Your home is an envelope composed of many different components that work together to keep your household warm and comfortable, safe, secure and energy-efficient. Those components include your windows, doors, walls, siding, the roof and many others.
If any of these components start to fail, one or several of the functions of your home can be compromised. Some parts of your home are not as noticeable as others, but they play a huge role nonetheless. One good example is roof flashing. In this post, we discuss the reasons behind roof flashing failure and why you should be concerned about it.
What Is Roof Flashing?
Any roofing system has weak points – that is, areas that are vulnerable to leak formation. The spots where two items are joined together are such points, for example, where the roof meets the skylights, vents and the chimney. If you had a room added, the spot where the old roof meets the new one is also a weakness. The same is true about roof valleys.
To keep those areas waterproof, your roofer installs flashing. Flashing can be a plastic or a composite material, but it’s most commonly a type of corrosion-resistant metal. It directs water away from the most vulnerable areas of your roof to prevent leaks from easily developing.
How Does Flashing Fail?
Constant exposure to the elements (heat, precipitation and freezing temperatures) can cause flashing to break, warp or wrinkle as an effect of contraction and expansion. Warping and wrinkling shorten the material, making it less effective in covering the areas where leaks can form.
Soil movement can also cause flashing to come loose or break. You might not notice it, but the soil on which your home stands can settle. This exerts pressure on your home. You might also see small stress fractures on walls and other parts.
In some cases, flashing can come loose due to poor installation by a less-experienced roofer.
Why Should You Be Concerned?
Broken, warped, wrinkled or loose flashing cannot protect the vulnerable parts of your roof as effectively as stable, sturdy, and properly installed flashing. Eventually, those vulnerable parts will develop leaks. Leaks can compromise just about every part of your home, not just the roof.
Water damage can lead to wood rot, metal corrosion, clumped insulation and infestation by animals that need plenty of water to survive. Weakened wood is bad news, except for termites and cockroaches. Mold and mildew will also grow and cause allergic reactions, not to mention unsightly stains.
How Can You Prevent Flashing Issues?
Make sure only professionals install your roof flashings. Choose corrosion-resistant metal whenever possible as this material has a longer lifespan than others. If you would like to try plastic or composite flashing at least make sure the hardest-to-reach places have metal flashing as it would be more difficult to replace that flashing if it breaks.
Schedule your roof inspection and maintenance twice a year: once before winter and another at the end of winter. This will ensure problems with your roof are caught before they get worse.
Get in touch with TopTier Roofing about your roofing needs. Call us today at (315) 877-3760, or tell us about your roofing project here.