I am getting bids for reroofing (hail damage), and I am having trouble
getting these guys to include flashing work in their bids. I don't think
they want to deal with it.
If you have a minute, could you look at this web page I made, and give me
your thoughts? There are some pictures of my roof flashing etc.
Roof conditions well documented.
A number of apparent problems.
Find an established contractor willing to deal with the flashing.
If you want to put the money into it, find an architect or forensic
architect to document & provide details which you or your family can
use over time.
The "soft deck" suggests a complete tear off and some deck replacement,
so a careful flashing job would be in order.
You've done a very good job of picturing and describing your job.
I'll take them in the order in which you posted your pictures:
1. This seems to have been done well. The old roof cement on the
flashings can be chipped off and it works best when it is cold as the
stuff is quite brittle at low temperatures. The gap between the old
caulk and mortar can be filled in with a urethane caulk such as NP-1,
which will last a very long time. Every course of shingles must be
installed with a step flashing that goes under the shingle and behind
the flashings installed into the mortar.
2. See item number one.
3. See item number one.
4. Either the trim boards must be adjusted or larger metal drip edge
5. The only problem I see here is, counting from the left, the second
plumbing vent flashing isn't installed correctly. It is over two
shingles and under one. Less than half the flashing is covered by the
shingle above it. Unless it is well sealed underneath, water can
travel, under just the right circumstances, to the hole cut through
the decking and cause a leak.
6. I'll address the rust issue later...
7. See item number 6.
8. See item number 6.
9. See item number 6.
10. The reason the lower pitched section is roofed with soldered metal
is it the pitch is too shallow for wood shingles or three tab
composition shingles. The soldered metal roof can be retained if the
seams are in good condition and if it is properly maintained (See item
11. You are most likely correct in your assessment. Often times
installers are lazy. Caulking an area like this is faster than doing
it correctly...and it only lasts about five years or less before you
end up with a leak.
12. See item number one.
13. In the past, the step flashings used were of the size you have
pictured. Now they are typically 4X4X8, at least that is the most
common size I've seen. As to the gap between the end of the shingle
and the step flashing, I prefer to have a small space in this area
because it allows water to drain well.
14. See item number 6.
15. If properly done, a cricket is not needed in this location. Using
one piece of metal and no tin snips, it is possible to fashion a
flashing with no seams or cuts in it, but it takes some patience and
experience to make it.
16. The torn ridge shingle looks like tree damage, although it could
be from wind or animals (such as a raccoon.) Some decking may need to
be replaced, but that isn't very difficult.
17. No problems there.
Overall your roof isn't that difficult. Rust on galvanized metal is to
be expected and is normal. None of the rusting you have pictured is
atypical. With proper maintenance this can be controlled. If you
desire, you can treat the rust with a rust neutralizer and then paint
with any good grade of exterior enamel, although I'd suggest you stay
away from latex for this application. Maintaining the paint on the
soldered metal roof is particularly important so as to keep the seams
in good condition.
With all the flashings at the chimneys and walls you have lots of
places where an improperly done job can cause you leaks. I would
recommend that a bead of roof cement be placed between (under) the
shingle and step flashing on each course of these areas for extra
insurance (and that is SOP on all of our jobs.) The bead of roof
cement is under the shingle and out of sight, but it forms a water
tight seal to the metal of the step flashing. I even recommend every
roof vent and jack be done this way. It is easy to do when installing
the roof and the cost of a few tubes of roof cement is minimal. Of
particular importance are the corners on any and all chimneys. These
should be done with either a specially fashioned piece of flashing or
a good urethane sealer such as the previously mentioned NP-1.
With a good paint job, I don't see anything suspect with the roof
vents and jacks. Sure, they can be replaced, but unless they are in
particularly poor condition there is no real need. There is no need at
all to replace the lead plumbing vents as they will outlast the next
roof you have installed. Especially don't let anyone replace them with
the kind that has a rubber, or neoprene, seal. Those seals only last
about five years before they crack and cause a leak. If you prefer,
you may have some of the roof vents replaced with aluminum vents that
will not rust. The middle vent in picture number six is easily
replaced with this kind of flashing. The furnace and water heater,
double walled pipes require roof jacks that, so far, I've only seen
out of galvanized, unless you want to do what I suggest in the next
paragraph and pay tons more to have copper jacks made. The only
problem then is you have to make sure the copper does not come into
contact with a different kind of metal as this will cause corrosion
and premature failure of the parts in contact with each other.
