5 Common Roof Eaves Issues
The eaves are more than just the edge of the roof. The seal in the perimeter of the roof and serve as an important part of the roof's ventilation and drainage system. Keeping the eaves in good repair is part of proper roof maintenance.
1. Wood Rot
Eaves, especially in older homes, are often made of wood. Over time, the paint or finish on the eaves wears off and moisture is absorbed into the wood. The moisture leads to rot. Rotting eaves typically have peeling paint, and they may appear swollen or warped. Gaps, cracks, or holes may also appear in them. This moisture rot will spread to the roof decking boards if a roofer doesn't replace the damaged eaves.
2. Ventilation Issues
The underside of the eaves is called the soffit. There are vents in the soffit, which are designed to bring in outside air, which will flow through the roof and push the hot, moist attic air out of the ridge vents. This ventilation prevents condensation on the underside of the roof, which leads to a longer-lasting roof. If the vents are blocked or there is insufficient venting in the eaves, then your roof won't vent properly. A roofer can add in more eave vents.
3. Flashing Problems
Drip edge flashing is a metal strip beneath the shingles at the eaves of the roof. It is designed to bridge the space where the shingles end at the eaves so that moisture doesn't seep under the shingles at this point. If the drip edge isn't properly flashed, moisture seepage or issues with ice dams are more likely to lead to moisture incursion at the shingle and eave edge junction, which will lead to leaks and water damage on the roof.
4. Gutter Backflow
Water backflow at the eaves is often a result of gutter problems. This backflow can lead to water going back up and under the shingles. In winter, backflow issues at the eaves lead to ice dam formation. Dirty gutters are a common cause, but gutters that aren't positioned properly under the eaves may also experience backflow issues.
5. Wind Uplift
A slight overhang at the eaves is desirable since this provides space for guttering and prevents water from running right down your home's walls. Too much overhang, though, can lead to wind uplift problems that could rip off the roof during high winds. Eave overhangs should typically be no more than a few inches, and the edges should be well anchored if you live in a windy area.
Contact a roofer if you are concerned about the eaves on your roof.