Weather is a relentless bully. It seems to focus its stormy strength on a home's most vulnerable areas, attacking over and over again until rain and moisture infiltrates, and eventually damages, the home. Because a home's roof takes the brunt of the attack, it's critical to protect vulnerable areas of the roof against the elements, especially rainfall.
The best practice for protecting these vulnerable areas against rain and moisture intrusion is to use step flashing integrated with the shingles. The term flashing refers to both a material as well as a process. You can find flashing materials made of plastic, roofing felt and rubber, but your best bet is rust-resistant metal, either galvanized steel, aluminum or copper. The process of installing the flashing requires close attention and is a critical element to ensuring proper water management of the roof.
The key elements of the process include:
Layering flashing in a shingle-fashion is a critical part of the process. Because wind-driven rain will stop at nothing to infiltrate the home, you have to plan for weather to win out at times and for water to get past the wall's siding system. The flashing underneath the housewrap acts as a second barrier, so any water that gets past the siding is diverted back onto the roof, where it can flow down and away from the home.
Flash and seal exterior openings to prevent water intrusion and damage.
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