Unless you want to pay quite a bit more, the existing galvanized
flashings that are mortared in can be reused. If you have deep
pockets, you can have copper flashings made and installed, with copper
fasteners, that won't rust and will last the life of the home.
Otherwise I'd suggest simply painting them ever five or six years to
keep the rust to a minimum. Besides, it gives you a chance to inspect
the roof for any unsuspected damage or problems that may not have
shown up inside the house...
Hope this helps.
(Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
John, thanks very much for your reply ... it was very, very helpful. I
understand the problems much better now.
Just out of curiosity, why would they have put roofing cement on the bottom
of the cap flashing? Doesn't cap flashing normally just overlap the step
flashing underneath it, without any use of cement?
to John Willis and John especially - thanks very much for the information
and opinions. You have helped me to understand the problem a lot better. I
posted a thank you ealier but I've noticed my new news server isn't very
Any ideas why there is roofing cement at the bottom of the cap flashing?
Maybe at one point there was no step flashing underneath, the cap flashing
might have been in direct contact with the original roofing below?
John - I'd get up there and chip off that old roofing cement myself -
unfortunately I'm in Texas and it's HOT up there, and you said it's best to
do when the material is cold and brittle.
Thanks again, very, very much.
From the looks of it, the step flashing you have is original to one of
the cedar roofs that has been on the home. That house has been roofed
many times. At least one of those times the installers merely butted
the shingles up to the flashings and before leaving the job put down a
bead of roof cement. That eventually failed and another layer of roof
cement was put on top of the old. Repeat the last step at least a
couple of more times and now you see why it looks the way it does.
Being in Texas as well (and finishing a roof this evening) I know
about hot weather in Texas. If you get up early it is cool enough to
make removing that excess material easy. At very cold temperatures it
can actually shatter just by tapping on it with a hammer.
(Remove the Primes before e-mailing me)
Have you checked with your insurance company? Is the roof covered?
Will they cover the flashing (which clearly should be replaced, but does not
appear to have been hail damaged)?
When I replaced my roof from hail damage the insurance adjuster made a
few recommendations and I found them good to work with and they did a good
First, I would've loved this type of roof, when I used to do detailing. I
got "stuck" doing detail work for 14 years, and I loved every challenging
I agree with John Willis on some points like, the shingles aren't run over
the jack flashing enough, and you want a channel along when covering meets
step flashing, so the water flows, and debris doesn't collect. Also, about
putting sealant under the material at step flashing.
But, that cap/counter flashing would be ripped off there, with new counter&
step installed (I couldn't imagine leaving that horrendous material on
there). The counter shouldn't be all the way down to roof covering, instead
you should have at least 1/2" to 3/4" above the step flashing. The counter
should overlap each previous piece by 2". The pieces should be uniform in
size, but would be a challenge, since the stone doesn't look uniform. The
bottom of the counter flashing should always line up with the proceeding
piece, so you have a nice straight edge going up the roof-line. A crease
should be put in each piece of counter, to stiffen. Typical pieces of
pre-bent step flashing are 5"x7" for a standard shingle, usually bent so 3"
up juncture, and 2" onto roof covering, the 7" is the area of a standard
shingle that is covered, which is where the step flashing is installed. I
always preferred to bend my own step with 3-1/2" up wall, 2-1/2" under
material). On metric roof covering, bending your own is essential, otherwise
you end up doubling up step flashing, because the "hidden" part of the
covering is larger than 7". A standard rule of thumb in roofing, is all
overlaps always overlap at least 2", if not more. New cuts can be put in the
mortar joints, which the flashing should slip into.
The pitch on the soldered roof can easily be found, if same type of roof
covering can be used, it should be used.
The dead zone behind the chimney, would be a nightmare if you get freezing
weather. This spot is asking for trouble if ice dams occur. A couple of
2"x material, a compound cut or two, and a small piece of plywood, this spot
can be eliminated, with the water running free away from the dead zone.
One can only guess of why the drip edge is like it is. You say "lathe or
slats showing", one can only assume since this had a cedar roof on it b/4,
the entire deck was re-decked with plywood or OSB. Once the roof was torn
off, it would be safe to say, one could figure out the best approach so this
area isn't exposed. Could trim back the over hanging sheathing, or wider
fascia board, or ?
Good luck on finding someone to do it right.
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