Valley, Hip & Ridge

Hip & Ridge

A roof “hip” refers to the outwards diagonal joint created by the junction of two roof slopes.

A roof “ridge” refers to the upper most peaks created by the junction of two roof slopes facing opposite directions.

In the age where 3-tab shingles were the standard in roofing, it was common practice to take the same shingle used to cover the roofing slopes, cut it into 3 pieces and use it to protect your hips and ridges. Today, where laminate products are the overwhelming shingle of choice, specific shingles are manufactured for the hips and ridges. It is still OK to use a 3 tab shingle if you can find a colour to match your shingle of choice, but it is recommended by manufacturers to use specialty cap shingles for laminate and designer products to compliment their enhanced warranties.

Hip and Ridge cap shingles are traditionally a single layer shingle, but manufacturers are now producing double layered shingles, and even shingles that are folded to create superior strength and design.


Valleys are created where two roof slopes meet.  Because of the volume of water and lower slope along valley lines, valleys are particularly vulnerable to leakage.

There are two basic types of valleys: open and closed. 

Open Valleys   

Open valleys are so defined because the valley line remains uncovered by the primary roofing material.  Open valleys are protected by a combination of ice and water shield and metal.

In a proper open valley application:

  • 1 row (3’) of ice and water shield is applied in the center of the valley
  • A “W” or “V” shaped piece of metal is bent and installed on top of the ice and water
  • A second row of ice and water shield is cut in half and used to sandwich the metal on both sides
  • Shingles are cut along the line created by the 2nd row of ice and water, and the metal remains “open” to carry the water off of the roof
  • The opening should gradually widen to handle the increased capacity at the lower edge

TWO common metal valley designs include:

  • “V” - where one bend is made to match the angle of the adjoined roof slopes
  • “W” - where a bump is bent in the center to prohibit the water from entering under the shingles on the adjoining roof slope

Many roofers will quote low gauge metal or aluminum as their open valley of choice and exclude a row of ice and water shield. At Dayus, we only use heavy gauge “W” shaped pre-finished galvanized metal valleys (unless otherwise requested). Heavy gauge metal keeps valley lines straight and the “W” shape offers better water control. Be sure to ask what kind of metal is being used and how it is applied when comparing quotations. Not all “metal valleys” are the same. If the price points provided for a metal valley option seem drastically different, there is usually a reason why.

Closed Valleys

Closed valleys are covered over using the shingles or other primary roofing material.
 In a proper closed valley application:

  • 1 row (3’) of ice and water shield is applied in the center of the valley
  • The shingles, or other primary roofing material, are installed though the valley

TWO common closed valley designs include:

  • Woven style - where shingles are overlapped across the valley on alternative slopes
  • Closed cut - where shingles are first installed on the lower adjoining roof slope through the valley line, followed by the shingle installation on the higher slope through the valley line. The shingles on the higher slope are then cut in a straight line through the valley. This ensures that the water from the higher slope falls onto the shingles of the lower slope vs. under the shingles to the roof deck

Many roofers overlook the details required for a proper closed style valley application. As with all the detailed areas of your roof, it is important to know the details of each valley style in order to make an educated decision for your roofing system. If you are looking to save money, closed cut valleys are the way to go. However, if you are looking for a valley that will outlast most roofing systems, open style valleys should be installed.  


What type of valley application is the best?

In our opinion, a well installed “W” shaped, open style, heavy gauge, metal valley with 2 applications of ice and water shield (used to sandwich the metal) is the strongest valley you can buy. Closed cut valleys have been created for cost savings purposes, but the open style metal valley is a proven valley application that will match the life expectancy of any roofing warranty.

Closed cut valleys are certainly cheaper, but are often the first area of your roof that will break down due to the high volume of water carried through the valley. Roof covering materials are designed to shed water over roof slopes and will not last as long when bent through a valley handling a concentrated water flow. Many thicker shingles and premium roofing products cannot be installed using the closed cut valley method.
If the above information read like a foreign language, please read on to learn more about roofing valley alternatives.

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Dayus Roofing
5120 Halford Drive
Oldcaste, Ontario
N9G 0B8
Contact Information
q (519) 737-1920
p (519) 790-0074