Why is roof flashing repair important in Colorado? | Total Home Exteriors of Colorado

“Why is roof flashing repair important in Colorado??” our customers ask us this all the time! Our highly trained in the State of Colorado as Roof Repairs Experts answer this question over and over again.  So we decided to write a blog article about this for Colorado Homeowners with Roof Issues.

So why is Roof Flashing so important?

Simply, it is a material that is placed at points on a roof that are prone to leaks. These are usually areas between various items and the roof, such as skylights, chimneys, or vents, would a few good examples. Further, it is also found between different parts of the roof as well. The ‘Flashing’ is usually made of metals that are resistant to corrosion.  Flashing serves to direct water away from the leak-prone areas towards gutters or off the roof. When roof flashing begins to Deteriorate, it can lead to leaks and damage your house. Unfortunately, some of our competition use lesser quality products like plastic, duct tape, or other composites which causes the leaks to remain in most cases, but the expert roofing contractors of Total Home Exteriors of Colorado never use inferior materials.

What Happens When Roof Flashing Fails for Colorado Homeowners

As stated above, flashing is a material that is used to direct rainwater away from the roof and into gutters or just off of your roof. Roof flashing plays a vital role in maintaining the integrity of your roof. Most roofs have areas that are prone to leaks. These are generally are areas where water collects, such as valleys on tile roofs or where two roof slopes meet on shingle style roofs. Be aware that places, where a roof meets another structure, are also prone to leaks at their joints. Because of this, roof flashing is installed almost anywhere a roof joins another structure, such as a chimney, dormer, skylight, or vent.  In Colorado, it is common to see this based on the fashion design of certain homebuilders.

It is important to understand that flashing protects your roof from leaks by adding another layer of material specifically designed to redirect water. Without roof flashing, your home will become damaged very quickly during the numerous rain or snow storms associated with Colorado. As your roof begins to deteriorate, this will increase the risk of leaks during major windy rain and snow events including blizzards. A roof leak or leaks can have a major effect on homes, causing large amounts of damage well beyond the roof. In the roofing industry, it is known that water generally finds the fastest route to the ground. Thus, if a leak is not noticed and fixed immediately, a home can experience water damage.

Roof Issues from leaks caused by roof flashing damage is common in homes built in Colorado

A leak into your home’s attic can cause moisture to build up and seep into the wooden structure. This could weaken the structure and even cause it to rot and creating possible structural damage. These repairs can be expensive! Many times, Total Home Exteriors of Colorado is asked to handle removing and rebuilding parts of your house’s basic framing. We have seen first hand how water damage occurs when water comes in contact with drywall in a ceiling or wall of your home. Unfortunately, the drywall soaks up water and can become waterlogged.

Did you know, in Colorado that wet drywall creates a number of hazards due to the mold it creates the air? Having a cold and wet environment that is heated by a home’s heating system for half of the year can become a breeding ground for mold and fungi. We commonly find black mold and fungi in the inner wall and these mold spores become overtime released into your home’s air. This toxic air will make you, your family, and people visiting your house very sick. Unfortunately, removing drywall with black mold and other fungus is a must and it is not always easy.

Some Colorado homeowners ask us to sub-contract a water damage specialist. They will start by spraying some form of poison on the mold or fungus to kill it. After that, the section of the drywall affected by the mold will still need to be removed and replaced. If there is too much moisture in the area, the area may have to be sealed off and treated for days or weeks with a dehumidifier before repairs can be effectively started.

Let’s take a close look at the types of Roof Flashing Repair available

There are many types of flashing, but they all fall into a few broad categories. Materials used for flashing vary. By far the most common material is sheet metal. Roofers usually use galvanized steel for its durability. In some cases, aluminum may be preferable. This is often the case with DIY roofing jobs since aluminum is more easily bent and easier to work with. In some specific situations, a roofer may use copper flashing. This is usually done for looks. It is most common on historic homes or homes with unique roofing materials, including roofs made completely of copper.

Another material that can be used for flashing it PVC plastic. This material is cheaper than metal and easier to cut and work with. However, it is not as durable. When exposed to sunlight over a long period, PVC plastic tends to break down. With PVC plastic flashing it may be necessary to monitor the condition of your flashing and repair or replace it as it deteriorates.

Some flashing is now available made of synthetic materials and composites. These materials are relatively new and have different properties. Often they are used for their durability or ease of installation. The professionals at Total Home Exteriors of Colorado – Your Roofing Experts can provide helpful information on the latest materials and their benefits.

Where Roof Flashing is Installed?

