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;
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.
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.
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!
Successful roofing application requires that installers adhere to certain proper application methods. It is especially easy for inexperienced roofers and do-it-yourself homeowners to make certain roofing application mistakes simply because they are not aware of the various things that can go wrong. Here is a list of some of the most common mistakes and what can be done to avoid them, thus ensuring a successful roofing project.
Mistake: Not including the starter strip.
Problem: This does not provide the proper shingle application base.
Fix: Apply starter shingles at the rake, continuing along the eaves. The starter shingles should be cut to match the existing first course’s exposure. For new construction shingles, this means a measurement of nine inches. Three-tab repair shingles should measure five inches. Then about six inches off the length of the first shingle should be trimmed to stagger the shingles out from the first full course.
Mistake: Not ensuring that the shingles overhang at the eaves.
Problem: This could contribute to roof blow-off.
Fix: Make sure that the shingles overhang the eaves and rakes by at least one-half of an inch. There should be a spacing of about one-sixteenth of an inch between the shingles. Finish nailing three inches above the eaves, using the proper number of nails according to the geographic wind zone.
Mistake: Not properly aligning the shingles.
Problem: This is not at all aesthetically pleasing.
Fix: Vertical and horizontal shingle alignment will be required. This is best done in new shingle applications by using the chalk line. In repair application, the new shingles should be aligned with the shingles that are already in place. Horizontal chalk lines should be set every 10 inches from the bottom of the first course up. Vertical chalk lines should be set every 36 inches from the roof ridge to each shingle’s end, along the first course.
Mistake: Not properly nailing the shingles.
Problem: This could potentially lead to roof blow-off.
Fix: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations in installing the proper number of shingles for the specific geographic wind zone. Four nails will be required in typical applications of three-tab shingles, but six nails will be required in areas where the wind velocity gets very high.
Placement of the nails is as important as the number of nails being used. Look at the manufacturer’s required placement areas to assess proper placement of the roofing nails. Drive the nails straight into the deck, never nailing from an angle if at all possible.
Know what nail length is needed before roofing application is attempted. Nails should penetrate the deck by at least three-quarters of an inch. Standard roofing nails with barbed shanks are typically 11-gauge or 12-gauge and have heads with diameters anywhere between three-eighths and seven-sixteenths of an inch.
Mistake: Using asphalt-based cements for shingle repair.
Problem: Use of incompatible materials contributes to further shingle damage.
Fix: Apply asphalt-based cement only on the underside of shingles. Damaged shingles with evidence of curling, cracking, opening, or splitting should all be replaced with brand new shingles.
This brief list represents just a few of the things that can go wrong in roofing application. Before attempting anything of this nature on their own, homeowners should consult with the professionals at United Home Experts, who can provide much needed information and advice about the best ways to repair and/or replace a roof and provide free estimates on complete roof replacement.
WHAT IS EPDM?
EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer.
It is a rubber membrane with a single ply that has been a major solution in the low-sloping commercial roof industry for over four decades. It is the most popular choice of architects, consultants and contractors in both new construction and replacement projects because of its value, quality, and other various benefits.
One of the major benefits of this roof type is its outstanding weathering ability. It is both waterproof and hail resistant. Because of this, it is ideal for a variety of climates, including here in the Northeast.
DURABILITY OF CONSTRUCTION
EPDM, because it is made from rubber, is also very flexible and durable. It is able to expand and contract in relation to weather changes, and this ensures that it will hold up better than other roofing solutions over time.
The unique way in which it is formulated ensures that EPDM is virtually resistant to exposure to harmful ozone and UV radiation. It also stands up well to the test of cold cracking. Because it does not rely on plasticizers to achieve flexibility, there is no potential danger of brittle membranes due to future plasticizer loss.
The lifetime costs of EPDM membranes have exceeded other popular low-slope systems, such as built-up roofing, modified bitumen, and thermoplastic that have been mechanically attached.
The durability of the EPDM membrane has also led to very long life expectancy ratings, including over 23 years in covered applications, more than 26 years in exposed applications and an estimated ultimate service life of over 50 years.
EPDM offers a variety of options that enhance energy efficiency to commercial roofing professionals. White EPDM membrane systems have been built with increased UV resistance in mind. These types of systems offer similar performance characteristics to the black EPDM membranes, but with even more energy and environmental benefits. It has become increasingly popular to add white coatings to black EPDM membrane surfaces to extend the life of the roof, increase energy efficiency, and decrease pollution.
EPDM roofs that are ballasted often act the same, in construction, as roof surfaces that are reflective. Although stone ballasts and pavers are not as reflective as white coatings, ongoing industry tests indicate that there is a positive impact on energy usage with this EPDM system type. During the day, the ballast absorbs at the same time as it shades the roof membrane. Then, in the evening hours, the heat is released. Some other EPDM roofing accessories include garden roof systems and photovoltaic panels, which both help to increase a structure’s energy savings.
As is the case with any roofing system, insulation is crucial to ensuring that any building is energy efficient. Adding extra insulation to an EPDM roof can not only increase the effectiveness of a building’s thermal resistance, but it can also eliminate thermal short circuits and potential moisture issues.
With so many roofing options available today, it might seem daunting to choose which one would be best for any individual project. EPDM membranes, however, stand out as the most versatile material, and they have a proven track record that reinforces why this is the best option for nearly any construction project with a sloping roof.
Contact the professionals at United Home Experts today for an expert opinion on your next roofing project.
For more information on rubber roofing, read our Rubber Roofing page!
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