While a roof is the main barrier between your house and the elements, a roof is only as good as its flashing. Why? Roof flashing covers your roof’s weakest areas – the intersections and terminations of roofing surfaces – where the majority of leaks happen.
So regardless of the durability and strength of your roof, without the right roof flashing your roof is like a boxer in the ring without gloves on.
So how do you make sure you give your roof the best protection possible and that your flashing is installed correctly? Follow these three rules.
Flashing must resist gravity. This should go without saying but flashing should always divert water toward the edges of your roof. If it doesn’t, the pull of gravity directs water toward your roof’s lowest point – which let’s say is a small divot in your roof – and once water stays there, a leak will form. Avoiding a leak then depends on the proper use of flashing to direct water toward your downspouts and off of your roof.
Flashing must resist surface tension. Surface tension is the pressure caused by standing water. An ice dam is a perfect example of the way surface tension builds, placing pressure on that area of your roof, and eventually, leads to a lead. To avoid surface tension then, all good flashing should prevent any standing water.
Flashing must withstand wind pressure. Because flashing is at your roof’s edges, it faces a lot of wind pressure, and especially being attached on only one side, is particularly vulnerable to wind pressure. So whatever flashing style or installation you choose should always be designed to hold up to strong winds from any direction.
While there are many new types of flashing available today – such as membrane materials and modern sealants – that are designed to save time, to be successful, flashing must always adhere to the three basic principles of preventing water penetration.
This article is brought to you by ASAP Roofing, a national roofing company that specializes in hail restoration, weatherization, and exceptional customer service. ASAP has offices in Denver, Dallas, Indianapolis, and Salt Lake City.