Roof flashing is your home’s defense against enemy No. 1: water.
Sure, a high-quality underlayment and shingle covering is important, but both would fail eventually without the added help of flashing.
Why is flashing so vital to keeping your roof intact and your home dry?
Roof flashing is normally made of durable material, such as stainless steel. It also can be made of vinyl, rubber, aluminum or copper.
It comes in sheets that are easily bent so they can be fitted where extra protection is needed.
Flashing isn’t only used for roofing — it’s necessary for any construction project that involves penetrating your home’s exterior, such as installing windows.
The main reason roofers use flashing is to prevent rainwater from leaking through vulnerable areas such as roof joints and seams. Even if your home’s roof looks nice, if the flashing is installed incorrectly, the roof won’t last as long as it should.
Where Is Flashing Installed?
Certain types of flashing are integral to every roof. First, the material is always placed around the base of a chimney as well as around any vent pipes that exit through the roof.
They’re also installed along valleys — the joints where two roof planes meet. Valley flashing is usually secured in place before the roof’s shingles are installed.
When a vertical wall exits a roof, such as when a home has dormers, continuous flashing covers the joint where the wall and the roof meet.
Drip-edge flashing is installed on roofing edges in order to prevent water from seeping into the roof deck.
Finally, this material is key to successful skylight installation. Typically, skylights come with a built-in flashing system, but a dependable roofing contractor will ensure water tightness by securing all edges with the appropriate material.
Never Reuse — Always Replace
If you get a low estimate from a roofing contractor, don’t celebrate too soon. First make sure that they have included flashing replacement in the quote.
Many novice contractors believe that if a roof is in decent shape, they can cut corners on materials simply by detaching the current flashing and reusing it. This is not a good plan. Reusing old flashing usually will result in early leakage.
If you suspect your home has problems with its flashing, have a contractor inspect your roof for corrosion or deterioration. Call the Roof Doctor and you’ll get a straightforward, professional opinion from a team who cares.