Grand Rapids Roofing: Article About Breaking Down Flashing In Historical Homes

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Unless a homeowner is an avid home repair enthusiast, he or she typically doesn't know the ins and outs of roof flashing, especially in historical homes. In homes with an unknown roofing history, flashing is of utmost importance because it prevents a majority of roof leaks. Before repairing or replacing such an integral part of the roof, homeowners should always consult with Grand Rapids roofing professionals.

To understand the importance of a flashing system, homeowners should know flashing's function. Flashing is located on every part of the roof that has something connected to it, like the chimney, dormers and plumbing pipes. Flashing directs water away from the joints where these things connect to the roof and the tiles have been cut into. Some people mistakenly think that caulking or tar is a suitable flashing system, but this makes the home susceptible to major leaks.

Many old homes have plumbing pipes sticking up through the roof. These pipes are usually ventilation for the plumbing waste lines running through the home. When the home was constructed, there were often lead "boots" that fit around the pipes and under the shingles.

One of our roofing contractors from Summit Point Roofing of Grand Rapids MI would be happy to answer any question you have about insulation or general residential roofing.

While effective to begin with, the lead deteriorates over time, requiring replacement after a few decades. Many homes have had these replaced already, often with a rubber flashing equivalent. These systems are quite easy to put in, and most roofing contractors can install them very quickly.

Chimneys and inefficient flashing are often the key culprits in major roof leaks, which means flashing upkeep is essential to a roof's longevity. Chimneys in historical homes may be set at odd angles or located in the pitched area of the roof. In these types of chimneys, the roofer will put in a saddle, which will allow the water to flow around the chimney. Chimneys placed at a normal angle should be flashed using a two step system, which means there is metal step flashing and counter flashing. The counter flashing should only be cut into an existing mortar joint. Installing the flashing at an angle means the brick would need to be cut into, creating a major structural issue in the chimney.

Flashing that is installed properly will typically outlast other roofing materials, including shingles. Finding a contractor that knows how to install flashing in older roofs will make all the difference in the overall effectiveness of the roof and how well it protects the home from the elements.

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