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Roof flashing leak troubleshooting: this article lists significant roof flashing defects, definitions, and home inspection education topics.

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Home Inspection Education Curriculum - Roof Flashing

1.2   Steep Roof Flashing Defects

1.2.1 Knowledge Base

1.    Describe the function of steep roof flashings.

2.    List five common flashing materials used on steep roofing.

3.    Describe the installation and repair techniques for the following flashings: valley, chimney, pipes or stacks, roof/wall intersections, sloped roofs meeting flat roofs, skylights, eaves, rakes, hips, and ridges.

4.    Define the following terms: open valleys, closed valleys, upstands(Never heard of this term)  JDG, cutting the points, closed cut (half woven) valley, fully woven valley, saddle or cricket, step flashing, counter flashing, pan (trough) flashing.

5.    Identify the codes or standards which apply to steep roof flashings in your area.


1.2.2 Inspection Skills for Roof Flashing Inspection

1.    Describe the inspection procedure for steep roof flashings.

2.    Identify the following common flashing defects listed on the next page.

3.    Describe the implication of each defect.

4.    Identify safety issues for the inspector and occupant of the home (fall hazard and electric shock).

5.    Communicate findings to client verbally and in writing, recommending corrective  action where needed.


Roof & Wall FLASHING DEFECTS List

Eaves Flashing & Roof Edge / Drip Edge Flashing, Typical Defects List

      • Drip Edge Behind gutter

      • Loose

      • Above eave protection

Roof, Wall-Above, Flashings

      • Missing

      • Not continuous

VALLEY FLASHINGS, Typical Defects

      • Above eave protection

      • Above underlayment

      • Closed cut valleys not trimmed 2 inches back 

      • Closed valleys with wrong material 

      • Doesn’t widen at bottom ??

      • Fasteners exposed 

      • Metal pieces too long

      • Missing

      • Windows used as a skylight • Rot

      • No upstand ?? edge break? 

      • Points not cut  • Wrong application

      • Rust

      • Shingles not sealed to metal     

      • Too short     

      • Torn, patched   • Loose, damaged, patched, open seams

      • Wood joints break into valley  

      • Wrong, incomplete flashings

SKYLIGHTS & Skylight Flashing, Typical Defects

      • Damage, patched

      • Leak

      • Rot

      • Skylight or soarium poorly secured to roof

      • Wrong, incomplete flashings

      • Cracked, broken glazing

      • Curb – low, missing

ROOF/SIDEWALL FLASHINGS, Typical Defects

      • Not let into mortar joints

      • Overlap inadequate

      • No step or counter flashings

      • Rust

      • Siding not cut back

      • Step flashings not set into shingles properly

      • Too short or narrow

      • Damaged, loose, open seams, patched

      • Missing

      • Nailed through shingles

      • Not let into mortar joints

      • Open at top

      • Rust

CHIMNEY FLASHINGS, Typical Defects

      • Pan missing, inappropriate

      • Cap flashing too short

      • Cricket missing, loose, damaged 

      • Damaged, loose, open seams, patched  

      • Missing base or cap flashings   

      • Missing top, bottom, side flashings

      • Not let into mortar joints   JDG Very rarely done today  

      • Overlap inadequate on base or cap flashings

      • Rust     

      • Side base flashings not set into shingles properly    

      • Side base flashings too short   

Plumbing Vent PIPE / STACK FLASHINGS 

      • Open at top

      • Rust

      • Damaged

      • Exposed, missing fasteners

      • In a valley

      • Missing

      • Rust

      • Top of flashing exposed or bottom buried

      • Vertically misaligned

      • Wrong material or wrong size

HIP AND RIDGE FLASHINGS DRIP EDGE FLASHINGS, Typical Defects

      • Coming apart

      • Exposed fasteners not sealed

      • Excessive exposure

      • Loose, misaligned, missing

      • Overlaps not alternated (wood)

      • Poor fastening

      • Rust      • Rust

      • Too short


Low Slope Roof Flashing Defects, Typical Defects

      • Caulking, sealant dried out or  cracked

      • Clamps or termination bars loose

      • Counter flashings not let into masonry

      • Damaged, loose, bent

      • Drain or scuppers missing, clogged,  ineffective

      • Fasteners loose, rust, missing

      • Incompatible materials

      • Leaks

      • Membrane stretched

      • Missing, too short

      • Old, worn out

      • Open at seams or ends

      • Patched

      • Ponding on wall flashings (horizontal parts)

      • Pitch pockets not filled

      • Rust

      • Sagging or slipping (base flashings)

      • Skylight curb missing or too short

      • Skylight not well secured

This article series, beginning at BUILDING DEFECTS LISTS, provides lists of common building defects and basic defect knowledge that also outline recommended curriculum content for home inspector education. The building defects and inspection points listed in these articles also guide homeowners and home buyers to building areas that merit careful attention and often point areas of safety concern or important maintenance and repair tasks.

Readers should see ROOFING INSPECTION & REPAIR for our complete list of articles on this topic. Also see HOME & BUILDING INSPECTORS & INSPECTION METHODS. Use the Search Box at the top or bottom of these pages to find in-depth information about building, energy savings, and indoor environment inspection, diagnosis and repair at this website. Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here. CONTACT us to suggest corrections or additions to articles at this website.

Also see ROOF FLASHING DEFECTS LIST and these roof flashing articles
FLASHING, ASPHALT SHINGLE VALLEYS
FLASHING, CHIMNEY Mistakes & Leaks
FLASHING, CLAY TILE ROOFS
FLASHING MEMBRANES PEEL & STICK
FLASHING for METAL ROOFS
FLASHING ROOF WALL DETAILS
FLASHING ROOF-WALL SNAFU
FLASHING SIDING DETAILS
FLASHING WALL DETAILS
FLASHING WINDOW DETAILS
FLASHING WOOD ROOF DETAILS

These curriculae and building defect lists are based on smilar curriculum documents first prepared by Joe Scaduto, an ASHI member who prepared course material for Northeastern University's Building Inspection Certificate program in 1988, subsequently by DF, InspectApedia's editor, for New York University ca 1988 and later, with others, recommended to ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. ASHI did not adopt this material though currently that association as well as others offer extensive HOME INSPECTOR EDUCATION material. The curriculum and lists of defects are informed by additional analysis of the process of home inspection that was developed beginning Calgary, AB for Canadian and U.S. home inspector education and certification examinations in 1997. Other early contributors to home inspection education in the U.S. and Canada include Dr. Jess Aronstein, Alan Carson, Mike Casey, Mark Cramer, John Cox, Dwight Barnett, Douglas Hansen, Rick Heyl, Larry Hoytt, Bill Merrill, Kevin O'Malley, Dennis Robitalille, Keith Peddie, Pat Porzio, Roger Robinson.

Readers should see ROOFING INSPECTION & REPAIR for our complete list of articles on this topic. Also see HOME & BUILDING INSPECTORS & INSPECTION METHODS. Use the Search Box at the top or bottom of these pages to find in-depth information about building, energy savings, and indoor environment inspection, diagnosis and repair at this website.

Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here. CONTACT us to suggest corrections or additions to articles at this website.

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