A Homeowner’s Guide To Roof Flashing Repair

Posted on January 24, 2024

roof flashing repairs

Are you wondering how to conduct roof flashing repairs? Before you proceed, read this essential guide to learn all the important details homeowners like you need to know about flashing damage and repairs. At Empire Roofing & Exteriors, we’re passionate about home improvement, and we do our best to help homeowners keep their homes protected for years to come. 

In this blog post, you’ll learn the following:

  • Temporary solutions to contain the damage
  • Professional techniques to fix different types of roof flashing
  • Expert tips to prevent flashing damage in the future

Controlling Leaks Caused By Roof Flashing Damage

Damaged roof flashing can cause various issues, including leaks, structural damage, mold growth, and water damage to the siding and interior of your home. So, the first step homeowners should take is to control the damage as soon as they notice a leak

👉 Place a bucket to catch dripping water

👉 Use a waterproof tarp or thick plastic sheet over or under the leak to prevent water infiltration. Secure it using a heavy-duty tape.

👉 Remove any standing water from the floor using a mop or wet/dry vacuum.

👉 Relocate furniture and valuable items away from the affected areas.

Roof flashing repair
Roof flashing repair

DIY vs. Professional Roof Flashing Repair

The decision to handle roof flashing repair on your own, or by hiring a professional is often the first choice homeowners have to make. This section will guide you through the decision-making process, and help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Can You Fix Roof Flashing By Yourself?

Whether it’s within your capability largely depends on several factors, including your home maintenance proficiency level, comfort working at heights, and tool availability. 

Pros:

DIY roof repairs may be beneficial for homeowners who are handy with such tasks, when the roof is out of warranty, or the given damage is not covered by insurance.

  1. Savings: Repairing roof flashing by yourself eliminates the labor costs of professional repair services.
  2. Flexibility: Choosing a DIY approach gives you control over when and how fast the work gets done.

Cons:

Countering these advantages is quite a few risks

  1. Quality Assurance: If you are not skilled at roofing projects, a professional would be better suited for the job. Poorly executed repairs might lead to recurring leaks or other associated damage.
  2. Safety Risks: Without proper training or equipment, climbing onto roofs carries inherent danger.
  3. Unnecessary Expenses: DIY repairs are often not long-term solutions and tend to lead to compromised roofing systems, future leaks, and more expensive repairs to fix the damage. Moreover, buying the proper gear, tools, and materials is an expensive investment for a one-time thing.
  4. Delayed Work: Inexperienced homeowners may not be able to work efficiently, exhausting their time and money on something that could have been handled quickly and effectively by a professional.
  5. Issues With Warranties And Insurance Claims: Manufacturers and insurance companies generally require proof of proper maintenance and repairs conducted by certified professionals. Unauthorized or improper roofing work often leads to rejected insurance claims and void warranties.

Overall, it’s important to hire experts, especially if safety concerns arise due to steep pitches or high roofs where falls could carry serious consequences. Having peace of mind about your well-being is worth the cost. 

Type Of Roof Flashing

Here are some of the different types of flashing you might have on your roof:

Valley flashing is placed in the gap formed where two roof planes meet. It tends to easily collect debris, leading to corrosion or holes. 

Cap Flashing -Cap flashing protects joints where your roof meets walls or chimneys, vulnerable spots prone to leaks. 

Continuous Flashing – Continuous flashing serves as a barrier between horizontal roofing elements like skylights and the roof’s surface.

Vent Pipe Flashing Repair – Vent pipe flashing protects the gaps that are created by pipes protruding through the roof. It prevents the weather from entering your home and causing water damage. 

Step Flashing – Step flashing looks like metal pieces folded at a 90-degree angle. Pieces are overlapped in a step pattern with some of the material going underneath shingles to provide added protection. 

Drip Edge Flashing – Drip edge flashing is installed below the starting row of shingles along the eaves and acts as an additional barrier against moisture intrusion. 

