What is roof flashing? What does it have to do with my leaky roof? Sounds like it’s time to get answers to some of your top questions. While you may find some answers through Google, your best bet for accurate information is to turn to the roofing experts in your area.
At Hopewell Roofing & Restoration in Cumming GA, we are happy to put our expertise to work for you. Let’s start by answering your most pressing questions about roof flashing and a leaky roof. Keep reading for the facts you need to know to keep your roof in optimal condition so you can keep your home safe from the elements.
What Is Roof Flashing?
When it comes to preventing leaks in your roof, the flashing plays an integral role. Typically comprised of copper, aluminum, or galvanized sheet metal, the flashing works as a seal between the roof joints, efficiently keeping water out.
What kind of material is your roof flashing? Most homes feature galvanized sheet metal. However, a copper roof is likely to have a copper flashing. And homeowners that install the flashing themselves tend to use aluminum because of its easier installation and affordability. Most roof installers use soldering to build flashing—regardless of the material.
Vulnerability in the Roof
Because there are certain parts of the roof that tend to be more vulnerable to water damage and leaks, flashing can serve as an extra layer of protection. Areas that are particularly susceptible to problems include:
- Roof surface of dormer walls
- Skylight perimeters
- Roof valleys
Simply put, any area of the roof in which two surfaces are coming together to meet, water runoff is likely to be heavier, which is why secure and effective flashing is so important.
Different Types of Roof Flashing
Flashing is not a one-size-fits all roof feature. It’s common for the type to vary greatly from one home to the next, depending on style and home design. It can even differ from one part of the roof to another. In fact, it’s uncommon for a roof to feature only one type of flashing.
Let’s take a closer look at the various types of roof flashing you may find on the roof:
Present at the chimney base, this type tends to be in multiple components, including flashing at the bottom of the chimney, step flashing surrounding the sides of the chimney, and saddle flashing for the top.
Another important piece of flashing for a chimney is cap flashing to provide an additional layer of water prevention; it hangs over the edges of the other flashings.
When it comes to a sloped roof or vertical wall, this is the most common type of flashing. Other common features include drip edges to prevent water seepage under the roof’s surface near the eaves.
Integral flashing often accompanies step flashing when there are skylights present on a slope.
This type commonly comes up around the top of areas, including railing attachments and joists and beams that penetrate the exterior walls.
Protecting the valleys in the area in which two roof planes come together, this type is shaped like a “W” and comes over the top-side of the building felt prior to the installation of the roof finishing material.
This type goes over pipes and flues on the roof; it is shaped like a cone with a base flange that fits into the shingles.
Most Common Areas for Leaks
Experts agree that the roof areas that have the highest risk for leaks include the valleys and locations where pipes penetrate the roof surface. The best solution to prevent leaks in these areas is to use an asphalt roofing cement to seal and keep out water. Ensuring the pipes have the proper vent pipe flashing is another way to stop leaks in this area of vulnerability.
Damaged flashing poses another risk for roof leaks. Because it is regularly exposed to the elements, it makes sense that it will experience some wear and tear over time. From cracking and warping to coming loose from the roof, it can have issues that leave your roof unable to do its job to keep your home safe and dry.
Get Answers to Your Questions from Hopewell
How can you make sure your flashing is doing what it’s supposed to do for your roof? The best plan of action is to have a professional roof inspection if you are worried about the roof’s overall performance. Our team at Hopewell Roofing & Restoration is here to help. Connect with us now to get the answers and expert roofing service you need.