The roof is an important part of any building, so you don’t want to leave any vulnerabilities. When you lay shingles onto your roof, there will be gaps at the edges where water will drip through slowly and damage the building. Therefore, we need to add flashing to keep water on the outside. This is a fairly simple process as long as you follow the rules and stick to the safety guidelines. There are several different types of flashing that will serve the purpose. To choose the correct one, you can consult with our guide below and double-check with a professional. Below, we will outline how to effectively apply roof flashing while staying safe throughout.
Stay Safe Up There
The roof is a long way off the ground, and the last thing you want is a broken back laying in a pile of shingles. Therefore, you need to practice effective safety precautions:
- Light-footed. The roof isn’t like a floorboard, so it won’t be able to cope with the full force of your body. Therefore, you need to tread lightly and evenly distribute your weight, even if you’re only up there for a short time. Before you start your work, you should check the weather forecast to avoid adverse conditions.
- Just essentials. There’s no point in taking your entire toolbox up there because it’ll only add excess weight. Therefore, just take up your flashing, hammer, and nails. You should store your tools in a belt and avoid putting equipment directly on the roof. If you need to remove any old shingles, you should take up a flat bar for the job.
- Proper ladder usage. If you need to carry out work on your own, you should secure the ladder to the building so you’re not left stranded up there. Alternatively, you should rope in a buddy to help keep the ladder stable while you scale its heights.
- Keep hydrated. Your roof is designed to keep the heat off the property. Therefore, things can soon get hot up there. When you’re sweating more, you need to drink more water to keep up. Therefore, take a bottle up there to ensure you don’t cause accidents through dehydration.
- Look for hazards. Before you start hammering away at the roof, you need to make sure you’ve cleared any potential hazards. You should clear your entire roof of any debris before you start and make sure you know where any skylights are.
Choose the Correct Roof Flashing
There are a couple of things you need to consider when it comes to flashing:
- Climate and locale. The flashing will be water-tight when it’s applied, so it needs to withstand the weather conditions of the area. Further, you need to choose a material that will withstand being blasted by UV daily without turning brittle. In some cases, when a property is located near saltwater sources, you need to ensure a galvanized coat to avoid erosion.
- Side flashing. If you’ve got HVAC piping, plumbing, or electrical boxes that come out from the side of the property, you need to apply side flashing.
- Angle of the roof. The shape of the roof will determine what type of flashing you need. If you have a flat roof, your flashing will need to flex at a 90-degrees angle. For angled roofing, you will need to check the angle against the flashing capabilities.
Time for Installation
- Before you start taking your tools onto the roof, you need to ensure that the area is completely clean. If you haven’t already, you need to make sure that there is a layer of tar or felt on the underlayment. However, if you’re replacing old flashing, you won’t need to worry.
- Instead of trusting the work already done to a good standard, you should check the shingles and ensure there are no loose nails and that everything is overlapped efficiently.
- Now, you can approach the edging with your cut flashing and begin to bend into position and secure with nails. To make sure that you don’t have any leaks, you need to put the flashing underneath the shingles for protection.
- Once you’ve completed the task, you need to check it to ensure that it’s waterproof. To do this, get your hose out and spray the roof for around 20 minutes. Then, head inside and check for leaks. If you can’t find any then you’ve done the job well and it’s time to clean up after yourself.
Putting together a roof requires skill, patience, and the ability to follow safety procedures. Laying the flashing down isn’t the toughest job on the list of roof-related tasks. However, it’s one of the most important parts of roof construction. If you haven’t fixed the flashing effectively, your property will leak and you’ll end up with a significant bill. Once you’ve finished the job and you’ve got no gaps, you need to make sure that you maintain the roof.