The Proper Way To Repair Roof Flashing

When a professional sets out to repair roof flashing, the process is meticulous and thorough, ensuring long-term durability and protection against water intrusion. Each type of flashing on a roof may require a slight difference in repair, but here is a simple overview of the process. 

Initially, the expert begins with a comprehensive inspection of the flashing, pinpointing any areas of damage, corrosion, or detachment. This is particularly critical at key junctions such as where the roof meets walls, chimneys, or other protrusions. They then proceed to clean the area meticulously, removing any debris, old sealant, or rust

If the flashing is beyond repair, the contractor may have to completely remove it. This removal process is delicate, as it’s essential to avoid inflicting further damage to the surrounding roofing materials. Once removed, precise measurements are taken for the new flashing strip. The flashing will then be cut to the exact size needed and be fit into place with nails or screws.  

Some flashing may not need to be completely replaced, but instead repaired and resealed. A high-quality, durable sealant is used for this, and it’s applied along the edges where the flashing meets the roof and the adjoining wall or structure. 

After any repairs, a water test should be conducted to ensure the flashing is properly installed and there are no leaks. The water test simulates rain conditions and can help the contractor determine how effective the repair is. 

Understanding Common Causes Of Roof Flashing Damage

Roof flashing repair

The first step to prevent flashing damage is understanding the common causes behind it. This will help you prevent frequent leaks and the need for repairs in the first place.

Weather Conditions

Adverse weather conditions take the largest toll on your roofing system. Powerful storms, extreme heat, hailstorms, or heavy snowfall could contribute significantly to the deterioration of your roof’s health.

Improper Installation

If the flashing is installed incorrectly or handled by an inexperienced individual, it can lead to damage almost immediately, which would require frequent, potentially expensive repairs.

Corrosion

Over time, standard metal flashing, especially steel, can corrode due to exposure to certain elements in air or water. If trapped moisture doesn’t dry out quickly, the flashing will begin to corrode. 

Physical Damage

Accidents happen! Debris from strong winds or falling tree limbs might physically damage the flashing. Maintaining your roof and cutting back tree branches can save you from expensive repairs down the road.

Tips On How To Avoid Frequent Roof Flashing Repair

Get A Professional Roof Inspection

A good rule of thumb is to inspect the roof at least twice a year, in spring to prepare for summer downpours, and in fall to prepare for winter storms. However, after big storms or strong winds, an extra inspection is always wise. Most roofing contractors, including us, provide free roof inspections to help homeowners understand the current condition of their roofs.

Ensure That The Flashing Is Properly Sealed

Another crucial aspect to preventing future damage lies in correctly sealing the flashing around vents and chimneys. More often than not, these areas are susceptible to water infiltration due to poor sealing practices. Therefore, make sure your roofer uses a compatible, high-quality roof flashing sealant. Additionally, it would be wise to reapply the sealant every few years as it tends to deteriorate with time.

Select The Right Flashing Material

Selecting high-quality materials initially might increase the expense, but could end up being cost-effective in the long term. Copper and stainless steel flashing resists rust and wear better than its aluminum counterparts. They also have an extended lifespan, which means fewer routine expenses related specifically to repairing or replacing damaged sections.

By using these maintenance tips you can lessen the chance of needing large-scale, unscheduled repairs tomorrow. If you need professional guidance or roof flashing repairs in Baton Rouge, LA, we’re here to help. 

Schedule A Free Consultation With An Expert For Your Roof Flashing Repairs

At Empire Roofing & Exteriors, we’re proud to be among the highest-rated and recommended roofing contractors in the Baton Rouge area. Being a part of the community, it’s our duty as local professionals to safeguard our neighborhood by providing expert roofing and exterior services. You can count on our talented, experienced, and friendly team for the best roof repair services in Baton Rouge and the surrounding area. Call us at (225) 347-8877 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your needs with our experts today!