Your central Ohio home’s roof is a marvel of engineering and craftsmanship. It is not a single object, but a series of interconnected parts. One part, the flashing, is seldom flashy but is still vital to your roof’s integrity.
What Is Flashing?
Roof flashing usually means the thin metal used to bridge connections between unlike materials. You may see exposed flashing around chimneys and roof projections. Some roofers include soft materials—like rubber boots, plastic curbs, and caulk—as “flashing,” while many roofers only use metal.
Flashing is usually made of a non-corrosive material such as copper, zinc, or aluminum. The rolls you can buy at big-box home improvement stores are not commercial-grade flashing, but they can give you an idea of what the metal is. Professional roofers usually use thicker gauge metal than the stuff a do-it-yourselfer can buy.
What Does Flashing Do?
Flashing is useful for spanning gaps between, for example, masonry and wood. Your roof has sheathing atop its rafters. Sheathing is generally plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), both of which are wood products. The stone or concrete of a chimney expands and contracts differently than wood, so flashing helps cover the necessary gap between the two. Flashing is also used in valleys, the angled folds of your roof where two roofing planes meet.
Non-ferrous metal is completely waterproof. Aluminum, zinc, or copper flashing sheds water, preventing water from invading your attic.
Inspecting and Replacing Flashing
During full roof replacement, old flashing may be removed to be replaced by fresh metal. Aluminum does not rust; it can pit and discolor. Copper flashing is valuable enough to leave intact or reuse.
After your roofer has removed all of your old roofig material, fresh flashing is put down in valleys and around roofing projections after the underlayment and before the new roof.
Step flashing may be visible against chimneys, but generally you may have a hard time spotting your roof’s flashing, either from the attic or ground (never climb onto your roof!).
An experienced roofer can assess your home’s flashing during annual inspections. Since some roofers include caulking, soft plastic curbs, and rubber boots in the “flashing family,” all of those elements can be inspected, repaired, or replaced to preserve your roof’s water resistance.
Allstate Exteriors & Restoration in central Ohio and Cape Coral, FL, can provide you answers to every roofing dilemma you face. Contact us today to learn more about your roof, our services, and our strategies to protect and defend your home.