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Understanding Your Roof Overhang

When discussing home improvement, topics such as siding, roofs, windows, and drainage are commonly mentioned, but two essential parts of your house that often go overlooked are the soffit and fascia? While the slight overhang of your roof can add to the visual appeal of a home, this portion of your roof is also essential to the overall function and efficiency of your roof. 

What is a Roof Overhang? 

You may have wondered at one point or another why your roof slightly overhangs the rest of your house. After all, many of the colonial-era historic homes in New England have much smaller overhangs than is the standard nowadays in the South, and commercial buildings tend not to have overhangs at all!

A roof overhang is what causes your roof to extend past the margins of the main construction of your house. 

At the end of the overhang sit the gutters, and on the underside of that overhang are the fascia and soffit. The fascia is the vertical portion of the construction underneath the shingles of your overhand, and the soffit is almost like a "ceiling," supporting the overhang and preventing moisture from entering the roof from underneath.

What Does an Overhang Do? 

In addition to being an aesthetically pleasing addition to your home, breaking up sightlines in a way that complements the design of your house, a roof overhang bears a lot of the burden of keeping your home safe from the elements.

As rain falls, your gutters keep the water that hits your roof from collecting around the immediate perimeter of the home, instead sending it away from your foundation. Without an overhang, though, the water that hits the side of the house or falls just next to the roof is able to reach your home's foundation undeterred. Unprotected siding and windows are regularly pelted with rain and beating sun and can quickly speed the degradation of finishes and protective coverings on your home, leading to expensive repairs and replacements down the line. Even a slight overhang of a roof can protect your home from direct sunlight and ran from a larger variety of angles. 

What if My House Has Multiple Floors? 

The taller the construction, the larger an overhang would have to be to offer the same protection a roof overhang provides to a single-story home. That said, there are still options to protect floors far below your roof while also adding a bit of aesthetic flare to your home.

A "brow roof" or an "eyebrow window" is an addition to a roof that allows for light to enter from the top of an upper story. These appear as windows sitting above the roof, which have their own roof extension. An "eyebrow overhang" is a secondary overhang mounted between two floors of a home, allowing for the same benefits of a roof overhang on levels lower than the roof. A "pole barn eyebrow" is a type of overhang that tends to cover just a single window, door, or garage door. A portico is a type of roof supported by columns that typically protects the main entryway of a building.

If you're curious about ways to keep rainwater away from your home, contact us today!

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