Who doesn’t want to save money on home repairs? Judging by the number of DIY home improvement posts out there in the blogosphere, homeowners are hungry for tips and tricks on all DIY repair projects. We stopped counting after we saw a post announcing the top 50.
DIY projects make great neighborhood conversation starters. They may even prompt the beginning of new friendships — if your neighbor starts hanging around on the weekends to lend a helping hand.
Have you ever done a DIY project and later felt like it was more of a DIY don’t?
What about a roof flashing repair? Something about ladders and roofs draws a person. Maybe they want a better view of the neighborhood and then get wrapped inspecting shingles and chimneys and such.
Frankly, if you want to tack a loose shingle down here and there, go for it! You might want to think about leaving the flashing to us. In this post, we’ll talk about why replacing flashing on a roof isn’t always the wisest DIY project.
No, we’re not teaching a course on how to install or repair a roof. It’s a good idea though to know what’s sitting on top of your home, especially since it’s what stands between you and rain, snow, sun, and other heavy-hitting weather elements.
Most homes have a steep-slope roof. You can also find flat, or low-slope roofs in certain parts of the country. This post talks solely about steep-slope roofs.
A steep-slope roof consists of the following components:
Rafters and trusses make up the structure. They support the roof sheathing.
Roofers fasten these boards or sheeted material onto the rafters. They help evenly distribute the weight on the roof. You’ll also hear decking called sheathing.
First comes the underlayment. On top of the underlayment go the shingles. A roof covering protects your decking from the weather.
Thought we’d never get to the flashing, didn’t you? And yet, here we are. If you see sheet metal on your roof installed in the joints and valleys, that’s your roof flashing.
Your roof also consists of design features like shape and slope. These are drainage features directly responsible for the roof’s ability to drain water away from the roof’s structure. We haven’t even touched on things like ridge boards, facia, or gutters and downspouts, which are also roof components.
The Purpose of Roof Flashing
Roof flashing, usually manufactured from galvanized steel, prevents water from finding its way into the roof sheathing.
In good condition, metal flashing directs the water flowing from the roof to the shingles. Shingles then direct the water to the ground.
Without flashing installed, water seeps through crevices between walls and the roof. It then ends up seeping into the roof decking where it can damage your roof structure.
Roofing contractors install flashing around vents and chimneys. You’ll also find it surrounding skylights.
More often than not if you have a leaky roof, you can blame your roof flashing.
Leaks Need Fast Action
If it’s not monsoon season, you might not feel concerned about a leaky roof. After all, it’s not leaking today and you won’t see any major rain until late next summer.
The funny thing about roofs — you may not see evidence of a leak until after the decking or structure suffer damage. Even funnier is that even though your roof looks like a simple covering, finding the source of a leak isn’t always simple.
Even so, you can’t ignore water stains on ceilings or walls, and you sure can’t ignore water leaking in your attic if you have one. That means you need to find the leak, fix it quickly, and prevent the roof from springing another leak.
The flashing is one of the most common places you’ll find a leak. Here’s a couple of things not to do when you discover you have a leak around your flashing.
Don’t Grab the Goo
If you watch enough DIY roofing repair videos, someone will come out with the can of black goo. That goo is roofing cement, a common product you can buy at most hardware stores. Just because you can buy it, doesn’t mean you should apply it.
Another much loved (by DIYers) roof repair product is caulk. While a little caulk may work for small roof repairs, caulk, like the black goo, only takes care of the symptoms of a leaky roof. You won’t cure the leak with caulk.
Now, the goo and the caulk do serve a purpose. One does a great job filling nail holes (caulk), the other (roofing cement) can cover exposed nails and screw heads. You can also use roofing cement to patch holes in the flashing, but keep in mind, this is a temporary fix.
Why Risk Making Mistakes While Repairing Flashing?
We know you have a reputation to protect but consider some of these common risks you take when you take on roof flashing repairs as a DIY project.
Flashing can hide bigger roof problems. The untrained eye often misses things that left unrepaired can cause serious roof damage.
Incorrect Use of Materials
We know you wouldn’t misuse repair materials on purpose, but it happens. If you’re not used to working with sealants and other materials, you run the risk of incorrectly applying them.
Roofers walk roofs for a living, and they do it daily. They’ve learned to stay aware of where they’re standing, and they tend to not get careless. Saving a reputation or a few dollars isn’t worth a slip and fall accident, is it?
Sometimes it makes much more sense to hire a professional contractor to take care of roof repairs.
We Can Help with Your Roof Flashing Repair
While we have great respect for the DIY expert (we DIY too), we don’t like to see homeowners put their safety or their roofs at risk. Hopefully, we’ve helped you understand roofs and roof repairs a little better.
When it comes to roof flashing repair, using the wrong materials, or the right materials in the wrong way can cause future problems. Those problems may lead to bigger, more costly repairs.
If you have a roof in need of repair, contact us today. We promise to get the job done right!
Are you looking for the best roof repair company for your Arizona home? Whether it’s flashing, underlayment or a complete roof replacement ~ Call the pros at AZ Roofing Works for a Free Roofing Estimate or call our office directly at (602) 283-3383.