The roof is one of the most important components of any structure, so it is important to carefully consider every part of the building process. With so many entry points from the roof to the building itself to account for, it is important to be methodical when installing the roof in order to eliminate that possibility of water damage. In order to effectively accomplish this, roof flashing has emerged as a way to secure the exterior of the building to conceal it from the elements.


What Is It?

The process of flashing involves installing a continuous series of sheet metal or other material that is waterproof. These sheets need to be thin and installed in such a way that water is prevented from entering into a structure due to an angle or joint being left vulnerable. It is a leak-proof barrier that is necessary to secure the integrity of the roof itself.

The concept originated because it has been noticed that water needs to go against gravity and work its way up if it is to make it through a joint in the roof. There are cases when it is raining hard and is rather windy, which means that the roof needs to be able to diminish the force of the heavy rain that is coming it’s way. Now that its importance has been established, it is helpful to mention the two different ways that roof flashing can be installed.


Exposed Installation

Exposed flashing is typically composed of sheet metal. Interestingly enough, this is how the process got its name. The metal actually works to catch the sunlight and then reflect it off. This creates an effect that catches the eye due to its flashing effect. The metals used in this type of installation are usually made from one of the following:

  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Lead
  • Stainless Steel That Has Been Painted
  • Terne Metal
  • Zinc Alloy

Copper is considered to be the best option for this type of installation due to its durable nature and the fact that it is so malleable. If you use copper, you are virtually ensured that the roof will not have any weak points anyplace in the structure. In addition, copper does not get destroyed when exposed to heavy seasons of sunlight. This is not necessarily true for the other types of metal listed.


Concealed Installation

As its name implies, this is a type of installation that the naked eye will not be able to see. It is comprised of either a membrane that is waterproof or thin pieces of sheet metal. If using a membrane, you will generally want to look for material like fabric that is made from bituminous coal. Alternatively, you would use plastic sheet material.

The type of membrane that you end up choosing will depend on the climate you are in and the structural requirements of the building itself. It should be noted that aluminum and lead should not be used for this type of installation because of the adverse chemical reactions that can occur when they come into contact with various types of cement mortar.


Things To Keep In Mind

Roof flashing requires precision, so homeowners will want to rely on a professional roofing contractor to get it done right. When installed properly, water will be deflected away from any problem spots on the roof, thereby protecting the home below. If not properly installed, leaks and further structural damage can result. Choose the right materials and then have it properly installed. This will protect your home for years to come.



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