Why Roof Flashings Are Important


What Are Roof Flashings?

Flashings serve a variety of purposes on both flat roofs and steeply pitched roofs. Roofing companies install roof flashings anywhere where a pipe, vent, skylight comes through the roof. It is also used in roof valleys and edges. Roof flashing is made from a variety of materials. Copper, aluminum, painted galvanized steel, stainless steel rubber, zinc alloy, tin, rubber and roofing felt are some of the most popular flashing materials.

These flashing materials are intended to be long lasting, non-corrosive, and non-staining. It is critical when choosing a flashing that the fasteners, roofing material and other roofing components are chosen specifically for the area and combination of roofing materials to avoid corrosion.

How Does Flashing Help?

Flashing protects against moisture creeping in under your roofing material at edges or anywhere there is a pipe or other protrusion through your roofing material. Flashings installed by professionals extend under both the roofing and siding. This protects the underlayment from getting wet.

Caulking and roof sealant are not a replacement for roof flashings. While they do repel water they are not as durable as metal flashings. With the wide range of temperatures and extreme heat there is a lot of expansion and contraction of roofing materials. Sealants and caulking cannot weather this thermal expansion without drying out, cracking, or simply losing their adhesive properties. Flashings being made from metal weather these temperature swings without being compromised. Even when the roofing material moves the flashings continue to provide a barrier to moisture.

Flashings For Flat Roofs

All roofing should include flashings yet it is especially important on flat roofs, particularly those that are roofed with EPDM. For flat roofs edge flashing is a two piece flashing system that does more than simply guard against leaks. Flat roof metal flashing is installed after the membrane has been put in place. It is installed around the edges in such a way that it covers both the roofing and up the side of the walls it connects to. This protects the flat roof from more than just moisture but also high winds and wind driven rain from making its way under the membrane.

A second flashing is usually installed on top of the edge flashing on the flat section making contact with the membrane. This secondary flashing is typically an adhesive strip of rubber. It connects to and seals against both the EPDM membrane and the metal flashing. This flexible secondary moisture barrier does more than just prevent moisture from getting under the primary flashing but it won’t crack with extreme heat.

Step Flashings

Step flashings are one of the hallmarks of Right Way Roofing’s commitment to long lasting roofing. A step flashing is when a pipe, vent, or protrusion is covered by shingles, then flashing, and then an additional layer of shingles. This is the “bulletproof” flashing system.

This is one of the keys to Right Way’s 15 Year Warranty. By using step flashings, serious underlayment, and the best tools and installers Right Way Roofing of Mesa Arizona installs the best roofs.