What Is Roof Flashing? And Why Should You Care about It?

Are you familiar with roof flashing? Many homeowners aren’t, yet flashing is one of the most important parts of any roof system.

Roof flashing Utah

Your roof protects your home and serves as its primary defense against the elements. Flashing controls the water flow on your roof and helps prevent seepage into your house.

The Purpose of Roof Flashing

Typical home rooftops have several penetrations, including fan and plumbing vents, and chimneys. Many also have additional roof features, like dormers and skylights. Flashing is the only barrier protecting these openings and joint areas from water and moisture.

Take a look at your rooftop. The metal lining you see along the edges of your vents, chimney and other roof penetrations is the flashing. During heavy rains, the metal protrusions direct water away from the joints and openings so that it flows down to the ground instead of into your home.

Types of Roof Flashing Materials

Flashing is usually made of metal. PVC-based materials can sometimes be a cheaper alternative, but plastic is not as durable and can wear out with direct sun contact.

Copper is often chosen for this purpose due to its strength and malleability. Copper also has a high resistance to the elements, and many homeowners find it attractive.

Lead is another other commonly used material, as it is incredibly durable. Stainless steel, galvanized steel, aluminum and zinc alloy are other options. The right choice for your roof depends upon several factors, including the environment and composition of your other roof system components.

What Happens without Properly Installed Roof Flashing?

Flashing is designed to provide a watertight seal. Without proper installation, however, each of your rooftop penetrations becomes vulnerable to leaks. Mistakes in flashing installation are one of the major causes of leaks in home rooftops.

When flashing isn’t installed correctly and water seeps into your home, a number of problems can result. Building materials and structural components can begin to deteriorate, leading to structural damage and costly repairs. Gaps in your flashing can also compromise your home’s insulation, which can cause your energy bills to soar.

Even worse, when moisture seeps into your home, it can lead to mold and mildew growth. These can cause or contribute to a host of health issues, including throat, eye and skin irritation, nasal problems, asthma and respiratory infections.

Find out if your flashing is sound — have an experienced roofing contractor perform an inspection. The professional team at Knockout Roofing offers complimentary inspections and estimates for homeowners throughout Utah. Call our Salt Lake City, Utah office today to schedule your roof flashing inspection.