From Asphalt Shingles to Zinc Strips

What You Should Know About Roof Leaks And Flashing

One of the standard repair costs for homeowners involves roof leaks. In many cases, roof leaks are attributed to flashing. Here is a breakdown of what flashing is and how it causes residential roof leaks.

What Is Flashing?

Flashing keeps your roof sealed to prevent leaks. It is mainly made of galvanized steel. However, flashing can be made of lead, copper, rubber, plastic aluminum, zinc alloy, and bituminous sheet material.

Roofers install flashing around the features of your roof where water is likely to leak into your home. These areas include sections where the roof intersects, the chimney, ventilation fans, skylights, pipes, and the roof's perimeter.

What Are Signs of Damaged Flashing?

Check the area above the roof leak to determine whether a leak is caused by damaged flashing. The challenge is that with sloped roofing designs, water leaking from one spot of your ceiling may originate from a different part of your roof. Therefore, roof leaks resulting from faulty flashing are best inspected by a professional roofer. However, some signs could hint at a possibility of damaged flashing.

One of the main signs of flashing failure is rust. If flashing has rust, it cannot protect your roof against water leaks. You should also look out for holes beneath the roofing shingles. Small animals can create holes in your flashing. 

Additionally, after extreme weather, you will notice loose roof flashing. Also, your siding can get damaged if the flashing doesn't drain water properly from the roof. In this case, you will spot signs of water damage on shingles, like darkening and bending. Another sign of flashing failure is mold or stains on fascia boards. This occurs if the drip edge flashing is installed incorrectly.

How to Prevent Leaks Caused by Flashing?

The best defense against a leaking roof is a regular roof inspection. In many areas, the best time to check your roof is before and after the rainy season. During a roof inspection, your roofer will repair areas of your flashing that show signs of rust, damage, or deterioration. For holes caused by corrosion, your roofer will patch these areas with roofing cement. 

Sometimes the seal around the flashing needs to be fixed. In this case, your roofer will remove old caulking and reseal it with a silicone compound or roofing cement. If the flashing is severely damaged, your roofer will replace it entirely to prevent leaks.

In Closing

Flashing is among the most leak-prone parts of your roof. Therefore, this project requires the right tools and expertise. Errors when installing flashing can increase the chances of a leak developing. Make sure flashing installation and home leak repairs are performed by a professional. For more information on roofing, contact a company near you.