Flashing is an important but often overlooked part of residential and commercial roofing systems. In this blog, roof replacement company Cantrell Roofing, LLC shares a look at what flashing is, and what makes it important.
What Is Flashing?
Most people would be familiar with a certain type of flashing: the metal strips installed along roofing seams and joints. Flashing, in part, functions like caulk for these areas: it provides protection against water intrusion. A typical roofing system uses a combination of the following types of flashing:
Valley Flashing — This is the most common type of roof flashing. Valley flashing is made of strips of metal with a profile shaped like an inverted “T”. It protects roof valleys, and other similar areas where two roofing planes meet. A vertical fin stops rainwater from one plane to another.
Continuous and Step Flashing — Both types of flashing are installed where a roofing plane meets a wall or dormer. Step flashing is installed on the sloped side (with the “steps” following the shingles), while the continuous flashing follows the side that follows the roof edge.
Drip Edge — Drip edge is a long strip of flashing with an inverted “L” profile. It’s installed on the roof edge, and prevents rainwater from infiltrating the underlayment through the first row of shingles, which could result in major roof repair.
Rubber Boots — Rubber boots are also known as vent pipe flashing. They are rubber cones installed at the base of vent pipes, with the narrow end trimmed to match the pipe circumference. Rubber boots with diagonal bases are used on sloped roofing.
Flashing Inspection and Repair
Flashing generally has shorter service lives compared to the roof itself. It’s normal to expect flashing replacement at least once during the roof’s expected life span. Make it a point to conduct regular visual inspections on your roof at least once a year. Look out for loose, damaged or missing flashing, and have your local roofing professional perform repairs. The sooner flashing problems are addressed, the better prepared your home will be when it rains.