Flashing is often seen as a construction detail but it is actually an integral component of a roof. You shouldn’t be any less cautious about flashing than the roofing material you choose or the amount of money you invest in a new roof. Before we delve into the importance of properly installed flashing, let us shed some light on what flashing is and what purpose it caters to.
What is flashing?
Flashing is a protective seal. It is installed anywhere on the roof where there are any seams, edges, joints, valleys, gaps, grooves, projections or intersections. Typically, you will notice flashing on roofs around the chimneys, skylights, vents and dormers.
You will also find flashing at the parapets of the roof. Flashing can be of the same material as that of the roof. It could be a different material. But it must never be an extension of the roofing material primarily used. It must be separate pieces installed after the roof has been set up. The primary purpose of flashing is to prevent water seepage through the joints, edges, seams, gaps, valleys, intersections and grooves among others.
The significance of flashing
Let us imagine a roof that has no flashing. The vents, gaps, joints, edges, valleys and intersections will be vulnerable to moisture build-up and water may penetrate through the roofing layers into the substrate layers or deck. There will be leaks, moisture damage to the roof and there can be substantial property damage due to water seepage or moisture building. Other than the primary water damage that would be obvious, there’s secondary water damage to deal with. Every juncture where two roofing materials meet or a piece of roofing material meets the deck, a certain fixture or some construction needs to be sealed.
Now, let us imagine the fallout of any of these untoward developments. Moisture can damage your entire roofing deck or substrate layers. It would cost you thousands to have that repaired. If you have leaks, then you will have to fix that and it can cause you a few hundred. If the roofing materials, from shingles to sheets, are damaged then replacing those would cost a few hundred more. In a nutshell, poor quality flashing or improperly installed flashing will lead to a financial crisis. That excludes the interior property damage that you may have to deal with.
From damaged fixtures to risking some of your beloved assets, you will have to deal with many unobvious problems as well such as mould growth and spread of allergens that thrive on moisture.
Prioritising flashing installation
There are two things you need to do at the outset. Choose impeccable quality flashing materials and ensure that they are installed perfectly. Don’t compromise on the quality and don’t take the installation casually. Once installed properly, you need to take care of your flashing just as you would maintain your roof. Keep flashing clean, get rid of debris whenever you can, repair and replace them with urgency whenever needed. You may want to use some flashing coatings if you want because flashing materials are more vulnerable to the brunt of weather. A professional roofing company will always be able to advise