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You might notice that most residential homes will have an extra gap that’s protruding out from the roof. An eave is simply the lower edge of a roof that projects beyond the face of the wall. While it might look like a part of a roof that does not serve any purpose other than being aesthetic, eaves play an integral role in keeping your roof and your home’s foundations dry.
Historically, the word itself springs from an Old English ‘efes’ which translates to the word border in the standard English language that we know today. But before anything else, what are eaves and what is its primary function?
Eaves evolved into one of the most common words that we know today – eavesdrop, which was coined from the sound that raindrops make when it passes through the eaves onto the ground. It is also said that one can only hear the sound when he or she happens to be standing too close to the house itself, hearing other private conversations as well.
Aside from its beauty, eaves also serve a practical function as it serves as the intersection point of your roof and attic. This means that it provides a place for insulation just as long as it does not hinder other parts of the roof from doing its purpose. Furthermore, it has a crucial role as it protects the foundation of the overall structure which means that it keeps the moist and cold temperature away from your entire home as it serves between the barrier between your walls and overhangs. It also serves as extra protection for windows as it casts its shadows over it during the changing weather helps maintain the internal balance of your home.
It is very important that your home is built with symmetry and that is why the dimensions of your eave should be in proportions with the pitch of the roof. Though roofs are built to be strong to protect you from external factors such as rain and debris, it is just as important to consider the maximum weight that it can support because this determines the way your home system is built.
In general, the steepness of the roof usually requires a narrower eave and vice versa while retaining height of 45% angle to maximize the amount of heat and water that is blocked while allowing sunlight to penetrate your home. If you happen to live in an area wherein it constantly snows, this also works well for you because it allows heat to enter your home without compromising on the eaves’ functionality.
Aside from the aforementioned reasons above, eaves can also be a foundation for a channel to be installed along the sides. This can help lessen the extra weight that tends to accumulate on the roof during the rainy season as it guides where the water should flow and hence encourage proper drainage.
It can, in turn, prevent leaks on the wall since water is now contained in the channels instead of dripping out on the sides where moisture can reside and cause your home materials to decay. With the water that is properly disposed of, it saves your lawn from turning into mud.
Most homeowners who use a gutter usually store the rainwater to their tanks which helps them reduce their usual consumption which can be beneficial as it serves as a wise financial and environmental investment. The water can be used to flush toilets, water the plants and clean your cars without worrying about the bills.
However, not all houses are built with eaves and that is why some homeowners opt for awnings to provide an extra layer of shade.
If you’re not familiar with housing, an eave can come in three different forms: it can be closed, open or boxed. A close eave usually has no roof overhang or side extensions to it while an open eave has the opposite and oftentimes allows its roof beams and brackets to be seen. The third one, which is a boxed-eave, is commonly enclosed with a soffit which is its horizontal underside.
Though it is not necessary, a lot of homeowners go the extra mile by widening their respective eaves so that they can place decorative brackets either in classical style or modern touch to it. With the wide array of designs to choose from, your options can seem limitless at this point.
Either way, this is a sure way to catch anyone’s attention Make sure to reach out to your local roofing contractors to see which type of eaves work best with your home’s current condition. In addition, it also pays to understand how these changes – whether for decorative or practical purposes – may affect the home you’ve always envisioned.