Repair Roof Flashing

by Fred on November 3, 2012

repair roof flashing

Roofs Materials And Flashing

Sloped Roofs – Most roofs are sloped, and many are covered with asphalt-composition shingles. In fact, this type of material is the most common roofing material, and is used on more than eighty percent of roofs that have a moderate slope to steep slope. When the shingles are nailed in place, they resemble and function like the scales of a fish. Asphalt shingles effectively shed water down the roof.

A roof could also have wood shakes, tile, metal or slate. The fact remains that none of these outer materials actually protects the house and sheds the water. Instead, it is the material under the shingles, or underlayment that keeps out the water. The real function of the wood, tile, metal or slate is to provide a pleasing appearance and to protect the underlayment from nature.

Wood shingles also are used on roofs with a slope. Both cedar shakes and wood shingles are popular in a variety of climates, and both can add architectural appeal to homes. If installed professionally, the homeowner can expect a reasonably long service life.

Both wood shingles and shakes are sawn on the bottom or underside. However, a shake is split on the top face. In contrast, a wood shingle is sawn on the topside. This slight difference in manufacturing means that a shake has a much rougher, rustic look. In contrast, the wood shingle looks much more uniform. The difference in appearance is quite noticeable.

When roofing a home, climate often dictates that the best material be used over the most appealing material. In warmer climates, where the roof stays hot for long periods of time, concrete or clay tiles often are used. On the East Coast, slate roofs have been popular because of their stability in harsh winter conditions.

Both clay tiles and concrete roofs are durable, often lasting many decades. Both materials are likely to outlast asphalt shingles. However, installation is more complex and costly. Also, both materials can be more expensive to repair.

Over the years, a number of composite shingle types have come and gone in the sloped roof market. Far less durable and more expensive to repair, many of them ended up on the losing side of class action suits.

Flat of Low Sloped Roofs

Covering for flat or low-sloped roofs fall into a completely different category. Without slope, they cannot rely on a fish scale configuration to shed water. Dead-flat roofs often experience water ponding (accumulating) on parts of the roof.

One problem with standing water on the roof is that it is heavy. Water weights 62.5 pounds per cubic foot, in. a one-inch pond converts into 5 lbs per square foot. This adds an unnecessary load to the homes structure. The added weight could have serious results if not controlled. Another problem is that water can find its way through any small hole or crack in the roof and damage the home below.

No roof is purposely built completely flat anymore. Now, all roofs must have at least some slope. To fix this problem in older homes, tapered foam board insulation can be used to create a slight slope toward drainage points (roof drains or scuppers).

Existing dead-flat roofs require a watertight membrane running edge to edge in order to work effectively. For years, the popular covering was nicknamed tar and gravel. The technical term for this type of covering is a built up roof. This is because the covering is built up from layers of roofing felt, each being sealed with hot tar. Several layers of tar and felt are laid down and covered with a final flood coat of hot tar. Small diameter pea-sized gravel then is embedded to protect the underlying layers of felt from sun and weather damage. When finished, the waterproof membrane should protect a home for years to come.

As technology advances, so do low-slope roofing options. Today’s neoprene, rubber, and other synthetics are proven materials for use as water-tight membranes. Not only do they last longer, but they are also easier to install because they come in wider rolls. These wider sheets require fewer joints, making leaks less likely. Depending on the particular system, a single ply membrane can be covered with gravel to protect it from the sun. Insulation can be installed either under it or on top of it.

Another material used on flat roofs is urethane foam. Sprayed on the roof decking, the urethane quickly expands to form a layer of closed cell foam. The foam is great at insulating roof decks from heat. However, the foam itself does not fare well in the sun’s rays and requires its own sprayed-on coat of protective material. The foam can help provide a needed slope to a flat roof, but it can be easily punctured. If your roof has urethane foam, we recommend regular and conscientious maintenance.

Extending the Life of Your Roof

These tips will help you extend the life of your roof covering.
1.Keep surrounding trees trimmed so they do not touch the roof. Branches that are heavy with snow or hit the house during high winds can damage a roof.
2.Look for missing, out of place, cracked, or curled roof components. This is hard to do without going onto the roof, so we recommend leaving the roof walking to professional, such as your Barrie Home Inspector, or roofing contractor
3.Make a habit of cleaning the roofs surface, gutters, and downspouts twice a year. Also make an inspection after any violent storm.

