Have you ever run under a building’s roof edge to get out of bad weather? If so, you can thank its eaves for keeping you dry.
Eaves are the edges of a roof that juts over the sides of a structure. Inside a typical home, usually in the attic, the eave is the angle where the outside wall connects to the roof, making it an excellent place to install insulation.
If you’re a Flagstaff homeowner who needs roof repairs or replacements, you can rely on Polaris Roofing System’s quality services. Call us at (928) 440-9542 for a free quote today!
Two Main Parts of an Eave
If you stand directly under your home’s eave and look up, you’d likely see a soffit. The soffit lies beneath the eave’s overhang, making it parallel to your property. Most soffits feature a solid, plain surface, but some may have shiplap or other side-by-side board designs.
Soffits act as ventilated coverings for the space in your roof overhang that leads directly to the attic. They can assist with moisture and heat regulation by allowing additional airflow into the attic and the top floor. What’s more, soffits also help prevent your eaves from getting infested with insects, small animals, and other pests.
If you look directly at the eaves of a building, you should notice a trim between the roof and the soffit. This piece is called a fascia board, and it sits parallel to a house’s siding, so it faces outward and away from your home, while a soffit faces downward.
Fascia boards are a crucial part of a home’s trim, making them aesthetically important, but they have practical benefits, too. They provide additional support for the roof and its gutter system. Without these boards, the outermost shingles of your roof can warp or droop, and your gutters might tilt, loosen, or even fall.
Types of Eaves
Depending on your home, some designs might be more suitable than the other:
- Soffited Eaves are probably the most common type of eaves. It has a paneling underneath that connects the eave’s bottom tip to a building’s side at a 90o angle.
- Exposed Eaves are extremely rare to find in most modern homes because they leave a roof and its supporting rafters exposed.
- Boxed-in Eaves encase the roof rafters but meet the building’s side at the same angle as the roof’s pitch.
- Abbreviated Eaves cut off almost perpendicularly to a building’s side.
Why Are Eaves so Important?
The eaves of a home can hold a considerable influence over its style and even general structure. Here are a few notable examples:
- Some mid-20th century homes in the US have A-frame designs that have eaves reaching the ground level. This exaggerated roofing feature gives the home a uniquely modern appeal.
- Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie House design features widely overhanging eaves that make structures seem bigger.
- Classic Italian and Spanish luxury homes often sport intricately decorated overhanging eaves and slightly pitched roofs.
- Craftsman bungalows and original ranch-style houses have deep and wide eaves to create a homey look.
Eaves can shade your windows from the sun, especially during the hot summer months, to help your exterior maintain a comfortable temperature. During the winter, the low-level sun can still reach the windows to warm and illuminate the interior.
Eaves don’t just protect bystanders from bad weather; they also prevent rain, snow, and other debris from damaging a house’s façade by directing it away from the building.
What Threats Can Damage Your Eaves?
Similar to every other component of your home’s interior, some threats can damage your eaves or affect their integrity, the most common being:
- Physical damage (weathering, warping, cracks, chips, and holes)
- Bird damage (corrosion or staining from droppings)
- Rodent damage (nesting in the soffit’s interior)
- Insect damage (termites or ant colonies)
- Water damage (wood rot or staining)
- Light damage (fading paint colors)
If you suspect that the eaves or other parts of your Flagstaff, AZ roof are compromised, don’t hesitate to give Polaris Roofing Systems a call at (928) 440-9542. The sooner you get your roof fixed by an expert, the less likely the damage will become worse.