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Why Roof Flashing Is Leak-Prone

Roof flashing performs an essential function in protecting your roof, but it’s also one of the leak-prone parts of your roof. How can you reduce the risk of roof flashing being dislodged?

The Function of Roof Flashing 

Roof flashing is made of a thin strip of waterproof material, usually sheet metal. Its primary function is to cover gaps between the roof surface, roof penetrations and roof surfaces made of different materials. 

The Weak Point of a Conventional Roofing System 

The problem is these gaps are the weak points of a conventional roofing system. Not to mention roof flashing can be easily dislodged, allowing rainwater to seep into your roof’s underlayers. However, you can reduce the risk of leaks by sticking to a roof inspection and maintenance schedule and choosing the right kind of flashing. 

Here’s an overview of the most common flashing materials on the market: 

  • Sheet metal – Sheet metal flashing, which is composed of steel, zinc and aluminum alloys, is the most commonly used type of flashing. 
  • Aluminum – Aluminum flashing is also a popular choice because the material is lightweight, durable and cost-effective. However, aluminum isn’t suited to all types of roofing systems. That’s because alkaline materials such as concrete and the copper-rich preservatives in treated lumber can degrade aluminum. 
  • Copper and lead-copper – Copper and lead-copper flashing is often found in historic homes. Of the three options, copper and copper-lead flashing is the most expensive but also the most durable. However, it’s not without its disadvantages. For instance, it’s harder to mold than aluminum. 

Regardless of the type of flashing you choose, make sure only experienced roofers install them. Remember: The roof joints—and by extension, the flashing covering them—is the most vulnerable part of your roofing system. 

Looking for experienced contractors in your area? 

3JM Exteriors, a locally owned and operated business with over 50 years in combined construction experience, offers a wide range of professional roofing services, including emergency storm damage repair services. To schedule a free inspection, call us at (630) 985-6494 or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Naperville and Downers Grove, IL, as well as the surrounding communities.