Shingles and tiles are the primary components of the roof that shield your home from water. While damaged shingles can cause leaks, there are other roof parts that help create a watertight seal.
Around the chimney, roof edges, and other roof structures, you may notice metal strips. These strips are roof flashing and they help seal the area between shingles and objects or other shingles.
When the flashing gets damaged, you may need to worry about leaks and the potential for water damage.
What Is Roof Flashing?
Flashing is an aluminum or galvanized steel strip that protects the intersections between roof joints. It helps create a seal between the roofing and chimneys, skylights, and the roof’s edges.
Roof flashing is the first line of defense against leaks. Over time, these metal strips can rust, deteriorate, or become loose, allowing leaks. Flashing that is at an angle or that creates a trough is especially prone to rust and damage.
You can find flashing around any points where multiple roof planes intersect or where roof structures are visible. This includes the areas around ridges, eaves, valleys, and other intersections. Roof structures such as chimneys, skylights, and vents are typically sealed with flashing.
When Do You Need to Repair or Replace Roof Flashing?
The best way to determine if you need roof flashing repair is to hire an experienced roofer to inspect your roof. Annual inspections help uncover any issues. Besides damaged flashing, they can check for loose or damaged roof tiles and clogged or damaged gutters.
There are also signs of flashing damage that you may notice, including internal leaks. Damaged flashing may cause leaks, allowing water to make it past the roof and into your home. You may notice staining on the walls or ceilings or moisture in areas that are typically dry.
The most obvious signs of flashing damage are detected from the outside of the house. You may notice stains or water damage on the siding or exterior walls. Mold may also develop in areas where water collects due to damaged flashing.
There are also signs that you can detect by visually inspecting the flashing. In most cases, this will require you to get up on the roof. However, you may also detect some of these issues from the ground floor.
Small holes are a common issue and allow water to leak through the holes and past the roofing. These holes are often caused by corrosion or pests. If left untreated, the holes may become bigger and create more of a water leakage problem.
Rust and corrosion are also potential reasons to need roof flashing repair. These issues are especially common if you live near the ocean. The salt in the air increases the rate of corrosion.
Bent, cracked, dented, or missing flashing also requires flashing repair or replacement. When a piece of roof flashing becomes loose, it may get blown away during a storm. Even a small dent or bend in the flashing can increase the chances of the flashing getting knocked loose.
The flashing may need to be repaired or replaced, depending on the condition of the flashing. If the flashing needs to be replaced, experienced roofers will paint over the new flashing so that it does not look too shiny and blends with the rest of the roof.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Roofer for Flashing Repairs
Roof flashing repair is a task that is best handled by a professional. While replacing or repairing flashing is not a major repair, it needs to be completed properly to ensure that the flashing provides a tight seal.
Hiring professionals also reduces the need for future repeat repairs. They have the tools, supplies, and experience to ensure that the flashing is correctly installed, which minimizes the risks of damage and unnecessary wear on the flashing or roof.
For example, when the drip edge flashing is not properly installed, there is an increased risk of water damage to the surrounding parts, including the fascia boards under the roof. This may lead to mold or stains that start on the fascia and spread to other areas.
Experienced roofers can also inspect your roof for any other signs of damage. While repairing the flashing, they may check for loose nails, shingles, and holes that need to be resealed.
If you want to protect your home from water damage, every part of your roof needs to remain in top shape. While the roof tiles are important, the flashing creates a seal around roof structures and objects.
Do not allow damaged flashing to affect the overall ability of your roof to shield your property from rainwater. When you detect missing or damaged flashing or internal leaks, contact a dependable roofer to inspect your property and help determine if flashing repair is needed.