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What Is Roof Flashing & Why Is It Important

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Metal roof flashings work together with your roof shingles to protect the most important areas, no matter the types of roof your home has.

What is roof flashing?

Roof flashings are a thin metal that’s keeps moisture out and protects against high speed winds. Flashings are made in a variety of materials, with the most commonly used being aluminum and copper. It’s custom sheet metal bent into place and then sealed up to prevent issues like roof leaks.

Why do you need roof flashing?

Flashings are the protection your roof requires to prevent leaks. It's applied to the edges, around the pipes, the chimney, and anywhere the roof is privy to leaks. Each area requires different type of flashings, but it's all roof flashing nonetheless.

Damage From Roof Leaks

Roof leaks can cause moisture to build up and seep into the attic space and insulation. This may make its way through the insulation and even cause mold growth and drywall damage, resulting in very expensive repairs. This can involve hiring a mold remediation pro and rebuild parts of your house's basic framing.

When water comes in contact with drywall in a ceiling or wall of your home, the sheetrock soaks up water and can become saturated with water. Attic moisture and wet drywall can be a breeding ground for mold, which can make people in the house sick. Removing mold is not easy, and after it's removed; the affected drywall will most likely have to be removed and replaced.

When a roof leak drips onto flooring it can do significant damage to the floors as well. Carpeted floors, like your attic and drywall, are at risk for mold growth. The carpet material and padding underneath act like sponges and soak up water and hold onto it, creating another area vulnerable to mold and fungus. Wood floors can also be damaged from water, causing stains and warping.

According to the FEMA, damaged or improperly installed roof flashing, especially around the chimney, roof cricket or dormer, is one of the most common causes of roof leaks and could lead to wood rot and even deck collapse.

Which areas require roof flashings?

Some areas of your roof are more prone to leaks and water damage. These include roof edges near the gutters, the area where a siding wall meets the roof, and chimney and skylight perimeters— anywhere water flow is heavy or where two opposing surfaces meet.

  • Chimney flashing

  • Drip edge

  • Step flashing

  • Vent pipe flashing

  • Skylight flashing

  • Kick-out flashing

Chimney Flashings- Creates a watertight connection between the roof and the chimney. These metals will last a long time, but not forever. Make sure to have your chimney flashing inspected periodically.

Drip Edge- Helps control the flow of water into the gutter and away from the fascia. It’s a small metal flange that overhangs the edge(s) of your roof and protects the underlying roof components.

Step Flashings- Protects the area between the roof and a vertical wall from hidden water leaks that can may go unnoticed for years. Step flashing must be woven into the shingles to perform properly.

Vent Pipe Flashings- Used to seal around pipes that penetrate through the roof, which are common places for roofing leaks. Flashing boots have a flexible rubber collar to keep water from infiltrating around vent pipes.

Skylight Flashings- The first layer of protection, keeping as much moisture on the surface of the roof. Skylight flashing is ultimately what gives Grapevine Pro customers the confidence to install skylights on their roof.

Kickout Flashings- Special type of flashing installed at the edge of a sloped roof where it’s met by a wall. The metal is custom bent to divert the water away from the wall.

What determines the roof flashings for your home?

Roof flashings applications are not a one-size-fits-all and some methods are better for certain roofs than others. It depends on the layout of your roof and roofing materials being installed. Your roofing expert will be able to discuss your options with you to come up with which flashing options and methods are best for your roof.

To learn more about roof flashings, give Grapevine Pro a call at 732-335-7770.

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