Flashing is a small yet important part of every residential and commercial roof. As a homeowner, knowing what flashing is and what it does can help with tasks like roofing inspections. Read on as the roofing and vinyl siding contractors at DryTech Roofing LLC share a quick guide on roof flashing.
What Is Roof Flashing?
Every roofing system is bound to have breaks on the roofing plane, such as seams, transitions and protrusions. Flashing protects these components to stop rainwater from getting into these vulnerable areas, and in some cases helping route rainwater to where it should go. A typical roofing system would have a combination of the following types of flashing:
Valley Flashing — This is the type of flashing most people are familiar with. Valley flashing is installed on roof valleys. It’s made of strips of metal with an inverted “T” profile. Its vertical fin works like a barrier that stops rainwater flowing from one plane to another.
Continuous and Step Flashing — Continuous and step flashing are installed in areas where a roofing plane meets a wall, dormer or chimney. Continuous flashing is a straight piece of flashing that follows the side facing the roof edge, while step flashing is installed in stepped fashion, following the shingles. Chimneys may also have a triangular type of flashing at the ridge-facing side called a “cricket,” which helps divert rainwater to its sides.
Drip Edge — The drip edge is a long strip of flashing installed at the first row of shingles. Its inverted “L” profile prevents rainwater infiltration at the roof’s edge.
Rubber Boots — Rubber boots, also known as vent pipe flashing, protect the base of vent pipes and other similar protrusions. They appear like road cones during installation, but are made of rubber. The narrow end is trimmed to match the pipe size. Rubber boots are available with a diagonal base for sloped roofs.
How to Inspect Roof Flashing
Flashing generally doesn’t last as long as the roof itself, so it’s not unusual for a roof to undergo flashing replacement or repair at least once in its lifetime. To determine the condition of your roof’s flashing, conduct a visual inspection at least once a year. Watch out for loose, damaged, or missing sections of flashing, then have your local roofer perform repairs. The sooner such repairs are done, the better prepared your home will be for the rainy season.
The roofing and siding contractors at DryTech Roofing LLC are ready to help you with your roofing concerns. Give us a call at (240) 491-5600 or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Maryland.