You probably are familiar with the shingles on your roof, or whichever other type of covering keeps your home dry and safe. However, amidst these popular materials is the perhaps less popular but equally important roof flashing material.
Flashing is usually a different material from your roof, but it plays an important function to your home by keeping the more vulnerable spots of your roof safe from the weather.
Since flashing is a necessary component of your roof—it can often be found in the spots of your roof where two surfaces meet, such as your roofing and siding, around places like your windows and skylights.
Roof flashing protects the smaller spots that shingles or other covering cannot entirely protect—these spots are especially susceptible to water damage, so it is important that you keep your flashing fresh in order to keep your home dry.
Types of Roof Flashing
There are a number of different types of flashing that you can choose from when either updating your roof or sealing it for the first time.
Selecting the flashing that is right for your home comes down to your budget and the investment you are willing to put forth for a better and lasting material. Here are just a few of the most common options:
- Aluminum: While some materials are stronger and others cost less, aluminum remains the most popular choice of flashing among most homeowners. Aluminum makes a good balance for flashing material if you are on a budget but still want quality.
- Copper: Copper flashing is notoriously the most expensive option of the various flashing materials, but for a good reason. Besides being the strongest of the various types of roof flashing, it is perhaps also the most eye-catching—copper is a great color to match the style of most homes.
- Membrane: Flashing Membrane is a drastically different look than the metal options. It is basically a very strong tape that comes on a roll that can be stuck around windows and more the protect against the elements. It is a relatively cost-effective option as well.
Who Needs Roof Flashing?
There are several parts of your roof that you may not even think about that require flashing, such as around your chimney or around your windows and skylights. Here are some of the main parts of your roof that you should consider applying flashing to:
- Dormer Flashing: The term dormer refers to the part of your home that sticks out of the roof for the placement of a window. It is important to have flashing around the section where the siding of the dormer meets the roof below.
- Skylight Flashing: The area around your skylight is additionally susceptible to damage, so flashing this border is an important consideration. If flashing is done improperly, it is very likely that water will drip through to the room below.
- Chimney Flashing: If your home has a brick chimney, then the space where the brick meets the rest of your roof is a prime location for water and weather damage. Applying flashing in this area is a must to keep the rest of your home dry.
- Other Areas that need Flashing: Roof flashing should be applied to many more places than those listed above—most notably, perhaps, is the valleys of your roof. A comprehensive checkout of your roof by a trustworthy roofing service will help you better understand which parts of your home are susceptible to damage from the weather and should receive special treatment.
Signs The Flashing On Your Roof Should Be Repaired
You are probably aware of the status of your roof’s lifespan—however, your flashing’s lifespan should be considered as well.
In fact, the status of your flashing could be an indicator of the state of your roof. If your flashing is damaged, you can bet that it has sustained the same weather damage that your shingles have.
If you notice any damage on your flashing, it means that your roof might be exposed to serious threats from the weather in these specific areas. Additionally, you can assume that this is not the only damage that your roof has sustained—there is likely damage to the shingles or roof covering that you cannot see from your perspective on the ground.
Flashing damage is, without a doubt, an indicator that you may need roof repairs or an update, so regularly monitoring the quality of your flashing might save you big down the road.
Roofing material is an important consideration, but one thing you additionally must consider is your flashing material. You have a number of types of roof flashing to meet a variety of needs and budgets.
Copper is the highest quality and likely the best looking, but additionally costs the most. Aluminum is a good middle of the road option, while flashing membrane is a lower quality but much cheaper if you are repairing on a budget. When considering what you are going to spend on your material, you need to think about the amount of flashing your house needs in total.
If your roof has many peaks, dormers, skylights, and chimneys, then you know that you need a considerable amount of flashing that will cost more than average.
Regardless of your selection, keep an eye on the state of your flashing as it will prove to be an excellent indicator of the general status of your roofing. Flashing is vital to the protection of your home—by selecting the proper material and keeping tabs on your flashing’s quality, you make an excellent investment in avoiding serious damage and major costs for repairs down the road.
When it comes time to repair your roof, make sure you keep your roof’s flashing at the forefront of your future projects and home maintenance.