If you’re among the unfortunate homeowners in New Castle or Kent County that have a leaky roof, you know all too well how frustrating it can be. Summer rains and spring snowmelt are just part of life here, but water damage shouldn’t have to be part of the process. If you find that your relaxed way of life is interrupted each time there’s a decent amount of rain, it’s time to find the source of the problem. And if you seem to end up with a leaky roof, no matter what you try, it may not be the roof itself but the flashing that’s causing the issue.
What Is Flashing?
In the world of roofing, flashing refers to a thin material that’s used to direct water away from specific areas of your roof. Flashing is typically made of galvanized steel, and it is used in areas where the roof plane meets a vertical surface, like a dormer or a wall. It’s often installed to surround certain features like your chimneys, skylights, and vents. The idea is that water will run down the side of the flashing and be directed to your shingles instead of ending up on the roof deck. Some of the different types of roof flashing include:
- Continuous flashing
- Base flashing
- Counter flashing
- Step flashing
- Valley flashing
- Kickout flashing
- Skylight flashing
Common Causes of Flashing Failure
Installing flashing on your roof is a great way to help prevent roof leaks, but it doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get the results you want. Roof flashing can fail you in certain situations, which is why it’s important to have it inspected periodically and make sure you’re working with a reputable contractor. Some of the common causes of flashing failure include:
Normal Wear and Tear – The fact that we have four seasons in Delaware means your flashing is going to be exposed to dramatic temperature changes over the course of the year that could cause the material to expand and contract, making it warp.
A Settling Foundation – If the foundation of your house settles, it may end up causing your flashing to become loose. If it doesn’t have a secure fit, it can’t direct the water where it needs to go during a rainstorm. The most common areas that are affected by a settling foundation are your chimney or fireplace, where you may notice it pulling away.
DIY Installation – As with most things that have to do with roofing, trying to install your flashing by yourself can end up with poor results. It’s important to note that the flashing on your roof is one of the areas that are most prone to leaks, so it’s important to have the right tools and experience to take care of this crucial part of the process.
Signs of Damage to Your Flashing
Since flashing is such an important part of your roof when it comes to leak prevention, it’s a good idea to watch for signs of damage to ensure it’s always in good condition. If you’re comfortable, you can find out where the flashing is installed on your roof and look yourself, or book an appointment for a professional to come and take a look as part of a normal roof inspection. If you’re able to catch the issue with your flashing early, you can prevent costly water damage down the road. Some of the signs that indicate you need flashing repair include:
- Visible rust or corrosion
- Small holes in the flashing
- Cracks, dents, or warping
- Missing pieces after high winds
- Damaged shingles or siding near the flashing
- Stains or mold on fascia boards
Call in the Professionals for a Solution
If you notice any of the above signs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Best Choice Roofing as soon as possible. We will come out quickly to inspect your roof and let you know if your flashing requires repair or replacement. We always offer free, no-obligation inspections and a free personalized estimate during a consultation with one of our roofing experts.
We want you to have total peace of mind knowing that your roof is in good condition and that you don’t have to worry about leaks or any other issues. If you’re in the Newcastle or Kent County area, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today so we can get the process started.