The most obvious portions of the roof of your Pacific Northwest home are covered in shingles or shakes. In fact, those are the most common things people think about when considering their roofing. However, there is another component of you roof that is incredibly important. In fact, your roof would leak without it. That is flashing.
What is Flashing?
Flashing is the metal that is positioned over joints, roof valleys, around chimneys, and dormer windows. This metal covers the seam that is formed when a skylight is installed or on a roof with various levels. If you just put a shingle over that seam, the shingle would bend and create an imperfect and permeable water barrier.
If you have a chance, go look at your roof. You can do it from the ground. Do you see metal around the base of your chimney or skylight? That is flashing.
How does Flashing Work?
Flashing works in several ways. First, it covers the seam created by a valley or vent installation and helps make that seam waterproof. Second, it directs the flow of water so that the water doesn’t pool or seep into your home. It allows the water to stream down your roof and into your gutters properly.
Your roof works with gravity to whisk water away from your shingles as quickly as possible. But you can probably see that, when it comes to a projection like a chimney, the water could tend to pool and not flow properly. Flashing solves this issue by creating a channel for the water to follow and then allowing it to flow off of your roof.
Roof flashing is an extremely important part of your roof’s overall system. If it appears to be bent, discolored, or has moss growing on it, get it checked out. Replacing or repairing flashing is a lot more cost effective than dealing with a leak in your roof.