry standards and provides peace of mind in case of accidents or damage.
  • Customer Reviews and References: Check online reviews and ask for references to gauge the contractor’s reputation and quality of work. Positive feedback from previous clients is a good indicator of reliable service.


Understanding the intricacies of roofing valleys and side walls is essential for maintaining a durable and leak-free roof. Proper installation, regular maintenance, and choosing the right contractor are key to ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of these critical roofing components. MasterRoof Contracting is committed to providing top-notch roofing services in Xenia, Ohio, helping homeowners protect their properties and enhance their curb appeal. By paying attention to these details and working with experienced professionals, you can ensure your roof remains in excellent condition for years to come.