Flashing; Why it matters

Your roofing system protects your home or business by ensuring a dry interior. While most people appreciate the importance of repairing holes in the roof, they sometimes fail to appreciate the significance of maintaining the flashing in good condition. This brief article will discuss the reasons why this material deserves close attention.

What is Roof Flashing

Typically, flashing consists of strips of galvanized steel or aluminum. Roofing companies apply it to provide extra protection around places where roof surfaces join together, for example along the tops of dormers and roof joints. Flashing will also frequently help waterproof locations where the roof opens to accept other structures; such as chimneys, skylights or elevated vents. Flashing performs an important role in roofing systems. It safeguards edges where leaks frequently cause significant damage.

Today, some manufacturers even offer specialized styles of flashing for specific areas of a rooftop. For instance, some skylights also produce specific flashing for their products. Similarly, uniquely pre-formed metal flashing may help protect vent pipes, eaves and other structures on the roof. Roofing system designers frequently include flashing in their plans.

Why Flashing Matters

Flashing plays an especially important role for several reasons. First, when heavy winds gust across a rooftop, flashing may eventually loosen. If you hear metallic rattling from the roof, it often indicates a problem with bent or loose flashing. Second, since flashing protects vulnerable areas of roofing systems, insecure or missing flashing may permit the development of leaks.

Water leaks around roof flashing may (or may not) become quickly apparent inside the dwelling. While most homeowners will notice the development of rain staining around a skylight, leaks developing over joints in the roof may not become visible immediately. Sometimes rainwater penetrates through loose flashing into walls, for instance.

The Importance of Periodic Roof Inspections

Since flashing covers vulnerable parts of a roofing system, it usually makes sense to request anyone inspecting the roof to pay close attention to this material. By keeping flashing in good shape, you’ll help secure your roof against unwelcome water leaks more effectively. In some cases, a roofer can correct a problem with loose flashing simply by re-attaching the flashing or replacing it.

Alabama homeowners should give consideration to flashing following heavy winds and hail storms. If you notice rattling sounds coming from the roof during a breeze, for instance, you may find it helpful to schedule a roof inspection promptly. It usually costs much less to replace damaged flashing than to fix leaks which have developed around exposed roof surfaces. Keeping your home’s flashing secure ultimately helps extend the lifespan of the roofing system!