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Roof Flashing Repair

Flashing is that part of the roof connected to two independent body of a roof or roof adjacent to a structure; in other words ( wall to roof waterproofing).

A flashing leak is the more common of leaks because it is connected to two bodies of a house or building; (wall and roof).

The two bodies such as a chimney or vent pipe and the house itself move independently with temperature change or wind.

The more common flashing leaks are vent pipe, chimney leaks and parapet flat roof walls. 

Chimney leaks can be difficult to stop, there is always a chance you will have to strip the shingles and flashing from around the chimney, and do it all over again, this goes for old and new roofs alike. (However, such a task calls for good knowledge of roofing.)

Below shows two chimneys one a metal covered chimney and a tarred or roof cement covered chimney base, usually when you see a tarred flashing, it has either been repaired or re-roofed in the past.

 

 

   

Fig. 1 Chimney with metal flashing

Fig. 2 Tarred flashing

Fig. 1 Chimney with metal flashing

Fig. 2 Tarred flashing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most modern homes with chimneys usually have metal step flashing installed from the start when built.

Sometimes, when there is a chimney leak some people will tar over the entire body of metal flashing in an effort to stop the leak. However, covering an entire metal flashing with roof cement may not be the way to go.

When repairing a metal flashing leak, one must keep in mind that there are two bodies of a structure and that the flashing must be flexible.

If you put flashing cement over metal flashing, there is always a chance the metal will shift and pull the flashing apart, and all your hard earned work will be in vain. It is best to point up the openings around the metal with flashing roof cement or recommended roof caulking. However if you must use roof cement be sure to use a roof flashing fabric on top of your cement. 

 

Fig. 3 Vent pipe flashing

Fig. 4 Before flashing note independent bodies

 

Fig. 3 Vent pipe flashing

 

Fig. 4 Before flashing note independent bodies

 

 

Fig. 5 Wall and metal flashing

Fig. 6 Flashing on parapet wall and vent pipe on a flat roof

 

Fig. 5 Wall and metal flashing

 

 

Fig. 6 Flashing on parapet wall and vent pipe on a flat roof

     

 

How to install flashing with flashing cement

Give flashing a coat of flashing cement then lay in some fiber glass or flexible flashing fabric into your cement.

Some roofs have no metal flashing at all, usually this is due to re-roofing, job price, short cutting or the roof is flat and parapet walls usually have only metal caps over the non metallic flashing.

Some walls or chimneys without metal flashing are covered with roof cement only. Roof cement tar without a fabric covering will crack and dry out somewhat quicker when exposed to sunlight and weather in general.

 

Fig. 7 Roof flashing fabric

 

Fig. 7 Roof flashing fabric

Fig. 8 Aluminum flashing used as a cap flashing

 

Fig. 8 Aluminum flashing used as a cap flashing

 

 

Multi ply flashing installation:

1.         Lay a heavy coat of flashing roof cement tar.

2.         Lay a strip of roofing fabric or roofing paper.

3.         Lay a coat of flashing roof cement tar as a final coat on top of the fabric or paper.

In some cases, this is repeated for a two ply flashing, (two layer of fabric between coats of tar.)

Illustrations below shows: roof cement, roofing fabric, more roof cement, then more fabric, and finally a top covering of flashing roof cement or aluminum flashing.

Also, a thick material like ninety pound can top off a two ply flashing, (this is called a cap flashing.)   

 

 

Fig. 9 Three ply flashing.

Count the ply, there are more ply coming off the wall in this image than there are in figure 10

 

Fig. 9 Three ply flashing

Fig. 10 Two ply flashing

 

 

Fig. 10 Two ply flashing

 

 

 

Aluminum flashing can be used on top of your tarred flashings as a final cap. Both aluminum flashing and roofing fabric can be purchased at your local roofing supplier or hardware store.

The aluminum has to be rolled into a heavy coat of flashing tar

 

 

Fig. 11, 90 pound can be cut up into strips

Fig. 11, 90 pound can be cut up into strips

Fig. 12 Felt paper can be cut up into strips.

Full rolls can be cut into small flashing strips

Fig. 12 Felt paper can be cut up into strips.

Written by Chet Thompson


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