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How to Practice Basic Roof Flashing Maintenance

Flashing materials are the metal -- or sometimes vinyl -- connector pieces between sections of your roof or around the chimney, vents, and skylights. They can become damaged over time. Here are some repair tips.


  • Step 1: Check the flashing Check the flashing on your roof each time you clean your rain gutters. Look for loose nails and holes as well as for leaking seals at the edges of the flashing.
  • Step 2: Re-anchor the flashing Re-anchor any loose flashing between roof sections with screws made of the same material. Cover the heads of the screws with roofing cement.
  • TIP: If your flashing is aluminum, use aluminum screws; if it is copper, use copper screws; and so on. Using mismatched metals can lead to corrosion.
  • Step 3: Patch small holes Patch any small holes in the flashing. First clean the surface with a stiff brush, then secure a slightly over-sized patch of flashing material over the hole with roofing cement. Finally place another layer of roofing cement over the patch.
  • Step 4: Repair leaking seals Repair leaking flashing seals between roof sections, and around chimneys, vents, and skylights, with roofing cement. Enjoy the security of a tight roof that won't let the water into your home.
  • FACT: The roof rat (Rattus rattus) was brought to America from the Old World in ships.

You Will Need

  • Roof flashing
  • Screws
  • Roofing cement
  • Stiff brush
  • Flashing patches
  • Aluminum screws (optional)
  • Copper screws (optional)

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