Have you ever had your mind fill with worry and dread every time you’ve felt a rain drop or a snowflake because your roof no longer has a good seal to protect you and your family properly from the elements? Well worry no more once you get roof flashing done to your new roof.
As homeowners we all hate it when we can’t deny the truth any longer about major repairs that need to be made. But you have to remember how much of an investment you made when you bought the house, you don’t want it going to waste in the long term. So when the inevitable time comes to get a new roof put on that lovely home of yours consider getting roof flashing done at the same time. Not only does roof flashing provide better protection to you and your family from the outside elements but it also helps in the long run to improve the longevity of your new roof. This makes your new roof one of the best investments you could make to improve your house’s value.
Now what exactly is roof flashing you ask? In a simple short answer roof flashing basically makes it so the water that gets onto your roof is moved off quickly in order to prevent damage to your roof from water or ice buildup. Roof flashing seals the roof surface to the house, basically taking away all those little nooks and crannies that water (and in the winter, ice) like to build up in and damage your roof and house.
When it comes time to consider roof flashing there’s several main areas that need to be looked at when roof flashing is to be done properly and effectively so that you as the customer can get the most bang for your buck. The three areas are as follows: Drip Edge, Valley Flashing, and Roof Penetrations. We are first going to address the drip edge and what that entails.
The drip edge is the very first thing to be installed when you are getting roof flashing done. This installment occurs when your old roof has been taken off and any rotted sheathing is repaired. The drip edge goes around the perimeter of the new roof and gives you an added level of waterproofing.
The drip edge helps deflect water into the troughs rather than the water going under the troughs and the fascia where it can be destructive and lead to water damage in the fascia board. Not to say that the installers won’t do a good job but there is always a little wiggle room over time with roofs as with anything else that encounters extreme conditions. Changes in weather conditions over time can lead to gaps between the roof deck and the fascia boards, which in turn can lead to more chances for water and ice to sneak their way in and build up. Drip edges can prevent this from happening by covering the gap areas that may occur. The drip edges also add another layer of support to the first row of shingles. And more support can never be a bad thing when it comes to extending the life of your new roof.
In order to get the most out of your roof flashing that is going to be done you will want to ensure that the drip edge is rugged enough to withstand all the elements and that it is above all else resistant to corrosion. At this point all roof flashing needs to be inspected before the rest of the roofing gets started in order to ensure that everything is up to par and that any existing roof flashing doesn’t need to be replaced. If any existing roof flashing does need to be replaced then it is better to know ahead of time rather than in the middle of a project.
The next important step in roof flashing is the valley flashing. Obviously valleys on your roof are going to end up dealing with more water flow than the other surfaces of your roof. There are two types of valleys. What are the two types and what is the difference? Well there are closed valleys and open valleys. The difference being that shingles are covering the valley in the aptly named “closed” valleys and there are no shingles in the aptly named “open” valleys meaning that they, the open valleys, have a gap. Open valleys are far more superior in allowing roof flashing to be done properly compared to closed valleys.
There are two types of valley flashing that can be done, underlayment or metal. Using one or the other can give you good protection, but it is recommended that for superior and longer lasting protection that you use both. Starter shingles on both sides of the valleys are also recommended for added protection against wind.
And last but not least there are the roof penetrations that need to be dealt with when properly doing roof flashing. This basically means that all areas where there is something connecting to the house and doesn’t have roofing on it needs to be flashed properly. Things such as chimneys, skylights, vents and/or plumbing stacks are just a few things that are commonly encountered and must be dealt with properly to get the long lasting life of a roof with roof flashing done to it.
We know no one really likes to have to get a new roof, but when the time does come remember to ask first and foremost about roof flashing. This will add to the longevity and value of your roof and house. It’s one of the best roofing decisions you can make.