Roofing Flashings: Possible Causes of Roofing Trouble

When it comes to roof construction, homeowners are at liberty to use or not to use roof flashings. Roof flashings are essentially used to cover joints or spaces created around valleys, seams, gutters, vents, chimneys and other sections of the roof that are vulnerable to weather-induced leaks. When you are inspecting your home's roofing flashings, here's what you will need to look out for.

Loose flashings

Because both the interiors and exteriors of roofing are usually exposed to atmospheric temperatures, expansion and contraction often take place. When it is really hot outside, the cooler air inside the house exerts an outward pressure on the surface of the roofing, making the roof shingles expand. Conversely, when it is extremely cold outside, the cooler air on the outward part of the roofing exerts an inward pressure on the roof material, causing it to shrink or contract. Over time, as this cycle of temperature and pressure variations continues, the flashing installed on the roofing will gradually become loose. This may leave openings or gaps that may allow air or water to find their way inside your home. In most cases, loose flashings don't require replacement. All you may have to do is carefully check if there are any loose nails and tighten them using a hammer.

Rusty flashings

The presence of rust is a serious telltale sign that you need to replace and not repair your roof flashings. This is because the rust will continue to eat away the frail remnants of the flashings until there is nothing more to keep your roof leak-free. Roof flashings made from ferrous metal such as steel will eventually succumb to rusting even if they are galvanized. If you can afford roof flashings made from non-ferrous metals such as copper or zinc, the better for your roofing.

Deterioration of caulking

Caulking is often used to treat flashings installed around chimneys, vents and rain gutters. What the caulking does is cushion these trouble spots from the risk of water damage and block air from leaving or entering your home via the roof section. As caulking gradually becomes dry due to prolonged exposure to extreme temperature variations, it loses its weatherproofing abilities along the way as well. Make sure you reinstall any deteriorated caulking so as to prevent the damage that is often induced by lack of proper sealing around those areas where the flashings are installed.

For more information or help with repairs, contact a local roofing company.