Commonly used near chimneys and vents, flashing is a piece of sheet metal that covers and protects where your roof is weakest. It does this by creating a bridge between shingles and things like pipe vents. The main purpose of flashing is to keep water out of your home. If a contractor installs flashing improperly, doesn’t install it at all or damaged flashing is left unrepaired water will begin penetrating your roof and slowly making its way into unwanted areas of your home.
Why do you need flashing?
In an ideal world, a roof would be one unpenetrated surface, and there would be no worry about water damage. The fact is though that you need to have holes in your roof’s deck, for things like skylights, kitchen vents, and much-needed ventilation. You cannot place a shingle over each of these holes, or you would defeat their purpose! This is where flashing comes in handy. The metal is connected directly to the protruding object, sealing up any gaps and creating a watertight seal.
Flashing types and uses
There are multiple areas where a contractor will use flashing during roofing installation. There is only one proper way to install each form of flashing which is why it is vital that installation is handled by a professional. A few common forms of flashing are listed below.
Drip edges extend 3/4 of an inch past the fascia board at the edge of the roof. These extensions work to direct water runoff directly into the gutters so that no water damage can occur to the roof deck, fascia, or your home’s exterior and interior walls.
Chimney saddles look like a miniature roof built up behind your chimney. The peak of this aluminum saddle, also known as a chimney cricket, is to direct rainwater away, keep melting snow from pooling around the chimney and prevent and debris from the roofs emissions from collecting where they are unwanted.
Pipe penetrations can create significant water problems if not properly sealed with flashing. A contractor will use a metal pipe boot with a flared base to snugly wrap around the pipe and direct water away to run off the shingles surrounding the pipe vent.
Apron and counter flashing are used to seal up the front and sides of chimneys as well as dormers and other wall junctions. They work in conjunction to transition between a roof slope and a roof penetration. Apron flashing is the name for the l-shaped piece which extends out from the front of the penetration while counter flashing runs along the sides and overlaps the apron to create a water-resistant seal.
Valley flashing helps to reinforce the spots where two planes of your home’s roof meet. These valleys are notorious for developing leaks over time as downpours can swiftly deposit large amounts of water directly into these areas. This is why properly installed flashing is vital to ensure the life of your roof.
Contact the roofing experts at Pro Home Improvement f you would like more information on roof flashing. Call us today at 888-776-1998 or schedule a roof estimate to get the best insights and assistance for your roofing needs.