What is Roof Flashing

What is Roof Flashing

Residential Flashing And Ventilation Systems

The residential roof serves as a primary barrier against weather and should be fitted with quality flashing to function effectively. The greatest weather challenge for contemporary and traditional homes is precipitation.

What is Roof Flashing

Roof flashing is the last line of defense against water leakage. Flashing prevents water from entering the home by directing the flow around openings.

Water travels to the lowest point penetrating any available opening. The compromise of cavities can cause structural damage contributing to moisture and mold.

Frequent culprits to water seepage is poor installation or low quality flashing.

Materials - Flashing

Roof flashing can be made from plastic or composite materials. But flashing made from sheet metal is the best option with the greatest durability. Sheet metal flashing can be made from aluminum or galvanized steel.

Roof flashing has been used for hundreds of years and covers roof joints and wall construction. Flashing works with gravity to channel water to roof materials and conduits carrying it to the ground.

Flashing is also applied to chimneys. Made of sheet metal, chimney flashing is cut and configured to surround the structure. Chimney flashing should be layered for enhanced protection to ensure the prevention of leaks.

Warning signs of flashing that is not weather-proof or poorly installed include: leaks, cracks or rust. In addition roof tar that covers flashing can diminish performance and require additional costs for replacement materials and labor.

Materials - Vents

Regardless of the shape of the roof, vents are a common feature for old and modern homes. Roof and plumbing vents also require the installation of quality flashing to prevent leaks.

Roof vents are vital as they permit the exchange of internal and external air flow. Roof vents function during all seasons reducing moisture in the winter and removing hot air in the summer.

Surplus heat can cause attic and roof structures to deteriorate prematurely. Too much heat can also force air conditioners to work harder.

Extra moisture and humidity is an incubator for mold, mildew and wood rot. Roof vents can also prevent ice dams.

Plumbing vents are a mandatory part of the plumbing system. These are special pipes that carry methane gas safely from the home. They also work with gravity to move water and waste through interior pipes maintaining neutral air pressure within the drain system.

Municipalities recognize the importance of plumbing vents enforcing pipe size specifications.

The type of plumbing vents that exist are waste stacks (vertical vents for sewer gases), soil stacks (vertical vents for waste from toilets), stack vents (waste stack extension piece), dry vents (non-water-carrying vent) and wet vents(linking the toilet and the main waste stack).

In summary proper installation of quality flashing for the roof and chimney is critical to prevent water damage. Also vital is proper installation of efficient roof and plumbing ventilation systems.
Posted on Oct 25, 2013


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