What to Do About Leaking Roof Flashing?

Odds are that if you own a property, it’s got flashing on the roof. Without it, your commercial roof can’t keep water off and out of your building. Flashing is the waterproofing barrier found at roofing joints, vents, HVAC roof units, and more.

Age or inappropriate installation will cause leaking roof flashing. When you have roof flashing that leaks, it’s nothing to ignore, no matter how bad that leak may appear to be.

The first thing you want to do is locate the leak on your roof surface.  (Our professional commercial roofing company offers free commercial roof inspections.) If there’s leaking roof flashing, it can be repaired in the immediate area or you can ensure more thorough leak-proofing with a commercial roofing system.

However, you need to make sure the flashing and sealants that are used to repair the leak follow the roof manufacturer’s warranty.

Weak Spots in Commercial Roof Flashing

Roof to wall – It’s common to find a commercial building that has parapet walls, or a raised edge along a flat roof. Proper flashing along the parapet is crucial to making sure water stays out of your building and moves off the roof. It requires a base flashing and counter flashing. The base flashing will extend from the flat portion of your roof, over a cant strip (an angled strip between wall and roof surface), and up the surface of the parapet.

Roof perforations – HVAC units, electrical conduits, skylight perimeters, and the like all require perforations in the roof. When you make a hole in your commercial roof, you automatically create a weakness in the roof system. Yet these are unavoidable.

What Are Different Types of Roof Flashing?

Most commercial roof flashing is made of aluminum or galvanized steel. Occasionally copper flashing is used, mostly around solar panels with wire connections.

When your flat roof abuts to a brick wall, to divert water away from the surface, you need counterflashing or cap flashing.  In areas where there is heavy snowfall, some flat roof systems will benefit from the use of tall cone flashing around vents.

However, no flashing is effective without proper caulking/sealing.

How to Avoid Leaks at Roof Flashing?

Using the right sealant is crucial to effective water drainage off your building’s roof. Typically, commercial roofers will use a urethane, silicone, or polyether sealant.

A moisture-cured sealant with elasticity is the best choice for use around flashing. It’s less likely to get brittle and allows for expected movement.

The best way to avoid leaks at roof flashing, however, is by conducting regular roof maintenance. A professional commercial roofer can look for aged, brittle, or improperly sealed flashing before it starts becoming a major leak concern.

Let Mid-State Roofing repair your commercial roof with a Conklin roof system that will fix your leaks and lower utility costs.

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