Whenever you get your roof fixed or have a new one installed you need to make sure that not only are the shingles installed properly, but also the flashing. Shingles are the first line of defense against the harsh UV rays.  In the same way, your flashing is the first line of defense against moisture and water damage.  In this article we will talk about what roof flashing is, why it’s important and what damages can occur if your flashing is neglected or not properly installed.

What is Flashing?

Roof flashing is a roll of thin metal. It’s made to withstand all weather conditions, including high wind and excessive rain. Flashing can be made from several types of metal including copper, aluminum, galvanized steel and lead. During the roofing process, it is rolled out into place and sealed. Flashing ensures that no water can get into your roof and damage it. The way flashing works is relatively simple: it collects pooling water and channels it away from where it was pooling. All types of flashing work in basically the same way.

What Does it Do?

Roof flashing is very important because it helps to close joints in walls or roofing applications. This makes sure no water is able to seep into materials used in the construction of your roof. The most typical places you’ll find flashing is around valleys, vents and skylights. Installing flashing is a key process in roofing. If done correctly, it can help lengthen the lifespan of your roof and the lumber supporting your roof. Once installed, quality flashing will continue to protect your roof for a long time.

 

 

Flashing: Valleys and Chimneys

 

Valleys

A valley in your roof is the area where one slope of the roof joins another. This creates a low area on the surface of the roof–a valley.  Valley flashing is installed under the shingles of the roof at the edges.  The flashing leads down to a gutter close by. Water will drain from the shingles into the valley. From here, it flows down the flashing metal, to the gutter and out the spout. Valley flashing streamlines the way your roof protects against water.

 

 

Chimneys

Chimneys are very common areas where water can get into your home. Flashing around chimneys has to be completely water-tight. Your roofer will place smaller, L-shaped metal pieces between shingle courses all along the chimney. Atop the chimney, a cricket–sometimes referred to as a saddle roof–is built. This helps create a slope to keep water from pooling behind the chimney.  Flashing covers the cricket, running along the shingle run above. This cover is mortared into the chimney itself, creating a water tight lock. Counter flashing is mortared along the sides into the brick or stone and run down the step of flashing. Lastly, flashing is mortared in the front of the chimney, at the lowest point of the roof. This flashing is placed flush on top of the next shingle course, so water will run down away from the chimney.

 

What Happens When Flashing Doesn’t Work?

Since flashing is what keeps your roof safe from water damage, its safe to say that without it your roof would suffer from water damage. Roof rot, mold, mildew and even broken beams can be a result of poor flashing. Also, damaged or improperly installed flashing on your roofs eaves will cause water damage on your exterior walls as water seeps into the inner workings of your wall. Without properly installed flashing, you as a homeowner could be looking at getting a whole new roof, having to re-plaster and paint your inside walls and ceiling due to water damage.

Don’t let water damage from poor flashing ruin your new year! Contact us today so we can help you make sure your roof flashing is water-tight and ready!

Repairing or replacing your home’s roof can be one of the most daunting home repair projects a homeowner can face. On the one hand, you’re probably not qualified to do the job yourself, so you’ll have to hire a professional roofing company to do it.

One of the most important things to do to find the best roofing company is to ask around for recommendations. Some of the best advice you will get will come from local friends and family. Here are some questions you should ask every potential roofing contractor:

Do you offer the services that are required to do the job that I need?

It’s not enough to assume that every roofing company can tackle every roofing job. Be specific about what you need (ideally by showing the roofer where the damage is) and ask whether the company feels they can handle the job. If you detect hesitation or get a vague answer, move on to another candidate.

Do you offer a free quote?

You should never have to pay for a quote or sign anything up front to get a quote. Reputable companies will be confident enough in the quality of their work that they will happily provide you with a free quote.

What kind of warranty is offered on the job?

Does the warranty cover labor and products use? Get this information in writing, too.

When can you start the work?

If your roof is leaking, you need it fixed urgently. But what if the company you are considering does not have an opening in their work schedule for another six weeks? Be sure they can tackle the job on the timetable you require.

How long have you been in business?

It may be a good idea to do business with a company that has been established for a while rather than a new start-up.

By taking the time to ask for recommendations from people you trust and by asking the right questions, you should be able to find the best roofing company.

There are many times of gutter products that are meant to make their maintenance easier for you and allow you to clean them out less. These products include systems of gutter covers, gutter guards, and heating systems for colder climates. Other products for making cleaning easier include tongs, vacuums, sprayers, and more. There are many factors to consider here. First you have to consider which products will actually work with your current home or gutter system. Not all products will fit your home’s design and current gutter structure. Some solutions might even suggest you replace your entire gutter system like a gutter and cover in one product. The next thing you need to consider is your budget. Are you willing to spend less and clean more? With any solution you consider, you should thoroughly research and review products before purchasing. Most professionals can agree that there are pros and cons to every single option and you should weigh them heavily before deciding. To make things easier, you might make an appointment for your trusted roofer to assess your situation. They might be able to help you with other roofing recommendations, installation, or gutter cleaning if you choose to put off making the decision. Here are 4 of many really good products to consider.

Bottle Brush Gutter Guard

A bottle brush gutter guard is a less expensive option to consider making your gutters efficient longer between cleanings. The brush product you insert into the gutters collects debris and keeps it from clumping and preventing the passage of water. It seems to work really well for people who’ve chosen to use this product. Just like gutters, it needs to be cleaned out periodically, but less than gutters usually do and it shouldn’t cause you any problems (clogging) in the mean time. Other gutter guards are made of a mesh or foam material that catches debris as well, but getting the proper fit for your gutters might be problematic and each product seems to be hit or miss about doing its job.

Gutter Cover and Heat Cable System

Only homes in cold climates will need to consider this option. When ice and snow build on the eaves of the home, it can cause icicles and build up and potentially damage the home. The gutter cover and heat cable system will heat the ice and snow and send the melted water away from the home, preventing water or damage from the heaviness of sitting snow. If sitting ice and snow has been problematic for you in recent years, you may consider installing this system to prevent the costly damages in the future. The only con is that the installation is best done by a professional. Ask your roofer if they recommend the system and if they are able to order and install it.

Gutter Tongs

Cleaning your gutters is recommended twice per year. If you don’t mind doing it yourself, there are products available that can make your life easier. Many people just climb a ladder and use their hands to remove debris that has clogged their gutter system. Gutter tongs can save your hands and prevent you from injuring yourself by being an extension of you and preventing imbalance and falling from the ladder. Extensions of the tongs might be available to keep you from even having to climb a ladder, but seeing if you’ve removed all the debris could be problematic if you don’t get up there yourself.

Gutter Vacuums

Again, if you clean your own gutters and have a shop vac, you can purchase a gutter vacuuming extension. This might do a better job than tongs can do and make the task easier for you. There is definitely an extension for this product so you won’t have to climb a ladder to do it, but you run the same risk of not seeing whether you’ve removed all the debris.

If money is a non-issue, support your local roofing company and employ them to clean your gutters the twice per year that’s needed. The average cost is 175.00-275.00 and depends usually on the size of your home and gutter system. Don’t forget that properly maintaining your home will prevent costly damage later on and can improve resale value in the future.