An essential and integral component of a solid and durable roof is flashing. Roof flashing prevents water from rain and storm from splashing against your walls and leaking into your homes. Knowing and understanding flashing and how it works is also important, besides roof materials and waterproofing. Let us delve into this critical component of roofing.
Roof flashing is a piece of metal placed around the edges of the roofs and at the points where any projection, like chimneys, vents, or skylights, intersects with the roof.
Flashing will prevent water from entering the house through the cracks or openings on the roof by directing the water away from the seams and joints to the gutters.
It is imperative to ensure that the flashing is installed correctly. Improper installation of roof flashing can damage the roof and your building substantially.
The areas in your roof that are particularly vulnerable to leaks and will require flashing are:
Usually, skylights come with a border so that it becomes easy to install flashing. Sometimes skylights also come with a built-in flashing. Seek the advice of your local contractor to find the best fit.
Vents are of two types: hood vents and pipe vents. Both vents will need flashing to prevent water from seeping into the roofs.
The base of the chimneys needs to be surrounded by flashing at the intersection where the chimney and roof meet.
Particularly for sloped roofs with valleys, flashing will have to be installed where the two valleys meet. The angle at which the valleys meet is most vulnerable to water seepage.
As you can see, a roof has various features, and each part of the roof requires a different type of flashing. Let us understand the different types of flashing:
Base flashing is a single metal layer installed underneath the roof shingles. It is fixed at the joint between the roofing surface and the vertical wall or parapet. This ensures that the flashing surface directs the rainwater downwards and away from the roof deck, thus protecting the roof from water damage.
In step flashing, L-shaped metals are placed between shingles along the sides of the wall. They are placed in a cascading design resembling steps. Like base flashing, step flashing is installed under the shingles so it is not visible from the ground.
Counter flashing is typically installed at the base of a chimney. It is placed either above or opposite to base flashing, but unlike base flashing, counter flashing is installed on top of the shingles.
As mentioned earlier, a roof valley is the joint where two downward slopes of the roof meet. There is often a cleft at the point where these slopes meet, and very often, water can seep into your home through these crevices. But valley flashing, if installed correctly, will direct the water away from the roof towards the gutters.
Drip edge flashing is installed at the edges of the roof. This type of flashing is installed to prevent rainwater from falling off the roof onto the sidewalls or seeping into the roof deck. Drip edge flashing will redirect the water to the gutters, thus protecting the roof and walls from water damage.
Vent stacks are circular, requiring special flashing to ensure the edges are completely sealed and water doesn’t seep into the roof layers. A metal piece and a rubber gasket are used to ensure that the bottom of the vent is secured tight.
Headwall flashing is an L-shaped metal flashing installed at the edge where the upper end of the roof meets the vertical wall. Installing this flashing will ensure water doesn’t seep into the gap between the roof and the wall. There are different types of headwall flashing, and selecting the right kind of flashing will depend on the roof’s pitch.
Now that we have a basic understanding of the different types of flashing that can be installed on a roof let’s look at the materials used for flashing.
Flashing is mainly made out of metal, and the four common metals used are:
Like the other elements on your roof, flashing must also be inspected regularly for damages and corrosion. The following tips will help you identify any issues with the flashing and enable you to take timely action, thus avoiding costly repairs.
Inspecting your flashing at least once a year, particularly after a heavy storm or rainfall, is recommended. If you spot the following red flags, then its time to contact your local roofing company:
Cleaning the flashing at least once a year is a good idea. It will help remove the debris and dust and help spot any signs of corrosion or rust.
If you are planning to change your roof, it is advisable to replace the flashing too. The previous flashing would have been installed per the old roof’s specifications.
Above all, ensuring that your flashing is installed correctly is vital. Hire a trusted roofing company to guide you through the process and choose the right flashing for your roof.
As a homeowner, knowing the features of the roof and understanding the basics of flashing and the various elements is essential so that you can make an informed decision regarding roof maintenance and repair.
If you want a roof inspection or to schedule a free consultation, contact https://tomandjerrysroofing.com/
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