What Is Flashing?

If your roof is leaking and a roofing contractor comes to inspect it, the company might discover that it is leaking due to worn-out flashing. If you do not know a lot about roofs, you probably will not understand what this even means. Flashing is a normal part of almost every roof, and it is something that can wear out and needs to be replaced over time. Here are several important things to understand about flashing.

Flashing Is a Material Used for Covering Joints

The majority of roofs on homes are made with asphalt shingles. Shingles are durable and look good, and they are used to cover most of a roof. There are areas, though, where shingles are not used on a roof. Instead, other materials are used to protect these certain areas of roofs, and one of these materials is called flashing.

A roofing company will place flashing on areas of the roof where there are joints. A joint can be there for a number of reasons, and flashing is always used for these areas.

Flashing can be made of a number of different materials. In most cases, though, it is made of galvanized steel or aluminum. Without flashing, your home's roof would be more prone to leaks.

Areas Where Flashing Is Used

Because flashing is used to cover joints, there are different types of flashing products. Here are some of the most common areas where roofers use flashing:

  1. Valleys – A valley is an area where two roofs meet. A valley could easily collect water, and water sitting on shingles would damage it. To prevent damage, a roofer will place valley flashing in all valleys on a roof. If water sits on the flashing in a valley, it will not be able to penetrate through and destroy anything.
  2. Chimney – If your home has a chimney, the roofer will place flashing around it. Shingles would not be enough protection around an opening like this, but flashing is.
  3. Pipes – Roofers also place flashing material around all pipes found on a roof. Pipes are found on most roofs, as they serve as vents for plumbing systems and other things in a home.
  4. Skylights – If you have a skylight on your roof, it will leak if it does not have flashing around it.

No matter what type of openings you have on your roof, flashing is a necessity. It will reduce the risks of leaks occurring, but it can wear out.

Flashing Does Not Last Forever

Just like shingles and other roofing materials, flashing will not last forever. Over time, it can corrode, wear out, pull up, or blow off. If your flashing is not securely in place and in good condition, you might start seeing leaks in your roof. The biggest problem with roof leaks is that it often takes a while to notice they are there. From the time when a leak starts to the point when you notice it, damage can take place.

When flashing wears out, it must be replaced, and you can have it replaced by hiring a roofing company to examine it and repair the bad spots. When a roofer installs new flashing, he or she will make sure it is put in place so that it encourages water to exit the area and fall down the roof and into the gutters on your home.

If you know you have a leak on your roof or if you suspect that you might, you should hire a roofing company. Your roof might be in good condition, but the flashing might be worn out. Contact a roofing company today to learn more about residential roof repairs.