close up of a metal roof eave


There are a lot of different parts that go into a roofing system. Each of them plays an important role, and most of them go unnoticed. Parts like the underlayment can’t even be seen, but it plays a vital part in keeping your house dry.

Chances are, you either don’t know what eaves are or you don’t appreciate them as much as you should. We’re going to talk about roof eaves and the important part they play in keeping your house dry and stable.

What is the Roof Eave?

Nearly every house with a pitched roof will have eaves. Eaves are the part of the roof that hangs over the exterior wall. They typically have gutters on them to stop water from pouring off the roof.

Fun fact about house eaves: they’re what eavesdropping was originally referring to. Before gutters were made, water would fall from the eaves of the house. At first, the term referred to the drops of water that fell from the eaves. Then it referred to that general area as being a good place to listen in on conversations.

corner of tile roof eave with text "Eaves are the part of the roof that hangs over the exterior wall. They typically have gutters on the them to stop water from pouring off the roof.

Why Do Houses Need Eaves?

Eaves serve multiple purposes for your roofing system.

  1. Eaves are meant to keep water away from the walls and windows of your house. Homeowners may not realize that while their foundation is strong, it can still be damaged by water. Eaves are an important part of keeping your water away from your house.
  2. Arizona homeowners will love this next reason your house needs eaves. They act as a way to shade your home and keep UV rays out of your windows. We all love a great view, but the afternoon sun can be blistering hot.
  3. The third great thing about roof eaves is they cover your entryways. Imagine if your house didn’t have that little overhang in front of your door. Leaving or entering while it’s raining would mean water would get everywhere.

Parts of the Roof Eaves

Homeowners should know as much as possible about their roofs. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to spot potential problems.


The fascia is the part of the roof that faces outward. It’s the edge of the roof where gutters are attached. Fascia is typically made with wood, vinyl, or aluminum. This board acts as a way to seal the roof. It protects the rafters and helps give the roof a finished look.

Wood fascia: it’s very common for fascia to be made with wood, but over time, homeowners will need to paint and seal at intervals throughout its lifespan.

Vinyl fascia is typically cheap, but needs to be replaced more often. Vinyl fascia is known to have great curb appeal and it can match your exterior siding and bring the whole house together.

Metal or metal-clad fascia lasts the longest, but it is the most expensive. In other words, you get what you pay for!


The soffits are installed on the underside of the eaves. Although they are not necessary, soffits can be a great place to add vents for your attic. They’re made out of aluminum or wood.

four types of eves with text: "Types of eaves: 1. Open Eaves 2. closed eaves 3. boxed eaves 4. abbreviated eaves

The 4 types of eaves are defined by what kind of soffit they have.

  • Open eaves: These don’t have any covering on the soffit area.
  • Closed eaves: These have soffits installed. They close this part of the roof and the rafters are not exposed.
  • Box eaves: These are ornamental pieces that are installed on the corners of the eaves. They continue the fascia down a little and add some flair to the look of a home.
  • Abbreviated eaves: These are much smaller than others. They’re normally found on buildings with flat roofs or high-wind areas.

Roof Eave Maintenance

Roof maintenance is very important for keeping your roof operating well. The same goes for roof eave maintenance. If you want your whole roofing system to work in harmony, apply these maintenance options.

You’ll Likely Want a Soffit

Soffits are not absolutely necessary, but they’re very helpful. They’ll keep pests out of your roof and, with soffit vents, they can help regulate temperatures in your house.

Regularly Inspect the Eave and Soffit

This is pretty straightforward — look at your eaves. It’s good to walk around your house from time to time and look for any areas that could have been damaged by weather or animals.

If a crack from a weather event or an animal is persistent enough, pests can make it into your attic. From there, who knows what kind of trouble they’ll get into.

Paint and Seal Fascia and Soffits

Fascia boards and soffits are very exposed to the elements. To make sure they’re not on the verge of decay, make sure they’re painted and sealed from time to time. This will ensure these elements are well protected for the weather ahead.

Call Legacy Roofing Today

Your eaves aren’t just overhangs. They serve as an important part of your roofing system. Not only are they what hold up your gutter system, but they could be the first line of defense against animals and the elements getting into your attic.

If you need any help with installing or maintaining your eaves, contact Legacy Roofing. You should also feel free for any questions you have about eaves. We are here to help.

Schedule an appointment or inspection with Legacy Roofing today!

If you would like Legacy Roofing to inspect your roof and offer a free estimate, please call us, or fill out the contract form below. Legacy will send a trained estimator to inspect and offer an experts opinion on the size and scope of your job.

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Legacy Roofing LLC - Prescott

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Servicing All of Northern Arizona

Legacy Roofing

Legacy Roofing LLC - Prescott