Flashing: A Key Component for Arvada Roofing

Roof construction is a vital component of any building project, serving to protect the interior of a home or business while shielding away the harmful elements of Mother Nature. Heavy rain, high winds, snow, sleet, hail and even extreme heat or cold can all cause wear and tear on any roofing element despite the material selected for use. Shingle type or another manufactured component utilized for roofing purposes all have varying degrees of sustainability and durability but one component remains essential for the necessary everyday protection of your property. Regardless of which roofing style you decide to incorporate or inherit, flashing installed around various areas needs to be given special attention to protect your investment.

While a roof’s age, color, slope material and style are all areas of focus when designing or deciding on the purchase of a particular property – the flashing also warrants special consideration. Designed and used to prevent water penetration into a structure, thin pieces of material are installed around corresponding edges and transitions in an effort to protect and weather guard all roof structures. These flashing installations can be composed of a variety of metals – lead, copper, stainless steel, aluminum and many more.

Not every roof will require each of the specific types of flashing but all do need some form at one point. Following is a list and description of the various flashing installations which are incorporated into various roof designs and implemented to extend the longevity of a building or residence. These different components may be mixed and matched depending on the design requirements but at least one will be found on nearly every man-made modern structure found today.

Skylight Flashings

The addition of a skylight into a roof can often serve many useful and beneficial purposes. Not only will the new window provide daylight into a room but it can also serve to be an energy efficient addition if correctly utilized and located precisely where needed on the roof. Proper venting, if needed and chosen in the design process, and installation of a skylight can allow for a home to cut down on the use of electricity for heating and lighting purposes as both should be generated from a skylight. While cooling can be an issue, many modern improvements have been made in an effort to make the skylights more eco-friendly and beneficial to those that use them.

The design of windows, doors, and skylights all come in various shapes and sizes but each must utilize its flashing in order to prevent unwanted leaks. One of the most common complaints surrounding the use of skylights involves water penetration into the home or office due to a hole being cut into the roof structure for installation.

Leaky skylights are often the result of improperly installed flashing or material that has aged, corroded or been damaged. However, skylights can serve to benefit owners with properly installed flashing and other measures made to prevent the occurence of water falling through the cracks and into a building instead of remaining outside.

Chimney Flashings/Counter Flashings

Another common component found on a lot of buildings is a chimney coming up out of the roof. Like skylights, this chimney is essentially another hole cut through the structure’s roof surface but used in order to let smoke exit the premises from a fireplace below, instead of light into a building. The opening then requires flashing at the created joints to keep moisture out and from penetrating down the chimney sides into the unit.

Chimney flashing is installed at the base of the chimney where it comes into contact with the roof structure and is often angled to connect both with the roofing and chimney materials. This elevated material then allows for water to remain on the roof surface and not penetrate into the home through an uncovered joint.

Counter flashing is visible from the outside and uncovered but is often the only option when wanting to keep water out around a chimney – a necessity. The angled pieces often slope with the chimney and are joined to both the roof and chimney material helping to create a special barrier for weather protection.

Headwall Flashings

The headwall flashing is installed where a sloped roof meets any wall. Unlike the previous two types of flashing, headwall flashing typically spans a greater length although it serves the same purpose. Another joint compound provides an opportunity for water damage and leakage into a structure, but utilization of flashing helps to protect from this occurring.

Headwall flashings will be utilized and often visible where the wall meets but are one of the most essential elements for increased protection and found on nearly every structure.

Sidewall Flashings

Unlike headwall flashings, sidewall flashings are used where the roof meets another elevated surface. These would be necessary in instances of dormers or a portico where the entrance area is roofed with a its own separate part.

While the name may have changed, both the purpose and often installation procedures for each – side and head – remain the same. Typically, these pieces are connected to the structure and lay over the roof instead of being nailed or attached to the roof directly. This prevents any puncture to the roof surface while allowing the molded metal to form a barrier with installation to the sidewall of a structure.

Backed by decades of experience, Arvada Roofing and Construction has been providing quality roof construction and repair throughout the Denver area for nearly 20 years. If you find yourself in need of a professional review and analysis of the current state for your roof, including an analysis of the different types of flashing utilized and age or wear, we are here to help. Equipped with an amazing staff to handle any roofing job, no matter the size, our company will work to ensure you are pleased with both the design choice and end result of any roofing related project. Providing roofing services of all types in addition to siding and seamless gutters, we are ready to assist. Contact us today online or call 303-432-2753 for your free estimate!

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