Why Properly Installed Roof Flashing is Important

Any Houston roofing contractor knows that a building’s worst enemy is water. A home will last far longer if water is kept out of it. The first line of defense against invading water is the building’s roof, but some architects and designers seem to be oblivious to that fact. Homeowners also do not pay enough attention to their roofs except when they spring a leak or an emergency occurs.

Some roofers shirk their duties when they install a new roof or replace one. They seem to forget the basic rule that flashing is a critical component of a roofing system, and it has to be installed correctly to prevent water from entering your home at several locations. Flashing is a protective seal that keeps water from seeping into your home around such areas as the chimney, skylight, dormer or vents. Flashing is required in those spots because they are the most likely locations where water can invade a home.

If your home needs a Houston roof repair, the contractor must install the flashing properly for it to do its job. It has to be installed anywhere that the roof is subject to penetrated, such as grooves, joints, valleys, gaps, edges and intersections. If a Houston residential roofing company does not install the flashing correctly, the joints of the roof can deteriorate prematurely. If the job is not done right initially, you will end up spending more money to fix the problem before it causes further damage.

Flashing in the valley areas should be trimmed in a “W” configuration. A woven style might be widely used in some areas, but that is not as useful at warding off wind-driven rain. The valley should have 3 inches of ice and water membrane for maximum effectiveness.

When having kick-out flashing or flashing installed against a vertical sidewall, the step-flashing method is best. It should be at least 4 inches high and 4 inches wide. At the end of the sidewall, the flashing should be turned out so runoff is directed away from the wall, onto the roof and into the gutter.

Basically, you should consider how a drop of water will react. If water gets under or behind the flashing, the only place for it to go is inside the building. It helps to wrap the ice and water membrane 6 to 8 inches along the vertical wall so that it goes beyond the kick-out flashing.

Your contractor should add a drip edge when using metal fascia. This is especially true in areas that are prone to hurricanes. The drip edge used to be attached directly to the sheathing and subsequently covered in felt. Nowadays, most manufacturers demand that a layer of ice and water membrane is beneath the drip edge. The ice and water membrane shield must be wide enough to keep water from soaking into the fascia or the sheathing’s edge.

You will get the best protection possible if your contractor uses a 6-inch strip of ice and water membrane or a membrane that adheres itself over the sheathing and onto the fascia. The drip edge will completely cover the front of the membrane. Then, the membrane can be covered with felt or some synthetic overlay. In windy areas it is probably to your advantage to tape all the sheathing seams before the overlay is applied.

If you are having your roof repaired or are building a new home, give Paramount Roofing a call at 713-748-4000. We understand how important properly installed flashing is to the integrity of your roof, and we do the job correctly the first time. We will come to your home and give you a free, no-obligation estimate. We are also available for emergency repairs.