Flashings And Your Shingle Roof - Understanding Your Home

Metal on your Atlanta home’s shingle roof can catch sunlight and dazzle you with its brightness; that is the reason that metal is called flashing — it glints and flashes in the sunshine. By directing the flow of water on your shingle roof, flashing helps to keep your roof water resistant and structurally sound.

What Flashing Does

Your shingle roof is really an integrated system of parts, from fiberglass-asphalt shingles to gutters. Along with elements like water shield and sheathing, your roof has flashing to direct water towards the gutters.

Metal flashing is used to bridge seams between unlike materials, such as the masonry around your chimney and the fiberglass asphalt of your shingles.

What Flashing Is

Any heavy-gauge metal that can be formed to fit the various angles on your Atlanta home’s shingle roof can be used for flashing:

  1. Aluminum, copper or zinc alloy
  2. Galvanized steel
  3. Stainless steel
  4. Terne metal (an alloy of lead, tin and antimony)
  5. Lead-coated copper

Professional roofers do not use the flashing often sold in weekenders’ home improvement stores; it is roughly three times thinner than the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends. It is also not made to be long-lasting and weather-tight. The NRCA cites these thicknesses in its Manual:

  • 26 gauge for galvanized, prefinished galvanized, Galvalume or stainless steel
  • 0.016 inches for copper-coated stainless steel
  • 0.032 inches for aluminum or prefinished aluminum
  • 16 ounces for copper or lead-coated copper

Where Flashing Goes

Metal flashing is used around piercings through your Atlanta-area home’s shingle roof like chimneys and ventilation fan covers. Flashing is used around skylights and dormer windows; the drip edge along your roof’s eaves is a type of flashing, too. Flashing helps terminate shingle roof perimeters neatly, and provides a solid, waterproof substructure under lapped shingles in valleys.

How Flashing Lasts

Solid metal is used to prevent water from infiltrating; therefore, flashing is almost never attached to a surface with nails or screws that leave visible holes; adhesives are used instead.

Flashing needs periodic inspection and cleaning, tasks best left to professionals. Most flashing can be cleaned with a wire brush and a mild cleaning agent. Flashing that has corroded, pitted or broken loose must be replaced (again, by professionals).

For the best in flashing maintenance and replacement, contact the trained professionals of Pro Roofing & Siding. We know what to watch for and how to maintain your Atlanta home’s shingle roof.