Roof Flashings FAQ's
When you talk to a professional roofer about your upcoming project, he will mention flashing frequently during the conversation. Most homeowners kind of nod at the mention of the term because they feel that they know enough about it to get by. But if you really want to help your understanding of flashing, then it is always a good idea to research the answers to the frequently asked questions about flashing.
What is flashing?
Flashing itself is a thin metal that is used in spots on a roofing job when shingles or other materials simply will not work. Flashing is weather-resistant, but very easy to work with. It is easy to bend and mold into shape to help do the finishing work on a roofing project.
When is flashing used?
Flashing is used wherever a roof is exposed to the elements and shingles will not do the job. The most common places where flashing is used is around the base of a chimney and where the roof meets the siding. Flashing is also used when two sections of a roof create a valley where water can collect, and it can also be used as a protective wrap around the roof overhang.
What is the job of flashing?
There are several reasons why flashing should only be installed by professional roofers. One of the main reasons is because flashing is used to direct rainwater away from exposed areas of the roof and channel that water down towards the gutters. Flashing is used to prevent water from getting under the roof and damaging the roof decking as well as the ceiling below it. When you look at flashing, you will see that it is usually made into the form of a channel. That channel is placed in a strategic manner by a professional roofer to make sure that water goes where it is supposed to go.
Does flashing come in one particular size or shape?
Flashing is generally sold in sheets or in rolls. A professional roofer has a special tool that can cut and form flashing into the sizes and shapes needed to complete a project. Flashing can be bent into any shape, which allows it to be used in areas such as the peaks of a roof and as a patch to help fortify a damaged area near a chimney.
What color does flashing come in?
The most common color for flashing is a silver-grey, which comes from aluminum or galvanized steel. Flashing can also be made from copper, which gives it that distinctive brown color. While copper flashing is an excellent alternative to galvanized steel, copper flashing also suffers from the color change that comes from age. Galvanized steel and aluminium tend to retain their silver hue, while copper flashing can start to turn dark brown or green with age.
Is there any standard rule for using flashing on a roofing project?
Anytime there is a protrusion from a roof, that protrusion is wrapped by flashing. For example, the vent that is utilized by a toilet has a special piece of flashing that is created to surround its base. A roof that has cables, pipes or walls extending up from it will have all of those structures protected by flashing.
Why do roofers use flashing?
The ability to form flashing into any kind of shape is what makes it so popular among roofers. Before flashing was introduced, roofers were forced to find creative ways to protect roofs and homes from rainwater. Shingles were cut and placed in a particular way to try and guide water away from roof seams and other vulnerable spots on the roof, but with low degrees of success. The weatherproof nature of flashing, along with its ability to take any form the project requires, makes flashing an essential part of any roofing project.
Why can't I install my own flashing?
Professional roofers have developed effective ways for shaping and installing flashing that will prevent rainwater, snow and ice from destroying your roof. If your flashing is not installed properly, then it is as if it was never installed at all. If you truly want to protect your home, then it is important that you have your flashing installed by an experienced and professional roofer.
Another problem with flashing is that homeowners tend to rely on it too much because they do not have the experience that a roofer has. Flashing has its important role in a roofing project, but flashing must work in concert with the other parts of a roof to offer maximum protection for your home.