What is Roof Flashing?

Blog | May 5th, 2021

Flashing is a flat, thin metal roofing material that prevents water from getting under roof shingles, a situation that can lead to potentially costly roof leaks if left unchecked.

Common types of flashing materials used in roofing are aluminum, copper, stainless steel and galvanized steel.

Flashing is a vital component of any roofing system, designed to protect your home from water damage, wood rot and mold. Significant water runoff can occur in roof valleys and around chimneys, eaves, vents, roof ridges, dormers and the perimeters of skylights.

To protect the investments of homeowners, roof flashing should be replaced whenever evidence of direct water entry or corrosion of previously installed flashing is detected. Failure to act under such circumstances can result in areas of your roof needing to be replaced. 

In extreme cases, chronic leaks can cause structural damage to joists, beams and internal walls. Roof replacement may even be necessary.

When installed by expert roofing contractors, the lifespan of flashing is between 15 and 20 years. Ensuring the integrity of your roof surface represents an important aspect of ongoing property maintenance and home improvement.

The skills and knowledge of a professional roofer are particularly important when navigating various roof slopes, chimney flashing, vent pipe flashing, kickout flashing, apron flashing and other roof features that may be unique to your home. 

For example, step flashing is rectangular and bent 90 degrees in the center. It is used for roof to wall flashing and installed in layers with shingles to ensure water flows away from walls.

Another type of flashing are drip edges. These are L-shaped pieces of metal flashing that divert water away from fascia boards and into rain gutters.

Depending on the roofing material, base flashing can be installed a few different ways. For example, when the roof meets the wall of a dormer, underlayment is run up the side of the wall for a few inches. Then the roof covering is installed.

With composite asphalt shingles, the flashing is installed on top, with another layer of shingles sometimes added for aesthetics. 

These practices create several layers of protection at the most vulnerable parts of a roof. Counter flashing, which may also be used for extra protection, is when pieces of flashing are installed vertically over base flashing, but continues a few more inches up the wall.

Different types of flashing are used on different areas of the roof. Depending on the roofing material, base flashing can be installed in several ways. For instance, when a roof meets the wall of a dormer, underlayment is run up the side of the wall for a few inches. 

When composite asphalt shingles are used, the flashing is installed on top, then sometimes another layer of shingle tabs may be installed for aesthetic reasons. 

Because roofing needs can differ greatly from one home to another, the advice of professional roofers is all the more important. 

If you are concerned about your roof flashing, or suspect that your roof may leaking, contact Acme Roofing today for a consultation and free estimate.

Acme Roofing provides the highest quality roofing services in the South Sound Region. We take pride in delivering the best roofing services. Our local roofers are highly trained and experienced and offer the reliable services you can depend on for a strong and sturdy roofing system.

For more information about flashing or other services, please visit Acme Roofing‘s website: https://acmeroofingwa.com/contact-roofing-contractor-tacoma/

 

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