When it comes to protecting your roof and keeping your home safe, roof flashing is a major priority. This protection can make all the difference if you want to enjoy a robust and sturdy structure.
When done right, your roof will be able to withstand wilder weather for years to come. The alternative? Finding your roof in constant need of repair or replacement.
Here at Paramount Exteriors, we make your roof our primary concern. Our team can help you with repairs and adaptations, and have the skills you need to secure a strong, reliable shelter. Contact us today and see how we can help!
What Is Roof Flashing?
So before we go any further, it is essential to get the basics in order: what is roof flashing, and how does it work?
In the simplest terms, flashing refers to a protective seal that is placed on and around your roof. This feature can then help prevent water intrusion at key areas, including vents, skylights, chimneys, and dormers. At these points, the roof is most vulnerable; water has a higher chance of sneaking in and causing severe moisture damage.
Experts will usually recommend installing roof flashing at all ‘roof penetrations.’ In short, this refers to any edges, valleys, and joints used to make up your roof. Intersections and projections on the roof must also be treated, along with grooves or gaps.
All of these areas are prone to allowing water to enter your home, which can cause long term damage.
What Is Flashing Made Of?
Flashing can be made from a range of materials, but a rust-resistant metal is often the most popular choice. Many manufacturers opt for galvanized sheet metal such as steel or aluminum – the latter is especially popular with DIY fans.
In some cases, flashing may be constructed from roofing felt, plastic or rubber, but these are far less common.
Which Flashing Do I Need?
There are several different options available when it comes to roof flashing. Ultimately, your decision will depend mainly on the aspect of your roof which requires attention.
The main types are:
- Chimney Flashing
As the name suggests, this sits around the base of the chimney in several different parts. The bottom will have continuous flashing, the sides step flashing, and the top saddle flashing. Your installer will also add cap flashing over the top edge of these – this helps prevent any water from running behind them.
- Continuous Flashing
This option helps to protect the vulnerable joint between a sloped roof and a vertical wall. Continuous flashing can be useful if you live in an area with high rainfall.
- Drip Edges
These are useful for protecting the eaves of your home and can help stop water from seeping in under the roofing. If this happens, you could be facing issues with damp, mold, and mildew.
If you have a skylight, it may contain its own flashing. In some cases, you may need to repeat the flashing requires for chimneys, as discussed above. This protection helps prevent water from entering via the skylight and damaging your property.
- Step Flashing
This type is a significant form of protection and is applied where the roof meets the side of a skylight, chimney, or dormer. All of these areas are vulnerable to leaks, and so a series of metal pieces are used, each overlapping its predecessor. Ultimately, this creates a more robust, secure example of flashing, making it hard for any stray rainwater to sneak in.
- Valley Flashing
As the name suggests, this protects a valley where two roof planes meet. If water is allowed to build up in this area over a sustained period of time, it can damage the structure. In some cases, homeowners have seen their roof collapse under the weight of built-up water.
Valley flashing places a W shaped channel over the top of the building felt, and beneath the finishing material of the roof. As a result, the protection is built-in and super secure.
- Vent Pipe Flashing
Flues and pipes can also be culprits for allowing water into your home. It is important, therefore, that you make the most of flashing here too. This type is a cone-shape and is added into the shingles as the roofing is applied.
Once again, this helps to ensure a snug, secure fit. It also allows the prevention of water to be a key part of your properties infrastructure.
Do I Need Roof Flashing?
If you live in an area prone to storms, heavy rain, and high winds, it is a good idea to invest in roof flashing. Over time, repeated exposure to the elements takes its toll on your roof.
Water can take a chance to seep in and can cause expensive long-term damage. Taking the time to install flashing early on can help to reduce the chances of costly repairs later on.
Can I Do It Myself?
Homeowners can install their own flashing, but this is generally only recommended if you have the experience to do so. The majority of the time, this is a chore best left to the experts.
The purpose of flashing is to help protect your home and roof from water damage. As a result, it is crucial that the installation is correct.
If flashing is incorrectly installed, you may find that your roof joints begging to deteriorate prematurely. Over time, this leads to the weakening of the roof, and you may be at a higher risk of collapse.
For the best results, the flashing should be installed alongside a whole new roof. Doing so offers you the best protection from the get-go. By calling in the pros, you can ensure that the job is done right the first time.
How Can We Help?
Here at Paramount Exteriors, we have the skills and experience you need to get your roof safe, secure and watertight. We will be able to select the best flashing for your needs and install where needed in no time.
We strive to be the perfect roofing contractor for all of your roofing needs.
Get in touch today for a free consultation with one of our team. Let us see how we could help protect your family and enjoy a safe, secure roof for many years to come.