The Importance of Roof Flashing

Why Flashing Is an Essential Part of Your Roof System

Your roof is designed to keep your home protected from the elements, which means sun, rain, and other forms of precipitation. Modern roofing, when installed correctly, is more than equal to the task. You can expect your roof to last at least fifteen years.

But let’s shift our focus to roof flashing. These are areas where leaking is more likely.

Flashing is put in place to shore up the weaker areas and ensure that they are adequately protected. Your roof is most vulnerable wherever there is:

  • A joint: This is wherever one slope meets another. So, if there are valleys in the roof, the peak and the joint at the bottom are what we are talking about.
  • A penetration: This is where you have a chimney, skylight, dormer window, or vent. It’s anything that breaks the integrity of the roof seal.

The problem with joints and penetrations is that the joined areas are weaker, and they might allow water to leak through. That’s where flashing becomes essential. It’s highly resistant to water, and it’s designed to redirect any precipitation down to your gutters.

The idea is to get rid of the water before it has a chance to settle and potentially seep through the roof.

What is Roof Flashing Made From?

Here’s where a little bit of history is quite interesting. Before we had sheet metal, birch bark was often used as a crude form of flashing. There weren’t many materials that were available, and installing the flashing was extremely difficult and expensive.

At that stage, it was more common to strengthen the joints using mortar or angling the shingles away from a joint.

Sheet metal changed all of that, and it became very popular. Initially lead was used and, surprisingly enough, is still used in some cases. Lead may be toxic, but it lasts for centuries and is a good option in areas where access is difficult.

Copper is another highly durable metal, but it can become expensive. As a result, you’ll usually only see it used in high-end builds or historic renovations. Alloys of zinc, aluminum, and steel are more commonly used as they are effective, and they’re a lot less expensive.

Another alternative that has become popular recently is the use of plastic or rubber. These are simpler to install than metal, and they’re cheaper to buy. There is a downside, though. Neither lasts as long as sheet metal.

Is Flashing Essential?

As you’ll have seen in the previous sections, it is possible to go without flashing if you’re willing to get creative about the design of your roof. All things considered, though, without proper flashing, you can run the risk of leaks in your roof.

Overall, flashing is cheaper to install than using extra loads of mortar or reorienting the shingles.

Final Notes on Flashing

Flashing will help to redirect water from the weaker areas of your roof. As a result, it helps to keep the interior of the house better protected, and it should be considered an essential part of any roof replacement. If you need a skilled roofer who understands the importance of roof flashing, as well as every other important aspect of your roof, look not further than the skilled team here at Mancilla Roofing & Construction. We look forward to speaking with you about protecting your home from the elements!

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