All About Roof Flashing [Roofing 101]

WHAT EXACTLY IS ROOF FLASHING?

Flashing is a continuous series of thin pieces of sheet metal or other waterproof material that is installed to keep water from getting into a building from a vulnerable angle or joint.

HOW ROOF-FLASHING WORKS AND WHAT IT DOES

  • It typically operates under the principle that, in order for water to get through a joint, it must fight against gravity and work its way up.
  • In the case of hard rain that is being driven by the wind, the driving force of the heavy rain would have to be diminished.
  • Roof flashing can be installed in one of two ways. It can either be concealed or exposed on the outside of a building’s roof.

EXPOSED ROOF FLASHING

Flashing that is exposed is usually made of sheet metal. This is how flashing got its name: the metal material catches the sunlight and reflects it, creating an eye-popping, flashing effect.

The sheet metals are generally made from the following metals;

  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Lead or Lead-coated Copper
  • Painted Galvanized Steel Stainless steel
  • Terne metal
  • Zinc alloy

CONCEALED ROOF FLASHING

Concealed flashing is usually made of either sheet metal or a waterproofing membrane.

The waterproofing membranes are generally made from materials such as fabric made from bituminous coal or sheet material made from plastic.

Which type of membrane is used really depends on the climate and on the building’s structural requirements.

Aluminum and lead are not recommended for use as concealed flashing materials because they experience adverse chemical reactions when coming in contact with cement mortar.

Copper is one of the best metal materials to use for exterior flashing because it is durable and malleable. Using copper in any roofing project will ensure that no weak points exist in the roofing structure. As opposed to some other flashing materials, copper will not destruct if exposed for long periods to sunlight.

THE 2 MAIN TYPES OF ROOF-FLASHING

Flashing that is placed around objects that stick out from a building’s roof, like chimneys or pipes, to keep water
from pooling at joints or seams by forcing it to run off.

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Roof penetration flashing is used around cables, pipes, and supports to waterproof these vulnerable areas by providing a protective barrier.

ROOF-FLASHING FOR THE HOMEOWNER

1. Brands and Services

There are many types and brands of flashing available on the market, but homeowners may have trouble deciding between all the different brands and styles.

2. DIY Flashing

Flashing is a difficult project that is essential to execute with great precision, so it is a good idea for homeowners to seek professional help rather than try to do it themselves.

3. Technicalities

The flashing has to be carefully constructed and strategically placed so that water is definitely deflected away from the roof’s trouble spots and not into the underlying structure of the roof (and the home).

4. Improper Execution

Flashing installation done by nonprofessionals can lead to all sorts of trouble for the homeowner and the home, including mold, water seepage, leaks and structural damage.

The trustworthy professionals at United Home Experts are specially trained in all aspects of roofing, so they know all the best types of flashing and are able to install it correctly, ensuring a quality roof maintenance or construction job for any home. Homeowners can contact them for a free estimate and expert advice before undertaking any roof project. For more information about roofs, visit our main roofing page!