Roof flashing may not get as much attention as shingles and gutters, but it’s one of the most critical components of your roofing and gutter systems. Many homeowners don’t know about flashing or know enough about it to pay attention. They might learn about flashing when they need gutter repair or roof replacement. However, if you took a little time to learn about flashing, you’ll see that it matters as much as your roof and gutters.
What Is Flashing and Where Is It Used?
Wherever there’s penetration or a joint in your roof, chances are you’ll find flashing. Joints and penetrations present an opportunity for water to enter your roof and cause damage to your home. Water damage can lead to different problems, such as stains, rot, mold and mildew. Insects and small animals often take advantage of roof components compromised by water damage.
In some cases, water damage can compromise parts of your home that you didn’t expect to be affected. For example, you might find plenty of damage behind your siding when you do a siding replacement project.
To prevent water from making its way into your roof and into your home, roofing contractors use flashing. It’s a strip of material that covers joints and penetrations. Flashing can be lead, sheet metal, copper, plastic, or rubber.
Which Material Is Best for Flashing?
- Cost, aesthetics, durability and availability all play a factor in choosing the right type of flashing material.
- Lead is often used in areas that are not easy to access. These areas are difficult to reach during repairs or routine maintenance. Lead flashing is used because it is incredibly durable; it can last up to 500 years. This is why lead is still used today despite warnings about its effects on health and on the environment.
- Copper is a great choice for those who don’t mind the relatively high cost. Historic home renovations and high-end constructions often use copper flashing.
- Different varieties of sheet metal are common flashing options. They are less expensive but they also last long.
- Plastic and rubber are not as commonly used as sheet metal because they degrade more quickly due to sun exposure.
Your roofing contractor can help you decide on the best flashing material for your home. New Image Elite offers roof and window replacement, as well as other home improvement services. Call us today at (301) 934-5454 or use our Contact Us form to schedule an appointment.