Hello again and welcome to the Professional Roofer’s blog! It’s been a doozy of a month weather wise, so we decided to create a little more light reading for you as you curl up indoors with a hot tea or cup of cocoa and think of warmer times. In preparation for the spring and summer, and in continuation with our series from last month, we at Professional Roofers are discussing more of the technical components that make up your roof, and why they’re important. In this blog, we have decided to focus on flashing, since it can be critical to the integrity of your roof and keeping all that nasty snow and hail out, out, out!
For those of you who don’t know (don’t worry, you’re not alone), the flashing is the pieces (usually aluminum or galvanized steel) that are used to protect the vulnerable edges of your roof. Anywhere two different materials or slopes intersect on your roof, you should find metal flashing there, covering the joint and protecting it. The “bones” or framing of most houses are, after all, generally made from wood, and if these intersecting or connecting areas were left exposed, then rain and moisture from the elements would be allowed to enter the cracks between them, inevitably causing rot and serious structural damage to your home. Metal flashing is used to cover those cracks and protect the brick or wooden structure beneath, kind of like how a Band-Aid protects your wounds.
Hopefully by now you are starting to appreciate the importance of a quality flashing job on your home and why we at Professional Roofers feel as though it is one of the most important parts of any roof. Moisture is absolutely the enemy of any home, and it is important to ensure it is never allowed to penetrate through to the bones of your home.
There are many different variations of flashing, but they are all relatively just variations of the same thing – metal pieces that are used to protect joints in your home. Flexing base is a form of flashing that prevents leaks and creates a nice finish around plumbing vents. Step flashing is a piece of metal that is at least 5” high and 4” wide, which is used between roof plains and vertical walls that connect to it. The chimney variation is (you guessed it) used to connect chimneys to your roof. The valley variety protects the joints where two roof slopes meet. The vent-pipe kind fits over flues and pipes to protect the area around them. Even skylights have it, although they often have their own integral variation of it around them as well.
As you can see, flashing is an incredibly necessary component of your roof. Once you know what to look for, you will suddenly start seeing it everywhere you look! Generally there are only two main problems that homeowners might encounter regarding their flashing: either the metal or material itself is starting to deteriorate, or it is starting to pull away from the wall, roof, or chimney along the edges. If you notice an issue on your home flashing, don’t hesitate to contact us right away so that we can evaluate the problem and fix it before it causes serious damage to your home.