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Roofing Terminology

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Flashing

When you stand back and look at your roof from the ground you probably see shingles, plumbing stacks, vents, and maybe a chimney, but a roof component that's seldom visible from the ground can be the most likely point for water to leak into your home. It's something that normally can only be inspected from on the roof and needs attention on a regular basis to ensure it continues to function properly. Don't let your roof flashing cost you more than it has to.

Flashing and your Roof System

Your shingles and underlayment work are designed to keep water out of your home, but there are many places on your roof where they are penetrated by objects needed for your home's daily operation. There are also locations on your roof where the sheathing, underlayment, and shingles meet the vertical walls and siding of your home. Every place there is a roof penetration or the roof makes a transition to a vertical wall, flashing must be applied so water stays out of your home.

Flashing and it can be made out of a diverse list of materials, such as rubber, aluminum, or copper, and in many cases the flashing is topped with roof sealant to help guard against water penetration. Flashing and any sealant it may have should be inspected every year by a qualified roof contractor to verify that they're in good condition, and any areas that warrant attention should be corrected. Here are a few of the possible locations of roof flashing to check:

  • Skylights
  • Plumbing vents
  • HVAC vents
  • Chimneys
  • Gas flues
  • Bay windows

Flashing where a roof system meets brick veneer can be particularly prone to leaks if it isn't done correctly, and chimneys can be another possible trouble spot. If either of these conditions exists on your roof, ask the roofing contractor to give their flashing a thorough inspection.

Roofing Terms