Even though it’s an incredibly important part of your roof, not many homeowners understand what flashing is and how – or if – it can be fixed. Fixing roof flashing is a complex process, and it’s not always the best choice. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Roof Flashing?
Flashings are typically formed metal that works to divert water away from openings on your roof. The areas of your roof that typically have flashing are the edges, any penetrations (including vents, chimneys, and skylights), valleys, and walls. Flashing works to ensure a water-resistant seal and keep your roof safe from other weather-related harm. One of the most common causes of roof leaks is damaged or improperly installed flashing, which is what makes fixing it a priority.
How Is Flashing Attached To A Roof?
Poorly installed flashing can leave your roof vulnerable to leaks and other issues. To attach flashing correctly, it’s best to have a professional roofer take care of the job. These are the basic steps to attaching flashing to a roof:
- Clean your installation zone. Clear the area where you plan to install flashing to ensure it is free from debris. Remove tiles or shingles from around the area.
- Install the underlayment. A roofing underlayment is critical to waterproofing your roof. Flashing sits on the underlayment and will not function properly without it.
- Lay down the flashing. Place the flashing over the underlayment. Depending on the type of flashing being installed, the way your roofer places it will change. If you have a tile roof, plumbing vents, exhaust vents and flue pipes require two metal flashings, a galvanized deck flashing sealed to the underlayment, and a tile flashing made of dead-soft aluminum or lead.
- Attach flashing to your roof. A roofer will ensure that your flashing is attached to your roof by using roof cement or sealant under the flange prior to nailing it in place.
- Place tile or shingles over the flashing. Layer the tile/shingles over the flashing, covering about half of it. A tile roof will require a tile saw or small grinder with a diamond blade to cut the tiles. Shingles will require a utility knife to cut shingles around the flashing.
Can You Repair Roof Flashing?
Depending on the damage, you may be able to repair your roof flashing. However, you need to replace any heavily corroded or damaged flashing. If there is only some corrosion, a roofer can patch the holes and cover them with sealant..
Can You Replace Flashing Without Replacing The Roof?
You can always reuse your flashing if it isn’t extremely damaged, but we strongly discourage doing this. We always recommend homeowners replace their flashing whenever they replace their roof. Doing this guarantees the best protection for your new roof – which is a significant investment in itself!
Get The Truth About Your Roof
Fixing roof flashing is an option if it isn’t severely damaged and you aren’t replacing your roof. If you are replacing your roof, we highly recommend replacing your flashing as well. Doing this will protect your new roof and extend its life. Talking to a professional roofer can help you understand the best course of action for your home.
At Roofstar Arizona, our professional roofers will perform a complete roof inspection and give you a better idea of whether it’s worth fixing your roof’s flashing. Our dedicated experts help homeowners in the Phoenix-Mesa area learn the truth about their roofs.