If you are thinking of repairing your roof or getting it replaced, you have probably heard about flashing. Perhaps you scanned over a bid for your roof job and noticed flashing on the materials list. If you are thinking this is an area to cut some corners to save costs, it might be good to think again. Without quality, properly installed flashing, water could seep into the comfort of your home, compromising its integrity and causing damage that will be costly to repair. When preparing to have repairs done to your roof, it is important to know a little about flashing and the types of materials used.
In a perfect world, every roof would be completely smooth, with no obstructions and no breaks in its continuous surface. Of course, no one's roof is like that: chimneys, vents, skylights, valleys, and turns in the roof are all common features that interrupt rooflines. These interruptions break the important seal a roof provides, allowing water to seep in and potentially causing expensive water damage to wood and other surfaces below.
The solution to these interruptions is called flashing, which is molded metal strips that are used to direct water away from the surfaces of your home. Rather than seep in through cracks or gaps caused by obstructions in the roofline, water hits the flashing and runs off the roof, protecting your home.
The roof of your home is exposed to the elements more than any other area. Constant exposure to moisture, temperature changes, and intense sunlight causes expansion and contraction, as well as the potential for rust. Flashing must be able to withstand all of these stresses and still prevent leaks. In addition, flashing must be installed in such a way to resist several types of water penetration: wind force, gravity flow, and surface tension. Quality material coupled with shoddy workmanship can still result in leaks.
Not all flashing is created equal. This is why it is so important to know what kind of flashing is included in a roofing bid. The most common types of flashing include:
Flashing plays a vital role in your home's integrity. Many pre-formed flashing pieces are available, but they do not guarantee a close fit for your home's specific construction. Years of frustration and damage can be avoided by having your flashing installed professionally. The value of experience can make the difference in a leaking roof or one that stays "high and dry."