Overhangs and shades are pretty to look at; however, they are not installed only for their visual appeal. When properly positioned and installed by a Houston roofer, overhangs and shades work as a natural indoor climate controller and can increase the house’s lifespan by protecting it from damage caused by any type of precipitation.
Solar Shading and Heating
The principle behind overhangs and shades is very simple. During summer when the sun is high, overhangs block the sunlight from directly hitting the walls through the windows, thus preventing the living areas from heating up. During winter when the sun is at a low angle, the overhangs allow the sun’s rays to reach the house walls and windows, heating the living areas naturally.
It should be kept in mind, however, that overhangs are not always efficient as they only rely upon the position of the house to be effective. For example, when the building walls are angled more than 30 degrees of true north or south, the efficiency of the overhang significantly decreases. When positioned properly, overhangs are most effective during mid-day for walls that are facing the sun’s direction.
An overhang not only provides solar shading; it also improves the durability of parts of the building such as door finishes, windows, jambs and trim. During the rainy season, precipitation can collect on walls, windows and door jambs and speed up the deterioration of the material from which they are made. Overhangs serve as protection from these elements that would otherwise cause the walls, windows and door jams to stay wet during any rainy season. This will significantly hinder their deterioration. The larger the size of overhangs installed above windows and doors, the better protection they will provide everything underneath them from precipitation.
There are various overhang designs that can be installed. Overhangs are made in many different types that include: ones that support vegetation; ones that have louvers on them; ones that are just one solid piece; and ones that combine the prior characteristics together. Overhangs can also be installed by a Houston roofer permanently; may be adjustable; or may be removable depending on what aesthetic design the homeowner wants to achieve. The advantage of fixed overhangs is that they are long-lasting and require very low maintenance. Adjustable and removable overhangs allow homeowners to adjust their coverage; however, they do require maintenance due to their moving parts. Aspects such as shutters, eaves, trellises, light shelves, and awnings can also be considered as a variety of overhangs as they provide the same benefits.
Determining the right size for overhangs for a home greatly depends upon the house’s location. While one overhang size may work best in a particular area, it may not work as effectively on another. For example, the overhang guidelines used in the high plains of Montana may not work in the hot humid climate of Florida due to the huge difference in the climate as well as the sun’s angle line.
Another factor that may influence overhang sizing is local zoning ordinances. For example, certain zoning ordinances restrict eave extensions up to two feet beyond the front yard setback.
Putting all of these factors into consideration when designing a roof overhang can be quite confusing. A Houston roofer should be able to help determine the correct size and type for the overhang or shade that is appropriate for the location of the home. Protect your home with overhangs and shades!