A roof is comprised of four elements: the main roof, the eaves, the fascia board and the gutter. A house without eaves can cause as much water damage as a house without a roof. Here is Dan's story:
Dan had three leaks in his house that caused water damage every time it rained. Finally, late last spring, Dan put a new roof on his house. He felt good about his several thousand dollar investment until the next rain storm.
The rooms flooded again. Frustrated, he called back his roofer and had him inspect Dan's roof. The roofer told him that there was nothing wrong. So, where were the mystery leaks coming from? Dan's roof had no eaves. Thus, water ran down past the gutter and oozed into its ceilings.
Eaves are protrusions of the main roof that extend beyond a house's exterior walls. They keep water from running down the exterior. A horizontal piece of fascia board is usually attached to the edge of the eave to prevent water from traveling back up the inside of the eave.
The gutters are then attached to the edge of the fascia board and eave to collect runoff from the roof and channel it through pipes to the ground. So, if Dan's roof had a proper eave system, he would not have leaks.
But, eaves can leak if they are not properly maintained.
AHA Has 2 Ways to Maintain Your Eave System and Keep Your Home Leak Free
1. Keep an Eye on Clogged Gutters
Debris should be cleaned out of gutters twice a year. This includes the removal of leaves, twigs and mud that accumulates over the months. Clogged gutters render eaves useless as water rolls over a clogged gutter, under the fascia board and down the side of the house.
Ice dams can also clog your gutters. If they form, they should be removed. Be careful. Even gutters with screens on them need to be cleaned out twice a year as debris and ice dams can still accumulate through the screen.
2. Professional Roof Inspection
Roofing issues are best left to professionals. They know which problems to look for when inspecting your roofs. An annual inspection will ensure that everything is sealed and tight. This includes a professional gutter cleaning which will remove any debris that you may have missed.
Keeping your roof leak free can be easier than you think. Just remember that water should never run down your outer walls and if it does, then it might be time to think about eaves.
Most houses have them and proper maintenance will keep them working properly. So inspect your eaves and protect your largest investment, your home.