Why Your Roof Has Metal Flashing And Signs The Flashing Is Damaged And Needs To Be Replaced

When you look at your roof, you can probably see metal flashing. Flashing is an important part of a roofing system, and it needs to be checked regularly so it can be replaced before it starts leaking. Flashing is a common place for roof leaks to occur, so it's important to know the signs of bad flashing that's vulnerable to leaking. Here is the purpose of roof flashing, signs that it's damaged, and the roof repairs that might be needed when the flashing is bad.

The Purpose Of Roof Flashing

Flashing is made out of metal and it's used on your roof in places where shingles push up against something, such as a chimney, roof valley, or skylight. By having the metal flashing in place, rain rolls on down the roof rather than leaking in through the penetration.

Signs Flashing Is Damaged

Flashing is made from steel, aluminum, or copper. Copper is an attractive, but expensive option for flashing. Steel is more affordable and common. A problem with steel flashing is that it can rust. Even galvanized steel might rust if the flashing gets a deep scratch or other damage. Rust is bad for flashing because it spreads and eventually eats holes that let rain get in your attic.

Metal also expands and contracts with temperature changes. This wears out the metal over time. Eventually, the flashing may take on a warped look, and that's a sign it should be replaced. Flashing is held down with screws, and if a screw backs out and leaves a hole behind, rain can leak through the hole. When a screw backs out, the flashing may lift up and allow rain to seep under it.

Roof Repairs Needed Due To Bad Flashing

When flashing shows signs of age or damage, it should be replaced. Some flashing is pre-formed, but sometimes your roofer might shape the flashing out of sheet metal. In addition to replacing the bad flashing, the roofer needs to check the shingles and roof deck to see if the damaged flashing allowed rain to seep under the shingles and cause water damage. If so, some shingles might need to be replaced too.

Roof flashing might last a long time depending on the type of flashing your roof has and the environment around your home. Your roofer may not even need to put new flashing on when you get a new roof if your old flashing is still in good shape. However, when you see signs of flashing damage, roof repairs could be needed to stop a leak, so let a roofer check the flashing and determine if repairs are necessary.