Aluminum roof flashing is a common material used in protecting your home's roof around vent pipes, edges and chimneys. It is an easy material to work with so it is very popular among homeowners and roof workers alike. Aluminum roof flashing is also notorious for having to be maintained on a frequent basis because of bending, or cracking with the freezing and thawing cycle. If you have aluminum roof flashing on your home, here are some tips to help you make any necessary repairs.
1 - Gather Materials and Tools
Before you get the ladder out and climb up to the roof, make sure you know what you need for the repairs. You do not want to have to climb down in the middle because you need another tool. Most repairs that are needed for aluminum roof flashing will require extra flashing, tin ships, hammer, roof nails, roof cement, extra shingles and caulking.
2 - Work Carefully
Besides the aluminum flashing being very sharp, you want to work carefully so as not to damage any of the shingles that the flashing is protecting. Any damage to the shingles will mean that you need to spend more time making those repairs.
3 - Pry Nails Off First
If you find that you need to replace the aluminum flashing you will need to pry up the nails before prying up the flashing. This will negate a lot of problems, and unnecessary damage, when you go to set the new flashing in place. Use a flat claw on your hammer and carefully pry up the nails one at a time.
4 - Cut Aluminum Flashing with Tin Snips
Aluminum flashing is a thin metal that will cut easily with tin snips. If you need to cut a replacement piece, or have to fashion a whole new flashing, use the tin snips and cut the material on the roof. This will allow you to get a perfect fit.
5 - Apply Roof Cement First
One of the things that many people try to get away with is to simply nail the flashing to the roof structure. However, it is important to create a watertight seal in the event that the flashing bends or cracks. Spread out a layer of roof cement along the area where the flashing will go. Keep in mind that the flashing will also travel up the obstacle it is being used for.
6 - Nail Along Edges
Once the flashing is set on the roof, place the nails along the edge of the flashing. This will keep the middle sections of the flashing in tact and flat.
7 - Seal Nail Heads
Many people will place some caulking around the edges of the flashing, but neglect to cover the nail heads. Place a bead of caulking on each of the nail heads to give the flashing a better seal against water.
8 - Tuck Flashing in Shingles
Water will run under anything that it can if it is in the way. Allow for the natural slope of the roof to dictate which material is on the top. On the downslope side of the flashing, tuck the aluminum under the shingles approximately 3 inches.