What is Roof Flashing?

what is roof flashingYour roof needs to be sealed well against the elements to ensure it remains airtight and waterproof. The material that is used to seal areas around chimneys, roof valleys, skylights, and joints and edges is called flashing. It is important that this flashing is installed properly to prevent any potential leaks and water damage, which could lead to even more serious problems.

Due to weather changes, areas where roofing materials transition and intersect will expand and then contract due to changes in temperature and humidity. Therefore, flashing needs to protect the potentially vulnerable areas as weather changes occur and there is movement in the roof materials. Essentially, flashing is the barrier of resistance against moisture and water seeping into the roof.

The Purpose of Roof Flashing

Without properly fitted flashing on all key roof areas, rain and moisture could seep into the interior of your home from any gaps around the chimney or where roof tiles are loose. So you can understand that flashing is necessary to maintaining the integrity of your roof from potential water damage. If the flashing isn’t fitted well in the roof valleys from the sides of your roof, water could flow into your home.

Also, the exterior walls and your roofing system are always exposed to leaks and water damage. Roof areas where the different surfaces intersect require the most protection from heavy downpours provided by flashing.

Materials Used for Roof Flashing

Over time there have been advancements in the quality and durability of flashing materials. Homeowners now have more effective material options that are more budget friendly. Flashing material choices include aluminum, stainless steel, copper, lead, plastic and a combination of materials.

Copper is the most preferred option as it is highly malleable, resistant to the elements, durable, and has an attractive appearance. However, copper metal flashing has the highest cost. On the other hand, the least costly choice is plastic, although it is much less durable due to sunlight exposure.

Fitting a Roof Flashing

But how the flashing is installed is of the highest importance despite the choice of the materials used. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you hire an experienced roofing professional to do a quality job installing whatever materials you choose. If not fitted properly, water will invade not only the roof but the interior of your home. This could cause a damaged ceiling to collapse and lead to more expensive interior repairs.

A qualified roofing contractor will fit the roof flashings prior to installing the tiles on your roof. In cases of flashing repairs, the roofing professional will need to remove two to three tile lines to replace any missing or damaged flashing in roof valleys.

Roof flashing can become damaged if improperly installed or poorly repaired, or due to severe weather. It is recommended by roofing companies that you periodically check your roof for any signs of loose or damaged flashing, and schedule an inspection and repair by a licensed Charlotte roofer as soon as possible to prevent potential damage to your home.

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