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How Is Roof Flashing Repaired?

October 13, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 128

A major cause of roof deterioration is due to a failure of the flashing system. This article with discuss how flashing can be repaired to protect your roof.

What is flashing?

Flashing is a vital part of building construction used to protect the interior from the extremes of weather and especially water leakage. Flashing on roofs is a smaller detailed part of construction used to protect joint areas created by mounted structures such as chimneys, dormers, skylights, etc. Material is placed at the locations where the structures intersect to deflect water away. Flashing is designed to work with gravity by forcing the path of the water down and away from the vulnerable joint.

When flashing fails

Many things may contribute to the failure of a flashing system. Damage to the roof from a fallen tree or other debris, thermal distress, or poor workmanship can all cause problems. Most often, the extremes of weather conditions overtime can cause break down of the flashing materials in either the flashing itself, or the fasteners. The result is leakage. Leakage is the top contributor to roof deterioration and a major concern for the health and longevity of any roofing unit.


The hope is the repairs can be isolated to a small area, but in some cases entire parts of the roof must be pulled up in order to successfully repair the flashing. Often this is determined by the extent of the damage, but also whether the flashing was installed exposed or concealed. When the flashing is concealed, determining the source of the problem can be more difficult. Also, concealed flashing will be beneath other roofing materials that will require removal first.


For a temporary solution, patches can be placed over holes in the flashing. The patch should be three inches larger than the hole on all sides. It will then be placed over the hole and attached to the flashing with flashing cement, making certain not to let the cement ooze out onto the roof itself. Once dry, it can be painted to match the rest of the flashing. Because this is a temporary fix, the patch should be checked twice a year to ensure it hasn't started leaking again.


When repairing holes in copper flashing, a soldering patch should be used. This is referred to as a "hot" patch for how it is attached. It is best to make the patch out of more copper. Certainly this is true for aesthetics, but copper, as a metal, is not compatible with all other metals commonly used in flashing. Coupled with the wrong type of metal, such as iron, copper will galvanize, causing a chemical reaction breaking down the metals.


Unlike copper, aluminum cannot be soldered and requires a "cold" patch to repair it. Sealing products designed to patch metal gutters can be affective as cold patch fixes on aluminum.

Avoid Roofing Compound

When patching leaks in flashing, do not use roofing compound (the "black goop"). This is a very temporary fix for the leak which can cause long term damage to the flashing materials. Within a year of weather exposure it will become dry and brittle, losing its effectiveness. Plus, the chemical reaction from the compound with metal causes corrosion and accelerates deterioration.

For more information about flashing, contact a commercial roofing contractor near you.

Atlanta Roof Solutions

Atlanta, Georgia

Stefano Grossi Roof Solutions LLC

Source: EzineArticles
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