Your roof is made of layers of different materials, and each serves an important purpose in keeping your house sealed and safe. This is primarily to prevent leaks from damaging your building materials and interior. For this same reason, roofs offer an overhang designed to specifically redirect water away from the structure of the house. Vents, upper windows, chimneys, and skylights also must be carefully included in the weatherproofing design of any home. Flashing is what your roof uses to connect all the pieces, covering seams in roof assets and ensuring that your waterproofing prevents 100% of leaks. Properly installed flashing is important because doing it wrong can leave these seams, and your home, unprotected.
What is Flashing?
Flashing can be made of sheet metal, plastic, or composite materials. Almost anywhere your roof has a detail, there's probably flashing. It must also be used on valleys where two roof planes meet and on overhangs because these areas direct more water than usual. This functions as a waterproof patch over places that might otherwise leak.
Damaged and Detached Flashing
There are several ways your flashing can be compromised. Old flashing may have decayed over time, facing continuous exposure to heat and moisture. Metals are more likely to corrode, while exposed plastic flashing will deteriorate in direct sunlight. Warping and compromised material can lead to leaks, but the cause may not be apparent upon first examination. Unfortunately, not all installations are equal. Insufficiently secured flashing can detach and create gaps for water to get into your home. This too can be difficult to detect, but the signs of leaks are unmistakable.
Water Damage and Mold
Because the flashing's primary purpose is to waterproof, water damage is the natural consequence of damaged flashing. Flashing leaks around skylights and dormer windows may be easily identified, but leaks around the chimney, vents, or roof valleys may be less easy to spot. Keep an eye out for signs of pooling or seeping water. If these issues are not taken care of promptly, mold often quickly follows. If you identify the leak by the smell of mold, you may already need to repair water damage.
Whether you have noticed damage or simply suspect that your flashing is no longer secure, don't wait! Every time it rains, the leaks will compound your risk for water damage. Contact us for expert flashing inspection and replacement services.