Roof flashing is an essential part of roofing and plays a crucial role in protecting the roof from water damage. Without flashing, it would be nearly impossible to keep your roof safe from harmful weather conditions such as rain, hail, snow, and ice dams.
That's why roofers recommend using metal or rubber-coated materials for both the inside and outside surfaces of every roofing application.
This article will outline what roof flashing is and give you three facts you might not know about this crucial roofing element!
Roof flashing is a thin material—typically metal—that directs water away from critical areas of the roof. Roofers install flashing where the roof plane changes, like where one area of the roof meets another or where the roof meets a vertical surface, like a chimney, skylight, or roof vent.
Simply put, flashing is a roof's first line of defense against the elements! Unfortunately, most homeowners hear the term roof flashing under two circumstances: when their roof has an issue or when they need work done on an aging roof.
There are three common types of metal used for flashing: copper, aluminum, and steel (the most common). The choice between the three options comes down to budget and aesthetics. Steel is the cheapest, and copper provides a sophisticated look that lasts for years.
Roof flashing installed at the areas where your roof meets a surface with a different angle makes sure water flows down to your gutters. This characteristic ensures your attic and home's upper levels stay dry inside.
But flashing also protects your roof! With defective or failing flashing, water can infiltrate the spaces between or underneath shingles. Even minor flashing failures could lead to more significant issues with your roof from the resulting water damage.
Because roof flashing helps keep your roof's materials dry, it prolongs the life of your roof and saves you from making costly repairs.
Whenever roof leaks occur, the first place roofers look is the areas where two surfaces meet. In other words, sites with roof flashing.
But, if the roof leak comes from faulty shingles, the roof flashing could stay in place for years to come!
Roof replacements due to age also don't necessarily need new flashing. For example, if the shingles are worn but the flashing is still in good condition, your roofing contractor may opt for reusing the flashing.
Since every situation is different, your chosen roofing contractor can guide you about the possibility of recycling previously used portions of your roof.
The roof flashing is no different from any other part of your roof in that regular checkups ensure consistent performance.
Roof inspections should occur every year. During these, your roofing contractor also inspects the roof flashing. In addition, they check for signs of wear and tear or cracks and identify the potential for leaks.
Because flashing is made of metal, there's a good chance it will last longer than the other segments of your roof—but don't take that for granted! Regular inspections save you from both emergency roof damage and costly repairs.
Roof flashing is a vital roofing component that plays a crucial role in the roof's longevity. When it fails, your roof can leak water into your home or allow water into the surrounding roof materials.
Metal flashing is the standard and comes in three main options: aluminum, copper, and steel. Consistent monitoring—taken care of during annual roof inspections—ensures your roof flashing isn't at risk for further damage or failure.
For those reading who live in Dayton, Ohio, and the surrounding area, Possert Construction is a full-service roofing contractor here for all your roofing needs. We've been in business for decades and have experience with flashing and the rest of the segments of a well-functioning roof. So give us a call or reach out via our contact page, and one of our roofing experts will give you a call. We can't wait to work with you!