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Roof Flashing: The Unsung Hero of Your Home

When it comes to protecting your home from the outside elements, one thing that is most often overlooked is roof flashing. Roof flashing works to help resolve the problem of gaps and creases from shingles and other roofing materials. Flashing is a thin metal sheet that helps cover up spots around the roof that are most vulnerable. It is typically made of rust-resistant metals, like galvanized steel, copper or aluminum. The metal is thin so it's quite easy to shape and fit.

Why is Roof Flashing Important?  

Roof flashing protects the home in so many ways! Where your roof meets a wall, flashing is there to protect moisture from seeping in. Since there are so many connecting points to your home, flashing can prevent water from entering in near chimneys, vents, roof edges and walls. Your roof's flashing has such an important job to do, not only to protect what's inside your home, but to protect your foundation from excess moisture and to prevent mold from growing on the sides of your home.

Types of Flashing

Valley Flashing 

  Valley flashing protects an area where two slopes of the roof meet. The job of valley flashing is directing the water to run down the roof into the gutters.

Apron flashing

Apron flashing is a barrier that is installed at the base of chimneys and other roof penetrations. Counter flashing purpose is to block out the water from seeping into the vertical surfaces.

Vent Pipe flashing

Vent Pipe flashing is sealing off around your vent pipes, preventing water from going inside the roof.

Continuous flashing

Continuous flashing is a long continuous piece of metal that protects the wall and a sloped roof. It is mainly used to protect the vertical wall that is met by the roof.

Step flashing

Step flashing is where the roof meets a wall. It is a rectangular piece of flashing bent 90 degrees in the center. This is crucial because there are areas that are highly susceptible to water leakage during storms.

Drip Edge 

Drip Edge is installed at the edges of the roof to prevent water from seeping under the shingles. This type of flashing is important to prevent water damage to the wood and sheathing of your roof.

Common Materials Used for Flashing  

Aluminum is an inexpensive flashing to purchase, but will be the weakest of the three. It is a lightweight material which will make it easier to form. Aluminum must be coated, if being used with concrete or masonry. If it is not coated, the aluminum will degrade and react with the alkaline surfaces.

Copper is another lightweight material and can be easy to install. It can also be a flexible metal and is extremely durable to weather and corrosion. It is a low maintenance metal, so it will not need to be checked on as frequently as aluminum. A major plus with copper is that it is aesthetically pleasing, and it can be recycled making it environmentally friendly.

Galvanized steel is the heaviest, but longest lasting flashing; it can last for over 40 years or more. Steel is rust resistant and the zinc coating prevents the rust and corrosion. It provides the best protection, durability, and versatility.

If you need any more information about flashing or repairs, don't hesitate to reach out.

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