Roof Flashings

The most common places for a roof to leak are where the roof covering meets other surface or materials. Chimneys, plumbing vents, roof vents, and sidewalls should all be protected with seals called flashings. Flashings should also be used on adjoining sidewalls and dormers, as well as where two adjacent roof slopes meet in a valley. These are all potential leak areas. Therefore, the proper installation of flashings is critically important.

After the flashings are installed, they should be require little or no maintenance, and they should last the life of the roof covering. It is important to note that roofing cement is NOT a flashing material. If flashings or patches on your roof have been sealed with roofing cement, you should inspect these areas often and renew the seal frequently. When you check your roof, make sure to look for damaged or worn flashings. These should be replaced quickly.

The Barrie Home Inspector provides this article as a guide for homeowners. Please use a contractor or professional home inspector when you suspect problems with your roof. Napoleon Home Inspections does not recommend that the homeowner walk his own roof unless proper ladders and safety lines are in place and attached to appropriate equipment. Remember your safety is of paramount importance.

About the Author:
The “Barrie Home Inspector” provides a professional home inspection for 9.00 which includes one free WETT inspection. We are fully insured and offer a 100% money back guarantee if not completely satisfied. Visit our web site for complete listing of “Do It Yourself” articles for home owners and a forum “Ask the Experts” which provides professional advice from tradespeople.

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Barrie Home Inspector


Frequently Asked Questions

    Is there a way to repair flashing around chimney (or a few shingles) without going on top of the roof?
    I want to see whether we can open a small hole from the roof (under the roof) to repair the flashing or a few shingles without going on top of the roof. It is because the roof is high and it is not safe to do it yourself I think. Your feedback and experience will be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    • ANSWER:
      use scaffolding and roof jacks to make a safe work platform…you could fix the flashing from a hole in the roof but then you have to fix the hole…so just do the flashing from the roof…

    how do i repair lead flashing around stench pipe on roof?
    There is a stench pipe sticking out of the roof of my house. The lead flashing around it is coming away. How do I repair it?

    • ANSWER:
      Clean it well, but don’t use an abrasive. Layer roofing cement or torch-down material over the lead to seal it.

    Roof repair-Replacing lead flashing (valley) on a pitched roof.?
    Hi, i’m looking to replace the lead lining (code 4/code 5) on a semi-detached roof. I’ve searched the internet and i’ve come across a ubiflex product which is a lead alternative and its self adhesive . Will this product be good enough for roof valley flashing and if so whats the procedure for the installation. Thanks

    • ANSWER:
      Usually it is the middle of the lead that is white and oxidised.Instead of replacing it,I have found that coating the whole area in ACRYPOL is best solution.Look up on google for instructions

    Would like to know if a repair collar is available for a vent pipe roof flashing?
    My vent pipe flashings are leaking due to cracking of the rubber donut which slips over the pvc vent pipe. The metal flashings are fine, only a couple years old, but the rubber is badly deteriorated. A web search mentioned that a repair collar is made to slip over the vent pipe so that you do not have to tear up the shingles to replace the entire metal unit. I have checked with plumbing supply houses but no one has heard of it. Does anyone know the manufacturers name of this repair collar or where I could buy it.

    • ANSWER:
      Buy a new aluminum vent cap at your local home center. Cut off the square part so it is round. Put flashing caulk on the old riser part of the flashing and slide the new one over the whole thing. Use tin sheers and cut about 1/2 inch off the bottom of the new riser. The flashing caulk will hold the new riser down .

    Rust under flashing on metal roof.Repair?
    I have some rust and corrosion under metal flashings on a roof. If I exclude moisture (apart from that in the air) by placing another flashing over the top will this stop the rust continuing? It would be easier than removing the existing flashing.Thank you. Neil

    • ANSWER:
      putting something over it will not stop the rust.

Flat Roof Flashing Repair, Tile Roof Flashing Repair, DIY Flashing, Flashing Leak, How to Roof Flashing, How to Fix Roof Flashing, How to Install Roof Flashing, Roof Flashing Repair Cost,

repair roof flashing

Fred (380 Posts)

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