How Does Roof Flashing Prevent Leaks?
Posted on Sunday, May 1st, 2022 at 4:24 pm
If you are a homeowner, you may not be familiar with the various components that make up a roof. As a result, you may be confused about what aspect of the roof’s structure is the root cause of leaks in your home.
In many cases, the likely culprit is the roof’s flashing. This is one of the key parts of the roof that prevents water damage to your home. When flashing fails, leaks happen.
What Is Roof Flashing?
Roof flashing is material that roofers apply to roof features where leaks are likely to occur. Most notably, this tends to be at the joints between different parts of the roof. It is also used where the roof connects to skylights, chimneys, or vents. Flashing directs rainwater and other precipitation into gutters or off the roof so that water does not collect anywhere, especially in vulnerable places.
In general, flashing is made up of sheet metal but also can be composed of aluminum, copper, plastic (PVC), or custom synthetic materials. Most importantly, it must be made of materials that are resistant to corrosion.
Do All Roofs Require Flashing?
Whether your roof is a slate, shingle, metal, or flat roof installation, flashing is the first line of defense against the possibility of stormwater leaking into your home.
Many homeowners who are not aware of the importance of the various aspects of a roof’s integrity may end up hiring roofers who are inexperienced or unqualified. This can lead to corner-cutting, such as neglecting to install proper flashing to the parts of the roof that need it. While this may seem like it saves money in the short term, the water damage that may occur to your home might potentially cost you thousands of dollars’ worth of damage.
How Various Types of Roof Flashing Work
The type of flashing your roof will require depends on a variety of factors. A qualified professional roofer will be able to help you determine which of the following forms of roof flashing will work best for your home:
- Drip edge – This form of flashing prevents water from moving up under the shingles of your roof. It is installed along the eaves, where the roof hangs over the siding of the building.
- Ridge flashing – The ridge is the line that is the highest point of your roof, often used for ventilating the attic. Ridge flashing covers up the ventilation area to prevent precipitation from getting into the house.
- Step flashing – Step flashing is required for all homes with a chimney. It protects the area around the chimney from stormwater flowing in.
- Valley flashing – The valley of a roof is the place where two sloped roofs meet each other. Due to its lower position relative to other parts of the roof, it is a common place for water to start collecting during a rainstorm. Valley flashing provides a conduit for the water so that it does not travel directly on the shingle. By reducing the possibility that water will collect in this area, valley flashing prevents water from penetrating the roof valley.
- Vent pipe flashing – Vents are another area that can be vulnerable to roof leaks if effective flashing is not installed. Vent pipe flashing is situated at the base of the ventilation pipes that emerge from your roof so that water cannot seep through.
The Consequences of Poor Flashing
Having inadequate flashing on your roof can lead to serious leaks, which can, in turn, lead to serious damage to your home. This can include:
- Structural damage from wood rot
- Ceiling collapse
- Waterlogged drywall and carpets, which can lead to mold and fungi
- Floor damage
All these problems are far more costly to fix than they are to prevent by installing effective roof flashing.
Hire a Qualified Roofing Team with Experience
Installing or repairing a roof on your home is not a DIY project. Aside from the specialized knowledge that is required to ensure that flashing is installed properly, there is always a risk of falling and hurting yourself badly.
Nor is it safe to leave it to someone who does not have the proper qualifications or experience to ensure that your roof has the integrity it needs to keep your home safe from leaks. The stakes are simply too high.
Luckily, if you are in Austin, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, or Denver, the quality roof repair and installation specialists of Kidd Roofing have the attitude and skills necessary to perform the roofing work you need. Contact Kidd Roofing today at (866) 671-7791 or fill in our online form. We look forward to helping you with your residential or commercial roofing needs.