What does flashing on a roof look like?
There are many components to a residential roof besides the roofing shingles we see, and roof flashing is one of those components, and important one. What is it and is roof flashing necessary? Roof flashing is typically a flat, thin metal, most commonly aluminum, but it also is available in copper or steel.
A roof with flashing is a must if you want security in knowing your roof won’t leak. Roof flashing is found around areas that are prone for leaks like around the chimney, skylight, and vents or other vulnerable areas of a roof. Roof flashing and gutters work together as well to keep water flowing off the roof, out and away from the home. It is also installed where walls meet inside the home and the roof has different levels or pitches.
Water and roofs don’t always get along which is one reason roof flashing is so important. Major weather events are a threat to roofs and without roof flashing, the water can enter your home in the way of a leak at walls, around the chimney or skylight, or around any pipes and vents protruding from your roof.
There are four types of roof flashing, each having an important role in keeping rain from coming into your home and flow off and away from your home, working with the gutter system. Some homes only need one or two of these roof flashing types, and some homes need all four:
- The Drip Edge Roof Flashing: Along the eaves you’ll find drip edge flashing. This prevents water from a gutter that is overfilled from seeping up under the roof edge and shingles. Without drip edge roof flashing, rain could get under the last shingle or enter under the shingles from a sideway direction. Without drip edge roof flashing, the first damage will be the fascia board, causing it to rot and mold forms and spreads. The next thing damaged is the roof deck and then the drywalls inside your home.
- The Valley Roof Flashing: Your roofing contractor will install a felt underlayment over the roof decking, then the roof flashing is installed, followed by the shingles or other roofing material. The valleys are where the two parts of a roof meet, forming a valley. Roof valleys are a key area for shingles to erode without roof flashing, then the roof leaks happen. With roof flashing in the V or W part of a roof, the water runs off to the drip edge roof flashing, into the gutter and away from the house.
- The Vent Pipe Roof Flashing: This roof flashing is a special type that fits tightly around pipes that come through the roof top. These vents create a weak point for a roof and without roof flashing snugly fit over the round pipes flange, roof leaks start round these protruding areas.
- The Step Roof Flashing: Any chimney or skylight should have roof flashing installed around it so that water moves past it and to the gutter. Step roof flashing is a scale-type arrangement of roof flashing pieces overlapping tightly with each other, slipped under each layer of shingles in the ascending direction.
Does flashing go over or under shingles?
The type of flashing, as described above, will determine how the roof flashing is installed. For step flashing, it is installed before any siding, allowing the siding to cover the roof flashing. If this is a new roof or roof repair job, the siding is removed then replaced with the step roof flashing. The step roof flashing should extend eight to fourteen inches above the shingles.
Roof flashing around a chimney is typically installed beneath the shingles then secured with roofing cement to the chimney. Using roofing caulk, seal the intention so the counter flashing is securely hung.
Roof flashing around the plumbing vent is placed so that the flashing rests on top of the shingles and under the rubber boot around the vent. Use a sealant to hold the roof flashing in place. Then new shingles should be placed over the roof flashing and roofing cement applied under the shingles before nailing.
How do you fix roof flashing?
Often when you have a roof leak, the roof flashing is leaking and can often be an easy fix. For roof flashing that has corroded spots or small holes, patch any holes with the same type of flashing that is three-fourth inch diameter and plug the holes with roofing cement.
Using sandpaper, go around the hole to rough the roof flashing and then wipe clean with dry rage. With roofing cement, go over any holes and patches.
Of the roof flashing is bad, replace it after removing a few shingles. Once the new flashing is in place, replace the shingles. These types of roof flashing repairs are best done by a roofing contractor.
Do roofers replace flashing?
Yes, and in many cases, as described above, when the flashing is missing or severely damaged, it is best to hire a roofing contractor to do the roof flashing replacement.
Are there roof flashing alternatives?
We mentioned in the start of this article that roof flashing is typically thin strips of aluminum, copper, or steel material. Because of metal theft, the market is seeing an increase in lead free roof flashing that many homeowners and roofing contractors are choosing.
Lead alternatives are rolls of products made from a modified bitumen type of material that is placed around a metal grid that gives it structural support. The grid makes it rigid yet keeps it malleable and the bitumen gives a standard roof flashing appearance. Call 817-349-0016 today for your roof flashing needs in Fort Worth, TX.