Roof flashing is the roof component responsible for reinforcing the roof areas where the roof’s resistance to the elements is weakened, such as in the areas surrounding skylights, chimneys, vents and other roof openings or where two roof surfaces are joined. Roof flashing is used on all types of roofs, on sloping roofs as well as on flat roofs, whatever material the roof is made from – where there is a sensitive joint or an area where water can penetrate the roof structure, flashing is applied. Here are some more details from Lincoln roofing contractors about roof flashing.
The Materials Used for Roof Flashing
Roof flashing usually consists of stripes of resistant, durable, rust- and corrosion resistant material, such as plastic, rubber, roofing felt or from a metal alloy, such as galvanized steel sheets, copper or aluminum. The most common material used for flashing is galvanized steel, preferred for the affordability, the easy application and the durable protection that it offers. Aluminum flashing is also very popular, especially for DIY applications. Rubberized material is a great choice, but it is somewhat more expensive than the other options, while copper is the priciest type of flashing, used mainly when the roof’s style demands it.
Types of Flashing
Flashing solutions are usually categorized by the place of application:
- Chimney flashing – installed around the chimneys, these flashing solutions use continuous stripes of material around the base of the chimney, step flashing that follows the line of the roof up the sides and cap flashing around the ridge of the roof;
- Skylight flashing – most modern skylights come with integrated flashing, but if your skylights do not include flashing, the components that you need to create and use are the same as in the case of chimney flashing;
- Valley flashing – these components consist of continuous stripes that run underneath and between the roofing components where two roof slopes meet and they are usually applied on top of roofing felt during the initial installation of the roof;
- Vent flashing – the vents applied at the base or at the topmost edge of the roof also need flashing for protection against the penetration of water. Vent flashing is usually cone-shaped and is fixed underneath the shingles, the tiles or the sheets that make up the edge of the roof.
Things that You Should Also Know About
Roof flashing is a component that is made from very durable material, but also one that can fulfill its role only if it is installed and maintained properly. Most flashing types are soldiered onto the layer underneath, but soldiering is not as easy as it seems, so if you don’t have sufficient experience in performing soldiering work, it is a good idea to turn to a professional roofer – don’t worry, flashing installation services are usually available for affordable prices.
The other aspect that you need to pay attention to is maintenance. Flashing takes a lot of beating from the elements, therefore the stripes of protective material on your roof need to be regularly inspected for faults and any issue, such as cracks or loose parts needs to be addressed immediately.