There are several different types of roofing, but all of them have flashing. It's used on the points of a roof where two parts meet at different angles, and its purpose is to keep the roof watertight. Flashing can be subject to wear and tear and may suffer from weather damage, so roof flashing repair is always going to be necessary to keep a waterproof roof. Flashing is laid down before any shingles, clay or concrete tiles, natural stone or sheet metal are put in place. It's made of plastic or metal and can either be in the form of an L-shaped wrap or a strip that requires adhesive to keep it in place.

Access to Roof Flashing

Before repairing your roof flashing, carefully pick up or remove the shingles.
Before repairing your roof flashing, carefully pick up or remove the shingles.

All flashing was originally installed before the roof covering, so care is needed to access it when carrying out necessary roofing repairs. To avoid any damage, some of the shingles or tiles that cover the flashing will need to be either gently pried up or completely removed altogether. For most roof flashing repairs it's only necessary to pry the roof covering up gently and then you can brace shingles or tiles with wood shims. This will give direct access to a section of flashing that needs repairing. It’s not necessary to replace an entire strip of flashing. Any damaged sections can usually be cut out with a razor knife. You can use a pair of tin snips to remove any metal flashing that can't easily be cut with a knife.

Using Adhesive for the Flashing

Whether you use stiff L-shaped flashing or flexible strips for patching, you will need to cut it so that it will overlap a few inches over any flashing that is already in place. Flexible strips can be molded to any angle and held in place with adhesive. Modern flashing is usually held in place as such, and can either be silicone or roofing cement. When carrying out a roof flashing repair you will need to apply a thick coat of adhesive to hold it firmly in place. This layer of will also help to keep water out.

Nails and Screws

Hold the flashing in place with strong adhesive and/or nails and screws.
Hold the flashing in place with strong adhesive and/or nails and screws.

Flashing on an older building might have been nailed into place or held down by screws. This is often the case in areas of a roof around a chimney. Before you can replace damaged sections of flashing you will first need to remove the nails or the screws. A putty knife or a cat’s claw pry bar can be used to remove nails, but for screws you will need a hand-held drill.

Shingle and Tiles

If you have had to remove any tiles or shingles during roof repairs, or if they have been damaged, you will need to replace them properly after completing the roof flashing repair. Whenever you replace any tiles or shingles, you do need to be aware of how the roof has been constructed. Shingles and tiles are always installed in rows, with each row overlapping the one below. Screw holes on clay tiles are covered by the tiles in the row above. This means that when one or more of these has been removed, it will not be possible to simply screw them back into place. The tiles in the row above will be in the way. To counter this, each piece of shingle or tile that needs to be replaced will therefore have to be held in down by roofing cement. This needs to be applied over the top of any roof flashing repair.

Afterwards, feel free to enjoy your new and improved roof flashing. If you at any point felt uncomfortable with the instructions or unclear on the directions, we can help! Contact us at homeyou today to be connected with highly knowledgeable and professional roofing contractors in your area!

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