There are a variety of materials that make up your home’s roof. One of the most important, but least thought of is the flashing. Flash is a strip of metal that prevents water from penetrating the junction of a roof with another surface. The way your flashing ages with the rest of your roof and the way that is repaired or replaced can be very important for your roof and home. Here are some common questions and answers about your roof’s flashing.
- Should you use copper for your flashing?
Copper is an ideal material due to its longevity and lack of maintenance. It never needs to be painted and withstands the elements of south Louisiana. Whether you have lifetime, 40 or 50 year rated shingles, they won’t outlast your copper flashing. While copper can be more expensive initially, you will actually save money in the long run because its lifespan is twice as long as forty pound metal terne.
- Why should flashing be soldered instead of caulked?
Some roofing contractors will use caulk to seal flashing. This is quicker and cheaper method and is highly ineffective. Caulk is meant to be a temporary seal and will lead to eventual leaks. Solder, which is a lead/tin mixture that is melted and used to bond two pieces of metal together, creates a permanent seal.
- Can you just replace shingles without replacing the flashing?
If you are getting a new roof then you should also get new flashing. The areas near a wall, chimney, skylight, valley and other sections can be vulnerable to leaking. When replacing the flashing be sure that it has the same (or greater) life expectancy as your new shingles. When you omit one element from replacement you increase your risk for leaks and other damage.
These are just a few basic questions and some general information about flashing for your roof. If you’ve noticed any leaks in your roof or can see some damaged shingles or exposed flashing it may be time to consider a roof repair or replacement. It is very important to trust a local, licensed and insured roofing company for your home’s needs. For over 50 years Cribbs Incorporated has been helping Baton Rouge homeowners. For more information, click here.