Why is Roof Flashing So Important
Updated: Aug 16, 2022
The main function of your roof is to keep the elements out of your home. The most common element that your roof protects you from (besides the sun) is rain. Humans have been building shelters to protect themselves from the rain for thousands of years. Modern roofs do a great job and can last anywhere from 15 to 100 years or more depending on the roof. But every roof is subject to some weak points that are prone to leaking. That’s where flashing comes in.
The most vulnerable points in any roof are joints and penetration. A joint is anywhere that two slopes meet. If your house is any shape other than a perfect rectangle, chances are that you have some valleys in your roof where slopes meet. Dormers are also a common example of a joint between different slopes. Penetrations are what they sound like, anything that requires a hole in your roof. Common penetrations are vents, chimneys, and skylights. Less common penetrations may include specialty installations that have connections both above and below your roof. This may include some solar panel installations or plumbing for swamp coolers or solar water heaters.
Anywhere that there is a joint or penetration in your roof, there is an opportunity for water to work its way through your roof and into your home. To prevent this, modern builders install flashing in these areas. Flashing is made of materials that are not easily penetrated by water.
It serves to redirect water away from the joint and down into the gutters or off the roof. Without flashing, your roof would almost certainly develop leaks over time. But if you have properly installed flashing that is kept in good shape, your chances of a leak are significantly reduced.