Well-Maintained Flashing: Roof Performance is More Than Just Shingles

While shingles are the roofing components that receive the most attention because they’re prominent in appearance – protecting the roof surface and covering the largest portion of the exterior surface of most homes. But there’s a much smaller component that plays a critical role in how an asphalt shingle roof performs – the flashing.

Flashing is an impervious material that’s designed to prevent water damage where there is an opening in roofing and masonry as well as around exterior doors and windows. Step-flashing, which is used most commonly where a wall meets a roof, or a chimney penetrates a roof deck, is usually a thin material like aluminum or steel, but can also be copper or zinc. In plumbing ventilation, a plastic flashing is sometimes placed over the vent pipe and sealed with roof cement in order to prevent water from entering around these openings.

It’s important that flashing is correctly installed. Sometimes when a home is re-roofed using one layer of shingles over another, a roofer may leave the existing flashing intact. However, if the flashing is damaged or worn it can render the entire roof replacement ineffective because it lets water and snow in where it can cause damage. An experienced roofing contractor in Flint will know when flashing needs to be replaced and how to install it correctly in any residential roof project.

It’s also important to keep flashing well-maintained. Since the main purpose of flashing is to prevent water penetration in key areas where walls and masonry meet the roof, checking the flashing seasonally is best to prepare for weather extremes, even if you’re not anticipating a roof replacement. There are times when weather or wear caused the flashing to split or come loose. Waiting too long to notice this can lead to expensive repairs.

It’s best to have a professional roofing contractor, like Sherriff-Goslin, inspect, repair, or replace roof flashing since it’s often in places difficult to assess, such as embedded in masonry or behind siding. Modifying these components in crucial areas where they join the roof with other systems of the home, if done incorrectly can create leaks or allow air flow and weather to penetrate where it shouldn’t.