Different Forms of Roof Flashing and Their Importance
Certain areas of your roof such as the chimneys, skylights, and valleys are more susceptible to leaks and water damage. This makes roof flashing a vital element of your roofing system. It helps provide an outer envelope that protects the interior of your property from adverse weather and other elements. There are different forms of flashing that you can apply to your roof.
Before we learn about some of the common forms of roof flashing and their importance to your property, it’s important to consider roof safety. Just like any other work at height project, walking or working on the roof can be very dangerous. Ensure to install the necessary fall protection on the roof such as post and chain barrier before allowing anyone to access the roof.
Skylights require a tight seal with the roof to prevent leaks and avoid interior damage. These sealed holes can, however, succumb to elements over time resulting in leaks even before the expected lifespan of your roofing material. Usually, you’ll need to apply a continuous piece of sheet metal flashing on each side of the skylight. You can also install rubber gaskets beneath the flashing to reinforce the seal. It’s recommended that you consult a qualified contractor experienced with skylight installation for better results.
Valley flashing is very essential for proper installation of sloped roofs. A roof valley refers to an area where two or more roof sections join one another to form a V-shape section. In the event of rains, water will merge from these roof sections and flow down the valley via gravity. Proper installation of the valley and shingles is important to prevent water from seeping back under the shingles. Ensure to perform a routine inspection to check whether the flashing is functioning correctly and that there are no loose shingles that could allow water to seep under.
Leaks can occur if proper flashing is not installed in chimneys protruding through the roof. Chimneys require special flashing since they’re one of the most substantial penetrations in a roof. For effective results, there are two forms of flashing to apply around chimneys: base flashing and step flashing. Step flashing is applied on the sides of the chimney perpendicular to the roof slope to help direct water onto the roof and away from the chimney. This involves small pieces of sheet metal shaped to fit closely against the side of the chimney and the roof.
Base flashing involves the installation of an apron below the chimney. Here, a large area of sheet metal is laid flat against the roof. A cricket (small dormer) can also be installed above the chimney to direct water around the chimney to prevent it from pooling at the upper edge of the chimney.
This is one of the most common forms of flashing. Pipe flashing usually involves the installation of a rubber bonnet and slides over the pipe. Roof shingles will then be installed around the bonnet. If installed properly, this type can last as long as the roof, but routine inspection is important to ensure there are no potential problems.