When you think about how your home's roof protects your house from exterior moisture, you probably only consider the shingles that cover most of it. However, the flashing is just as important as the shingles, as it keeps water from seeping in through small cracks and openings between the roof and chimneys, vent pipes, and skylight frames. When this integral part of your roofing system is damaged, leaks will occur. To keep this from happening, look for the following signs that it is time to replace your roof's flashing.
1. Metal Has Become Bent or Warped
The first thing for which to look when trying to determine the condition of your roof's flashing is its overall shape. When the flashing is in good condition, it fits snugly against both the surfaces of the component it is wrapped around and the roof.
However, if you see any bends or warpage in the metal, this is a sign that the flashing is damage. If it is no longer fitting tightly against the surface it is meant to protect, there are most likely gaps that will allow water to flow underneath. When this happens, the underlying structures will become saturated, causing deterioration of the shingles and plywood that will lead eventually to leaks in your house.
2. Rust Has Formed on the Flashing
After looking at the overall shape of the flashing, turn your attention toward the color of the metal. Even if it has been a few years since your roof and the flashing was installed, the metal should still have a shiny, metallic appearance.
However, if you see any areas where the color has turned reddish brown or dark brown, either of these colors indicates that the metal has started to rust. Even if the rust is only located on the surface of the flashing right now, the oxidation will eventually eat through the metal.
As the rust penetrates the metal flashing, holes will be created. Since even the smallest openings in the flashing will allow water to get underneath, you should have the metal replaced before it gets to this point.
If you see either or both of the signs above, your flashing is no longer doing its job of keeping water from seeping under the shingles and into your home. Contact roofing contractor services to have them inspect the flashing, shingles, and underlayment so they can repair or replace any damaged portions of your roof.