Roof Flashing: Why its Important for Your Roof

Roofer installing flashing around chimneyIf you’ve ever had your roof replaced or repaired, you’ve probably heard someone reference something called “flashing.” While a lot of people don’t know what flashing is, it’s actually one of the most important elements of your roof. If it’s not properly installed and maintained, your entire roof—and the building underneath it—can be at risk. The next time you require roofing services in Austin, TX, here are some things you should know about flashing.

The Purpose of Roof Flashing

You’ve probably noticed there’s more to your roof than just tile. There are protrusions like chimneys and vents that exit through your roof, and there are edges, walls, and valleys in your roof as well. All these places are vulnerable to water damage and leaking because these are the places where water is likely to gather the most.

Flashing is used to protect these vulnerable spots from running water, and redirect that water off of your roof. Made from such water impervious materials such as copper, aluminum, steel, or rubber, flashing strengthens the structure of your roof, and protects it from other moisture related problems such as mold and insects.

Roof Flashing on Flat Roofs

As important as flashing is on slanted roofs, they may be of even greater importance on flat residential and commercial roofing. Austin, TX, can get bursts of tremendous amounts of rainfall in short periods of time. This makes commercial roofs particularly vulnerable to water pooling and seeping through their outer membranes and into the roof’s interior. Having your commercial roof outfitted with the proper defenses keeps the potential for water damage to a minimum while protecting against strong winds that can drive water through roof tiles and gaps.

Different Types of Flashing

Two garret windows on tile roofFor each element of your roof there’s an appropriate type of flashing. For instance, anyplace where the roof runs up against the side of the house is known as a “wall”. Water can run down the sides of the wall and settle where the wall meets the roof, or water can be blown sideways up to the wall’s edge. Flashing at the joint prevents water from penetrating into the roof.

Similarly, the place where two sloping roofs meet is called a “valley,” and is a natural gathering point for streams of rainwater. Valley flashing can be laid under the edges of the shingles—but over the underlayment—so that the water is directed down the roof and into the gutters. Penetrations such as chimneys, skylights, and vents require their own kind of flashing. Built out of a unique set of materials, penetration flashing must be specially installed to preserve a water tight seal between the protrusion and the roof itself.

If you believe your flashing may need repair—or are otherwise concerned about your roof—call the professionals at Stevan Buren Roofing at (817) 558-6997. Our team of skilled technicians are experts in residential and commercial roofing in Austin, TX, and can provide whatever roofing services you need in an efficient and timely manner. Don’t wait another minute and risk going through another storm with an unsafe roof. Give us a call today!