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Flashing--a Critical Component of Your Roofing System

June 30, 2017

Flashing plays a crucial role in protecting your roof from leaks. It’s important to know what types of flashing are used on your roof, and to ensure that the flashing is installed properly. Here’s a breakdown of all things flashing-related:

 What is flashing?

Flashing is the material placed around the areas of a roof where projections or additions are connected to the surface. Because of expansion and contraction of materials during hot and cold months of the year, it is important for flashing to allow for movement but also provide a tight seal to protect against leaks. Poor installation of flashing can also lead to premature room deterioration.

What areas of the roof need flashing?

Skylights:  A continuous piece of flashing is typically used to create an impenetrable seal around skylights. It’s important when installing a skylight that it protrudes far enough from the roof line to allow for adequate flashing.

Vents:  There are two common types of roof vents, hoods and pipes. Hood vents are installed by cutting a hole in the roof to accommodate the vent. Above the vent the flashing slides under the shingles, and below the vent the flashing is placed over the shingles and sealed. For a pipe vent, a hole is cut to accommodate the pipe and the flashing is cut to accommodate the pipe and overlaps the shingles below the pipe.

Chimneys: Flashing for chimneys is placed in strips, sealing the gap where the chimney meets the roof. As with vents, the flashing slides under the shingles above the chimney and above the shingles below the chimney.

Dormer windows:  For windows that project out of the side of the roof, squares of flashing can be installed between every row of shingles, or a strip can be placed around the projection and underneath the roofing material around it.

What materials are used for flashing?

Flashing can be made from metal, plastic or a composite material. The most durable (and most expensive) material used for flashing is metal sheet flashing. Copper is the most popular metal flashing choice due to its ability to withstand extreme temperature changes. While plastic flashing is the least expensive choice, it breaks down more easily in hot and cold temperatures. It’s critical that the correct material for flashing is used from the outset of installation, as replacing or repairing damaged flashing can be very difficult. 

Flashing is an important element of your roofing system and keeps your home safe from moisture damage. The technicians at RSG Construction are experts for all types of roofing situations and needs, and can answer any questions you might have about your roof’s flashing. You can also give the team at RSG a call at 816-866-4235 or just click HERE to schedule your complimentary consultation

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