The roof is one of the most important features of your house, and one that…
When you think of your roof, you probably just think about the shingles. While your roofing shingles are certainly key to preventing leaks and ensuring structural integrity, they’re just one component to keeping your home safe and dry. We wanted to take the opportunity to highlight roof flashing and its importance in roof repair. Not sure what it does or why it’s important? Not to worry – we are sharing everything you need to know.
What Is Roof Flashing?
Roof flashing is a second line of defense on your roof to protect vulnerable areas from leaks. Made from stainless steel or aluminum (or occasionally copper, rubber, or plastic), it’s laid under shingles and underlayment or siding where joints come together, areas of excess runoff, or where two surfaces or materials join. You’ll most often see it around chimneys, dormer windows and areas where second story walls meet the roof, as well as sharp angles where two planes come together – all of these areas need extra protection from the element.
Types of Roof Flashing
While the flashing used on your roof is all going to be made from the same material, most likely, there are several ways it’s used. Some of the most common types are:
- Drip edges that are applied under the roofing underlayment along the eaves and the edges to prevent water from seeping under the eaves and into your home.
- Continuous flashing, or base flashing, is applied between where a front facing vertical wall meets a downward sloping roof.
- Skylights have their own built in continuous flashing around the base, step flashing around the sides and saddle flashing that goes along the top piece at the highest point on the roof.
- Step flashing are right angled pieces designed to overlap to protect where the roof meets the vertical sidewalls such as the sides of a dormer window or around a chimney.
- Valley flashing is installed in the valley where two roof planes come together, usually in a downward v-shape. The w-shaped flashing is installed on top of the underlayment to ensure excess runoff doesn’t enter the home.
- Vent pipe flashing is a cone-shaped piece with a flange at the base to fit over pipes and flues. The flange is worked into the shingles during roofing installation.
This image below has a few examples of the placement of common types of flashing.
Signs You Need Flashing Repair
Because flashing is such an important component of your roof, you need to be aware when there are problems or concerns. While your shingles may be in excellent condition, if there’s a problem with the flashing, you can end up with water in your home. Here are a few signs you have damaged flashing:
The number one sign there’s a problem is water coming in. If you can determine where the leak is, whether it’s around the chimney, a vent pipe, or the eaves, it may be the flashing has been damaged or wasn’t installed correctly.
If you are on your roof and you see dents along the metal, or even worse, cracks or holes, the damaged flashing won’t do much good. Denting is often caused by improper installation or stepping on it during a roof repair or inspection and should be fixed.
Corrosion or rust is a sign of old flashing that is most likely past the date it should be repaired. Seeing rust or corrosion on the flashing will allow water to seep into the home.
Contact Us Today for a Quote on Roofing Repair
If you’re concerned about leaks or experiencing one of the problems outlined above, we can help. Give us a call today at (919) 961-0666 or fill out the form below to schedule a quote for service. We serve Holly Springs, Raleigh, Cary, Apex, Garner, and all surrounding communities.