Winston Salem Roofing: Article About Flashing Types
Most people who are knowledgeable about roofing, like a Winston Salem roofing contractor, know that there are certain areas that are more susceptible to leakage and water damage than others. The areas that are the most vulnerable are around chimney perimeters, roof valleys, dormers, skylights, and vents. All of these places are given an extra layer of protection called flashing to help direct the flow of water around them.
Flashing materials are made of sheet metal, plastic, or composite material. Copper or stainless steel are the most common of the sheet metals. They are the most durable, but they are also typically the most expensive. Plastic or PVC-based flashing is a less expensive alternative, but it can wear in direct sunlight if there are parts exposed.
Step flashing is installed to protect chimneys, dormer side walls, and some skylights. It is made into right-angle shaped pieces. Step flashing pieces overlap the sections below it, and the vertical edge is tucked under the siding or capped with flashing, mortared into the chimney, or caulked alongside a skylight. This is to make sure that water can't leak through the vertical edge of the flashing.
Metal flashing is often chosen for dormer windows. Not only is step flashing used on the side walls, but it can also be used as a strip around the dormer under the roofing material.
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Dormer flashing is also different than flashing around other windows as it extends into an apron over the roofing materials.
Chimney flashing is used to protect the base of the chimney, and it can be metal or plastic. Continuous flashing is used along the bottom of the chimney and at the top where the slope meets the chimney. Step flashing is used up the sloped sides of the chimney. This is covered by cap flashing, and it is then mortared or caulked into the chimney, preventing leaks behind the vertical edges of the flashing.
Skylights often have flashing built into their design. However, it is still recommended to use extra flashing around them. The skylight may need to be removed in order to properly install the flashing around it. Continuous flashing is used along the base with step flashing along the sides.
There are other types of flashing used on other parts of the roof, including valley flashing, drip edge flashing, and vent flashing. Flashing will help all of these areas be safe from water leakage, draining, and damage.