When it comes to your roof’s ability to protect your home from rain, wind, and other weather, most people focus on the shingles. However, the flashing can be just as important. Roof flashing is a thin metal strip that is used to direct water away from chimneys, vents, and other roof extrusions. Cracked or missing flashing can cause major leaks, and as such, should be a roofing priority.
HOW DOES FLASHING GET DAMAGED?
The most common cause of flashing damage is normal wear and tear. Over time, exposure to the elements can cause flashing to develop wrinkles or warping that make it easier for water to penetrate. This is most often the result of expansion and contraction from temperature changes, or ice buildup seeping under the metal.
Flashing may also bend or separate from the roof due to foundation settling. Of course, damage from severe storms could also cause similar damage, including strong winds that loosen some portions of flashing. Most flashing has a lifespan of 20 to 30 years.
IDENTIFYING & REPAIRING ROOF FLASHING
If you have an older roof, or you suspect your flashing may be damaged, it is a good idea to schedule a roofing inspection. Flashing that is rusted, cracked, or dented will likely allow water leaks inside your home. If you have noticed water leaks near the fireplace or skylights, failed flashing is likely to blame. A professional roofer can replace damaged flashing to ensure that rainwater doesn’t get inside your house.
Protecting your home from water damage should be a top priority. By inspecting and properly maintaining your flashing on a regular basis, you can have confidence that your home is adequately protected from the elements.