Roof flashing is the strip of material that’s installed on the areas of your roof that are usually susceptible to water leaks, such as the area around the bottom of the chimney. Whether it’s a residential roof repair or a commercial roof replacement, roof flashing is an important part of any roofing system.
How Roof Flashing Came to Be
Before sheet metal was commercially viable, installing roof flashing wasn’t easy. A number of materials were used, such as birch bark. But because of the arduous effort needed when producing and installing, it wasn’t always practical so alternative methods were used instead. One method that was popular at the time was angling shingles away from the joints, but it wasn’t always effective. Today, aside from sheet metal, flashing is available in other options, such as rubber and copper.
How Flashing Protects Your Roof
Without flashing, you’re bound to have leaks sooner or later. Depending on the type of material used, it also allows the walls and roof of your home to contract and expand whenever the temperature changes, preventing any cracks and leaks from forming. Other areas that need flashing are the following:
- Chimneys – A special type of flashing is actually needed for chimneys. Step flashing are small pieces of sheet metal that’s used to direct water away from the chimney. The sheet metal can be shaped in a way that fits snuggly against the roof and side of the chimney, and they’re installed in overlapping “steps” along its side.
- Valleys – These are the areas where two slopes of the roof meet. It’s important to install flashing here since both slopes direct water into the valley, which is then directed down towards the gutters. Even during light rain, water will tend to gather in these areas. Without the proper flashing, the valleys are the first areas where water will leak through and damage the inner structure.
- Skylights – This is done by installing a continuous strip of sheet metal on each side of the skylight. Rubber gaskets are also installed beneath the flashing as part of the installation process. This is to ensure the airtight seal needed by the skylight.
If you don’t wish to spend on costly repairs later on, consider hiring a contractor who specializes in top-notch roofing services to inspect your roof and install the right flashing material where it’s needed. Call Hill Roofing Corporation today at (703) 754-0964, or you can also contact us through our convenient online request form. We serve Manassas and nearby areas.