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Have you ever heard the word eaves and wondered what exactly they are? This article will explore what eaves on a house are, why they exist, and why they’re useful. Eaves are at the junction where a sloping roof meets the wall. They serve to hang the roof over the wall and provide a few purposes. Here is everything you need to know about eaves on a house.


What are the eaves of a house?

what are eaves of a house

Eaves refer to the overhanging part of the roof rafters that protect its windows and walls below during rainstorms. The word “eave” originates from the Old English word “efes,” meaning “overlapping.” Most often, eaves are found in older homes with pitched roofs because they have always been used to divert water away from the foundation.


What are eaves made of?

Eaves of a house are made of rafters, soffits, and fascia. The soffits protect the under part of the eaves, and the fascia runs along the edge of the building horizontally, covering the roof’s edge. Depending on the roof slope, gutters can be attached at the end of the eaves to the fascia to help move water from the roof down to the ground and away from the foundation. In addition, there are openings in the overhang of this roof space to ventilate and allow for airflow.

Without the gutters doing this, there would be water in the basement. So they are an essential part of a roof. Likewise, Gables and eaves are used on homes to ensure that rainwater and melting snow do not come into contact with a house’s sides.


What is a gable?

A gable end is an area on an exterior wall where the roof and a horizontal section intersects. Gable roofs are one of the most common and ancient architectural elements and can be seen in churches, barns, and cottages worldwide.

Gables on homes perform two functions. First, they look good, and they keep water away from above windows or doors.


What are the different types of eaves?

There are three basic types of eaves, and they have a variety of benefits. The main ones are closed, exposed, and boxed.


Exposed eave

exposed Eaves on a House

Exposed eaves are when no soffits are covering the overhang underneath, and you can see the exposed supporting rafters of the roof. While this gives a nice look, it does make the home more prone to insects getting in (like wasps and bees) to the attic and nesting.


Closed or Soffited eave

what are eaves

These are eaves that have been closed up with soffits that seal the gap run along the length of the home. This gives the eaves a cleaner look and better protection against pests getting into your attic. In addition, the soffit panels protect the underside of the eaves from animals and insects and help with airflow in the attic, which can help prevent ice damming during the winter.


Boxed Eave

Boxed Eaves are another form of closed eaves, and the overhangs are enclosed with panels with some type of ventilated system. They are also commonly seen in carports and garages.


Disadvantages of eaves of a house

Eaves are typically located at the junction where a sloping roof meets the wall and may be made from many materials, including wood or metal. Usually peaked in shape, eave’s visually interesting design has been used for centuries to catch falling rainwater and create a balance between inside and outside. However, eaves can also pose problems, especially if not properly installed or maintained.

The following are some disadvantages of eaves:

  • They may be prone to leaking because water builds up along the top ridge of the roof where it meets exterior walls.
  • If gutter systems have not been installed, which direct rainwater away from the structure, it can cause damage to the foundation.
  • If not properly maintained, eaves may provide an easy entry for predators such as rodents and insects.


Advantages of eaves on a house

You want eaves on a house because they help protect your home from any damage that may come from water pooling on the roof, whether it be a heavy rainstorm or melting snow. They also extend the life of a roof by protecting it from weather elements such as hail and sun rays.

Eaves are covered by an overhanging portion of the roof, usually sloping downward in a direction away from the exterior walls. This protects the windows and walls below. Most homes have eaves because they are aesthetically pleasing and architecturally interesting. They may also be shaped into an arch or curve to add visual interest and architectural style to a house.

Eaves provide shade to the house, providing the walls with some relief from the elements and keeping the home comfortable.


What are eavestroughs?

Eavestroughs, commonly known as gutters, are found on roofs of homes and buildings. They are structures covering the edge of a roof, which collects water from the roof into a downspout or gutter system.

Eavestroughs can be made out of different materials, including metal, aluminum, wood, and plastic.


What is a fascia?

A fascia is a general term meaning any thin strip of material. Generally, it refers to the flat board running along the edge of the roof that covers the roof’s edges and eaves. Learn more about them in our “What is fascia on a house” post.


What are soffits?

Soffits are like eaves, but instead of descending from the roof edge, they go on the underside of the overhanging portion of a roof at a right angle to the wall. They protect walls and windows underneath and also provide a nice decorative look. Learn more about them in our “What are soffits” post.


Bottom Line: Why You Need Roof Eaves on a House

Roof eaves are the overhanging part of a roof that protects windows and siding walls from water damage or other weather elements. This overhang on a building protects both the foundation and siding of a home. They have been used for centuries because aesthetically, they look good, and functionally they serve an essential purpose.

As homeowners, it’s good to have a better understanding of these roofing terms and their function, as well as all parts of a house. That way, when you are getting a new roof or repairing roof tiles, you will know what they are talking about and be more confident in your choices.