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Causes and Dangers of Failed Roof Flashing

Roof flashing refers to a thin metal sheet that roofing contractors use to seal critical areas of the roof. For example, roofers use flashing to seal the junctions between roof projections and roofing shingles. Roof flashing can suffer damage just like other parts of the roof. Unfortunately, damage to roof flashing can cause damage to the rest of the roof.

Below are some causes and dangers of failed roof flashing.


Anything that damages the roof can also damage the flashing. However, the following are specific risks to roof flashing.

Poor Repair

Roof flashing installation and repair might look relatively easy to untrained eyes. However, a lot can go wrong with DIY flashing repair. For example, you might:

  • Use the wrong type of metal for the roof
  • Fail to seal the flashing properly
  • Fail to use a sufficient size of material
  • Improperly nail the flashing, such as using the wrong nails

You can avoid all these by using a professional roofing contractor for all your roof repairs.

Accidental Damage

Accidental damage can come from human error or weather-related incidents. For example, you might step on the wrong part of flashing while inspecting or maintaining. Be careful any time you are on the roof to avoid accidental damage.

Weather Elements

Weather is a common threat to all roofs. Weather damage causes both direct and indirect flashing damage. An example of direct damage is if big hailstones hit and dislodge the flashing. Another example is if strong winds rip off the flashing material. An example of indirect damage is if wind rips off a tree branch that then falls on and damages the flashing.


Aging is a natural process of all manmade materials. Over time, the flashing material will deteriorate, corrode, and weaken. The age-related wear and tear will make the flashing susceptible to other damage risks, such as weather elements.

Settling Foundation

A settling foundation is a danger to multiple parts of the house, including the flashing. If the foundation settles, it can pull with it the walls and roof. The pulling can dissociate different parts of the roof. For example, different parts of the roof pulling in different directions can dislodge flashing.


Flashing plays a significant role in roof protection. Below are some dangers your roof might experience due to flashing damage.

Roof Leaks

The primary role of roof flashing is to waterproof potential leak areas. That is why roof contractors install flashing around roof projections, in roof valleys, and anywhere between two roof sections. Water can penetrate under damaged flashing or easily get into the roof if the flashing is missing. The result can be:

  • Corrosion
  • Rot
  • Paint damage
  • Insulation damage (and hence heating and cooling inefficiency)
  • Electrical damage
  • Mold growth

Almost every part of your house can suffer moisture damage.

Increased Risk of Fire

Exterior fires usually get into the house via roof openings. Flames or fire embers can get through the smallest roof openings. Thus, a missing flashing material increases your house’s risk of fire damage, such as from a wildfire.

Increased Risk of Weather Damage

Flashing also protects the roof from weather damage. For example, strong winds won’t affect your roof easily since the flashing provides a surface for the wind to blow over. With the flashing missing, the protruding parts or edges of roofing materials can catch the wind and suffer damage.

The best way to prevent the above dangers is to have a professional roofer install the flashing, inspect the roof for damaged flashing, and fix such damages as soon as they occur. Precise Roofing & Contracting can help you with all these and other roofing services. Contact us for a roofing quote today.

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