How flashing is installed depends on where it is installed. The most basic type of flashing is the flashing that collects water in the valleys of your roof. These are the joints where two slopes meet. Flashing in these areas will be installed underneath the shingles on either side. When the water reaches the valley it will flow off the shingles and into the gulley created by the flashing. From there the water is safely directed to a gutter, downspout, or simply off the edge of the roof.

Chimney Flashing – A common location for flashing is around a chimney. Chimney flashing is actually a collection of several types of flashing. Continuous flashing, a single strip of metal (or another material) is installed along the base of the chimney where it meets the roof. Along the sides of the chimney, step flashing is installed. This consists of squares fo flashing that overlap, similar to shingles, and climb up the side of the chimney along with the slope of the roof.

Saddle Flashing – It is like a little mini roof behind the chimney on the higher side. Also called a cricket, this is a ridged design feature. It directs water and debris to either side of the chimney. That way it does not back up and collect on the high side of the chimney.

Cap Flashing – This is where the top of the flashing meets the brick (or other material) of the chimney, cap flashing will be mortared or caulked to the chimney. This flashing is attached to the chimney at its top and its lower part overlaps the flashing below. The bottom edge of the cap flashing is molded to direct water outward and away from the step flashing. It keeps water from seeping behind the step flashing.

Vent Flashing – Flashing is also used around vents in the roof. The type of flashing depends on the type of vent. This flashing is also commonly included with the vent hardware.

Skylight Flashing – The same is true of skylights. Skylights require flashing around the area where they meet the roof. The flashing is often integrated into the design of the skylight. If it is not, flashing must be installed to prevent leaks around the skylight.

Dormer Step Flashing – If a house has dormers, flashing will be required where the vertical walls of the dormer meet the sloped roof. Like with a chimney, step flashing is installed along the vertical wall of the dormer following the slope of the roof. The step flashing will be capped with cap flashing that is attached to the exterior of the dormer. The base of the dormer will get continuous flashing and the peak of the dormer will get saddle flashing. The area where the roof of the dormer meets the rest of the roof will be treated like other valleys, with standard flashing that rests beneath the shingles on either side.

Roof Flashing… Is this a DIY Project?

Roofing work is never a DIY project. Being on a roof and working on a roof is dangerous! Many people putting up Christmas lights get hurt and more with the main danger coming from falls. Without proper equipment, the risk of falling can be even worse. If you are not familiar with working on roofs, it is best to bring in a contractor. Total Home Exteriors of Colorado is experienced in roof repair and roof replacement.

One common issue with roofing maintenance is the replacement or repair of what is called roof flashing, or simple flashing. Roof flashing is sheet metal installed at any breaks, joints, or edges on your roof to prevent leaks. Most flashing is composed of aluminum or galvanized metal. This means that roof flashing repair can typically be cheap and easy to do, although there are some mistakes to avoid.

If your roof is at the point where you need to repair or replace flashing, stop call us and we can do it for you.  Don’t try to get on the roof to repair or replace: step flashing, vent flashing, or chimney flashing. You could break or crack a tile leading to a roof leak. You could be using the wrong tools and materials, thus causing more damage to the integrity of your home’s roof.

While our competition will offer a variety of buzzwords and fancy types of roof flashing repairs. We know that there are three different types of roof flashing repair.

  • Step flashing is when you repair the damage by putting in new flashing over the damaged area. First, snip the new flashing with your shearers, then bend it to a 90-degree angle. Then slide it up the roof, preferably on top of the damaged flashing. Adhere it using your flashing cement.
  • Vent Flashing is damage near or on the vents of your roof. First, locate the leak. If the problem is with the pipe itself, you should replace it with a new collar or install a larger collar over the existing pipe. For more severe damage, you may need to install all new vent flashing, which requires removing the shingles and replacing each piece again. Your roofing nails will be used up quickly if this is the case. Make sure you have enough.
  • Chimney flashing repairs are done around the chimney area. If the damage and the leak are minor, you should be able to replace the chimney flashing just like you would step flashing. If the mortar joint is deteriorating, the joint will need to be repointed and you may need to have this done professionally. Either way, the damaged area will need to be cleaned with steel wool or the flashing cement will need to be used to finish the job.

Okay, so I think we clearly answered this roof flashing question, but if you have more questions about this topic don’t hesitate to call us. We recommend you call our caring customer service team to get a roof estimate right away. Plus we are a+ rated by the BBB in Colorado too.  Lastly, Total Home Exteriors of Florida proudly serves all of Colorado and we love getting referrals. So send us a referral today!