Roof flashing is thin material, typically metal, that roofing contractors use to seal roof joints and reduce the risk of water leaks. Below are roofing contractors' best practices to ensure efficient and durable flashing.
Using High-Quality Material
Experienced roofing contractors know and use the right flashing material for each roof. Roofing manufacturers use different materials to produce flashing. The common ones include:
- Metal, such as aluminum, copper, and lead
- Plastic, such as PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
- Rubber and plastic blends, such as TPO (Thermoplastic olefin)
The main purpose of flashing is to prevent roof water penetration, so the chosen material should do that perfectly. However, the material should also be durable, blend with the roof, and not react with the roofing materials. For example, aluminum flashing should not come in contact with concrete since the alkaline in concrete accelerates aluminum corrosion.
Using the Type of Right Flashing
Roof flashing is available in different types or forms for different purposes. Using the wrong flashing for a roof can allow water to penetrate the joint and render the flashing ineffective. Professional roofers understand the need to choose the right flashing for each roof part. For example, the L-shaped flashing is suitable for sealing joints between roof penetrations and surfaces. One part of the flashing lies flat on the roof, while the other side is on the penetration's surface. Another example is the V-shaped valley flashing for sealing roof valleys.
Installing Flashing at the Right Stage
The installation stage determines which materials sit below and above the flashing. The right arrangement ensures perfect water protection from the flashing. In most cases, roofers install the flashing before the surface roofing material to provide a proper seal.
In cases that require multiple flashing pieces, the pieces should form a continuous surface. Otherwise, the gaps between the flashing pieces would allow water penetration. Professional roofers also know how to nail flashing properly for secure attachment. That way, wear and tear or weather elements won't easily rip the flashing off the roof.
Using Sealant Around the Flashing
Lastly, your roofing contractor will also apply sealant around the edges of the flashing. Sealing is necessary because water, being a liquid, can get into the roof through the tiniest openings. For example, water can seep into the roof through the roofing material flashing connection. Sealing the joint provides a watertight connection.
Roof flashing requires careful selection and installation. Resist the urge to opt for DIY if you need roof flashing during a repair. Use professional roofing contractors and benefit from their warranty too.
Contact a local roofing contractor to learn more.