The flashing on your roof is there to make certain areas of the structure weathertight. This metal material typically sits around fixtures that are set into a roof, like chimneys and extension windows, or between tiles and sheets.
Flashing doesn't, however, last forever. It can break, degrade and just wear out. When this happens, water gets into areas where it shouldn't go which can cause bigger problems to your home if you don't fix the issue.
You do sometimes get signs that all is not well with your flashing. What are they?
1. The Flashing Looks Different
Sometimes, you can see that your flashing has problems from the ground. For example, you might see a break or dent in the flashing that wasn't there before; sometimes, it moves out of place or even falls off if it is damaged by high winds or a storm.
In some cases, the colour of the flashing changes. For example, you may see that an area on the flashing looks red and rusty. This is a sign that the metal is failing and that water might be getting in through it.
2. There Is Staining on the Outside of Your Home
If your flashing fails, then it can't channel water off the roof in the correct way. It might divert water into the wrong places. Sometimes, water pools on damaged or compromised flashing rather than running off the roof.
If these things happen, then you sometimes see stains or watermarks. These can appear around the flashing itself, on other parts of your roof or even down your exterior walls. This is a sign that the flashing is no longer able to get water off the roof and into your drainage system.
If water pools, then you might also see some signs of mould on the outside of your home. Typically, this will start to grow around the pools themselves. So, if your flashing looks green in areas, mould might be a problem.
3. Water Comes Inside the Roof
If your flashing fails, then it won't be weatherproof. It will let water into the gaps that it is supposed to be protecting.
If this happens, then you might notice damp spots inside your home. For example, if you have an attic conversion in your roof with a window, then the walls by the window may feel or look damp. Failed flashing around a chimney may make your attic space smell damp.
If you have any concerns about your flashing, contact a local roof plumber. They can inspect your roof and make it watertight again if you do have a problem.