Roof flashing is a critical part of the roof's waterproofing system. When roof flashing deteriorates, it can cause a lot of damage if it's not repaired. The more you know about your home's roof flashing, the better prepared you'll be to protect your roof.
The Purpose of Roof Flashing
Roof flashing is a piece of material, often made of galvanized steel or aluminum, that is generally placed in areas of the roof around ventilation pipes, chimneys, skylights, dormer windows and in the valleys.
Roof flashing protects these vulnerable parts of your roof, because these are areas that can be very easily water damaged. In the case of parts that stick up out of the roof, like ventilation pipes, it's very easy for water to roll down the pipe to a spot underneath the shingles. In the valleys, these areas are vulnerable because they channel water as it rolls down the roof. The valleys are also vulnerable because the shingles from two sides of the roof meet and overlap in these areas. Roof flashing provides extra protection to ensure that water does not cause damage in these places.
Signs of Deterioration
Roof flashing that is deteriorating or in need of repair may be rusted, loose or cracked. An untrained eye may have a hard time seeing these things from the ground, but if you walk around on your roof, you may see evidence of this problem more clearly. Over time, the caulking around flashing may also start to deteriorate. The caulking is important on vertical surfaces, because it prevents rainwater from rolling down underneath the flashing.
Differences Between Roof Flashing and Other Types of House Flashing
All flashing does more or less the same thing, which is protect the especially vulnerable parts of your house from rainwater. The flashing found on the side of your house, near the corners and ledges, around the windows, and at the edges of the siding, is doing the same work as the flashing on your roof. This type of flashing may be differently installed and may be made from a different material, but the idea is the same.
Roof Flashing Repair as a DIY Project
Roof flashing can be repaired as a DIY project. However, roof flashing is so important to the protection of your roof that DIY flashing repair is not advised unless you really know what you're doing. When you notice that your flashing is starting to deteriorate, the best thing you can do is call for professional roof services. Contacting a reputable roofer like Russ Lundin Roofing will ensure that the job is done correctly.