The flashing is an understated, but essential part of your roof. Yet, most homeowners don’t even know what it is or why it’s useful for their roofs.
Roof Flashing’s Function
The flashing is a thin strip of waterproof material, usually sheet metal, that’s bent to fit your roof. It’s used to cover gaps between the roof surface and roof penetrations as well as different surfaces, such as walls or shingled areas of your roof.
A Vulnerable Point
However, since gaps and joints are usually the weak points of roofing systems, the flashing is a common source of leaks. You shouldn’t worry too much though; by choosing the right kind of flashing and properly maintaining your roof, you can reduce the risk of roof leaks. Listed below is an overview of the most common flashing materials:
- Sheet metal – Sheet metal is made up of steel, zinc and aluminum alloys, and is the most commonly used material today.
- Aluminum – Thanks to its durability and cost-effectiveness, aluminum flashing is a relatively popular choice. However, alkaline materials like concrete and fiber-cement siding can corrode this metal. Not to mention the copper-rich preservatives used in treating the wood in deck framing can degrade aluminum flashing.
- Lead – Lead flashing is often used in chimneys and other hard-to-reach areas.
- Copper and lead-copper – This is the most expensive option of the four, but it’s also the most durable and isn’t affected by wood preservatives. Copper flashing is a common feature on historic homes. However, it is harder to mold than the other three.
Whichever type of flashing you decide to choose, make sure to only hire a qualified roofing contractor to install flashing. Remember that roof joints – and by extension, the flashing covering them – are the weakest points of your roof so it’s best to leave the installation work to a certified professional.
Looking for qualified contractors in your area?
Renaissance Roofing offers a wide range of professional roofing services, including roof leak repair services. To request a free estimate, call us at (541) 204-1690, or fill out our form here. We serve homeowners in Salem and Eugene, OR, as well as other nearby communities.