October 10, 2023

The Importance of Properly Installed Flashings in Residential Roofing

Roof flashing is a vital component of your roofing system. Your roofers should inspect roof flashing during roof installation and maintenance. However, you may not be aware of this important piece of your roof. So that you can better understand how your roof works, we’ll answer: 

  • Why is roof flashing so important? 
  • What materials are roof flashings made of?
  • Where should flashing be on your roof?

Why Is Roof Flashing So Important? 

Flashing is a thin, usually metal sheet that goes on the weak points of your roof—such as corners and joints—to help redirect water off your roof. Without roof flashing, or if it’s not properly installed, these areas would have leaks develop, which can cause further water damage in your attic and home. 

Flashing is essential to ensuring your roof’s structural integrity. It keeps water from sitting on your roof and causing structural damage—a vital function for flat roofs since they don’t have a slant to let water roll off. 

Materials of Roof Flashing

Roof flashing is usually made out of some type of metal; however, rubber or plastic may also be used. The type of material will vary depending on cost efficiency, the age of the roof, and where the flashing is going to be installed on the roof. 

  • Lead was most commonly used for flashing before modern sheet metal was able to be mass-produced. While using lead for flashing has become less common, there are still some instances where a roofer will choose to use lead. For example, if a building is historic or the flashing needs to go into a difficult-to-maintain location, lead may be chosen since it has been known to last for over 500 years and reduces the need for regular maintenance. Usually, it is only used in small amounts today. 
  • Copper is another durable choice for flashing. It’s also a great choice for more historic homes or those with a higher budget. While copper is very durable and can last for decades, it does have a higher price point which is something to keep in mind when deciding your budget.
  • Most homes and buildings will use a sheet metal alloy composed of various metals such as aluminum, zinc, or steel. This is the most common type of roof flashing. While it has a shorter lifespan than lead or copper, it is the most economical option and shouldn’t need to be replaced until you need to replace your roof either due to damage or age. 
  • You can use rubber and plastic as flashing for very cheap. While this is the cheapest option for flashing, the Florida heat and sun will wear down the materials quickly. So, you may end up having to replace this type of flashing much faster than you’d hope. 

Where You Should Have Flashing

There are a few specific areas you should ensure have flashing to avoid leaks. You’re going to need flashing on weaker points of your roof. These areas include skylights, chimneys, vents, valleys, and dormer windows. Chimneys specifically may require special flashing as they are highly susceptible to water getting through and need to be reinforced. If you’re looking for a skylight, you may be able to find one that already has flashing preinstalled. This can save you a bit of time and money on your roofing project. 

Your Guides to Roof Installation and Maintenance Are at Big D Roofing 

Whether you’re looking for a new roof or just need some maintenance or repair, Big D Roofing has got you covered. We’ll take into account all the parts of your roof, including which areas need extra support through flashing. We’ve been providing quality roofing services for over 40 years in the Ocala area for both residential homes and commercial businesses. Contact us today for a roof inspection to get an estimate for your next project!