Flashing is arguably the most important non-structural part of a roofing system, as it protects its most vulnerable parts of it. In this blog, roofing company Georgia Roof Advisors discusses how to check and maintain roof flashing.
Types of Flashing
First, you need to recognize the types of flashing used in a typical sloped roof:
- Valley flashing is the most common type of roof flashing. It is a strip of metal with a profile shaped like an inverted “T”. Valley flashing is usually found in roof valleys, or where two roofing planes meet. The vertical fin acts as a barrier that prevents rainwater from flowing from one roofing plane and under another.
- Continuous and step flashing are installed where the roofing plane meets dormers and walls. Continuous flashing is installed on the side that’s parallel to the roof, while step flashing is installed on the sloped sides. The “steps” follow the overlaps on asphalt shingles.
- Drip edges are installed along the roof’s edge. The inverted L-shaped profile prevents rainwater from seeping back into the roof deck through capillary action.
- Rubber boots, also known as vent pipe flashing, are cone-shaped rubber flashing installed at the base of vent pipes. The cone is trimmed to match the pipe diameter during installation.
All manner of roofing work, including roof repair and maintenance, must be conducted by a roofing professional. If you don’t have a scheduled maintenance agreement yet, we recommend signing up for one. Roof inspections are different; you can do them yourself and call a professional if or when you find a problem.
On a clear day, take out a pair of binoculars and inspect your roof, paying attention to the types of flashing as we described earlier. Flashing may get knocked out of place or dislodged altogether. Rubber boots may develop cracks due to age, so these will require replacement. If you’re up for something more high-tech, you can use a high-definition camera mounted on a remote-controlled drone to record a video inspection. You and your roofing contractor can review the footage for later reference.