There is no doubt that a proper, fully functional roof is key to protecting buildings from the elements such as sunlight, extreme weather conditions and helps to regulate temperature and keep moisture away from the building or home. A key part of the roofing system that is sometimes misunderstood but integral to its functionality is the flashing.
At its most basic function, a roof flashing serves its purpose by ensuring that water does not pool or build up on the roof. Flashings are made up of thin sheets of material that prevent water from flowing and entering the building or home. They serve as a weather-proofed protection system, diverting water and other elements from penetrating different areas of the roof where water can find their way in such as, chimneys, vent pipes, walls, windows.
Roof flashings are made out of a host of materials but typically made out of various metals such as copper, stainless steel, aluminium, bitumen and zinc alloy, to name a few. Installation of flashings always take into account changes in temperatures and seasons and as such make use of expansion joints to allow for expansion and contraction.
There are many kinds of flashings but the most common ones found in homes can be broken down into three main types. All are equally important and ensuring these flashings do not fail or wear out will help make for a secure, watertight and dry home.
1. Apron Flashing
The most common type of roof flashing that is used in roofing applications is apron flashing. This type of flashing is popular since it can be used on almost all sides. Apron flashings help make for a water tight seal and is usually located at the juncture of the top of an inclined roof and a wall, chimney or steeper-sloped roof. Thanks to its versatile nature makes it effective in covering almost all sides and types of roof.
2. Step Flashing
Step flashing is installed in steps with layers in between and is usually used in situations where a lower height roof runs into a wall, a part of the roof meets with a chimney, or simply when a wall meets with a part of the roof structure. This type of flashing is very easy to identify as it oftentimes resembles the steps of a staircase. This pattern helps divert water away from the walls and towards the gutter.
3. Dektite Flashing
Sometimes known as a pipe boot or boot flashing, it is a rubber cone with an aluminium backed strip that attaches to the roof and is used to properly seal and secure penetration points around a roof such as a pipe.
If you suspect a leak in your home, it is quite possible that a flashing has failed or is nearing the end of its life. In most cases, repair work can resolve the issue of water ingress however, there are times when wear and tear would call for a flashing to be replaced altogether.
Always have an expert inspect and investigate your flashings to determine its true state and look into options for you. Never attempt to conduct DIY repair or replacement work as such key areas of the roof can often lead to bigger problems if done incorrectly or poorly.
Get in touch with our team of experts so we can sort our your roof repair, maintenance or replacement concerns.