Flashing is a thin sheet of material that prevents water from entering cracks and other openings in a roof. Roofers apply the material under the shingles to repel water and redirect it to a location like the gutters. Flashing is vital to protect various roofing vulnerabilities, including where the roof meets the wall, edges, low points where slopes meet, and protrusions.
Why Do I Need Roof Flashing?
Roof flashing is a vital component of roof construction. It can secure joints and protect areas that receive large amounts of water. The ideal roof flashing will keep water from pooling in susceptible areas and allow the water to move toward the gutters.
A roof without flashing would quickly become leaky as the water finds its way into vulnerable areas. Roof flashing’s role in the soundness and integrity of a roof cannot be overlooked. The roof protects the interior of a home from the environment, but weak points can easily let water and other elements inside to cause damage. Vulnerabilities include joints where two slopes meet, chimneys, skylights, and vents.
There are many types of roof flashing to suit various applications. These include:
- Continuous Flashing: A long thin piece of metal that sends water toward the lower shingles. This flashing is sometimes called apron flashing because it works like an apron.
- Base Flashing: Two pieces of metal that carry rainwater downward. It makes flashing installation around chimneys and other roof features less frustrating than most flashing options.
- Counter Flashing: A vital part of base flashing, counter flashing is placed above or opposite the base flashing.
- Step Flashing: A rectangular metal piece with a 90-degree bend in the center. Step flashing can be applied in layers between the shingles to ensure water flows away from walls where the roofing meets.
- Skylight Flashing: A solution for preventing water from entering around skylights.
- Valley Flashing: An essential component for protecting open valleys on the roof from water.
- Drip Edges: Flashing installed along the edges of the roof. It is critical for preventing leaks from entering the home, expanding, and causing damage.
- Kickout Flashing: A solution to bridge the gap between the gutter and the end of the step flashing. It carries water from the wall and repels it toward the gutter.
Common Materials Used
Selecting the right flashing material is vital to constructing a durable and leak-resistant roof. The following materials are ideal for roof flashing:
- Aluminum. Aluminum is a durable, formable, and cost-efficient material that is ideal for difficult areas of the roof like chimneys. Aluminum flashing often requires a protective coating to eliminate corrosion.
- Copper. Copper is a highly durable flashing material that is more expensive than other options but offers enhanced curb appeal. It is long-lasting and will not require paint, but forms a green patina over time.
- Stainless Steel. Stainless steel is a corrosion-resistant flashing solution that can withstand exposure to acids and salt spray. Stainless steel flashing can be expensive due to its material and installation costs.
- Lead. Lead offers high longevity and resistance to water. It is also soft and expands and contracts with outside temperatures.
AIC’s Roof Flashing Solutions
Roof flashing is an essential component of roofing installation, as it carries water away from vulnerable areas to prevent leaks and damage. At American Industrial Company, we are an ISO 9001:2015 certified company with over 40 years of excellent precision metal stamping services. Our 25,000 square-foot facility is equipped with the latest technology and a dedicated staff that is ready to deliver precision metal stamping and laser cutting services that meet your needs.
Over time, manufacturing industries shifted production from the United States to countries like China. Offshoring, the practice of moving a company’s manufacturing facilities overseas, began in the late 1970s. Many companies made the move to capitalize on lower labor costs and lenient environmental regulations in foreign countries, thus enabling them to generate higher profits for shareholders. However, manufacturers are bringing manufacturing services back to the land of opportunity to strengthen the U.S. economy and help balance trade and budget deficits. Learn more about the concept of reshoring and how this decision benefits the U.S. manufacturing industry.
Reshoring refers to returning manufacturing services from foreign countries back to domestic facilities, closer to the target consumers. This migratory process is also referred to as inshoring and backshoring. When companies reshore their manufacturing services to the U.S., this is an optimal way to strengthen the economy domestically, quickly creating well-paying domestic manufacturing jobs. It can also reduce the total cost of production and make manufacturing more efficient.
Recognizing the importance of domestic manufacturing, in the year 2010, Harry Moser established the Reshoring Initiative with the specific purpose of bringing quality manufacturing jobs back to this country. This industry-led effort aims to help companies understand how local sourcing and manufacturing affect the U.S. economy, and how reshoring can greatly benefit their business.
How Does Reshoring Affect the Manufacturing Industry?
While a number of the factors that initially tempted manufacturing companies to offshore their production still exist, a variety of considerations have led companies to return to American soil. Labor costs, while still typically cheaper, are rising overseas. Some companies found that less expensive labor and more lax regulations also equated to lower-quality products or materials. Also, innovations in automation have drastically improved since the offshoring trend began, meaning that American manufacturers can generate products faster, cheaper, and in higher volumes.
Whatever the reason, by bringing manufacturing facilities back to the U.S., those companies are having a positive impact on the U.S. economy while also benefiting their own bottom line. Reshored companies can lower production costs, simultaneously increase profits, have more control over product innovation, and streamline the logistics of procurement, production, and distribution to make their business more effective on the whole.
Advantages of Reshoring
More specifically, reshoring manufacturing in the U.S. comes with the following benefits:
- Improving the quality of a product and increasing control over quality management and intellectual property
- Encouraging the development of a skilled workforce while providing domestic jobs
- Increasing responsiveness to consumers’ wants and needs with reduced lead times and modified products
- Minimizing import tariffs, freight costs, logistics headaches, and compliance concerns associated with international regulations
- Gaining an advantage over the competition, primarily by selling to consumers attracted to locally produced or “Made in the USA” products
- Reducing the risks associated with the global supply chain for improved control
Ultimately, the primary benefit of reshoring is to improve the country’s economy. Reshoring directly affects the lives of Americans and makes the country more self-reliant. COVID-19 and the resulting supply chain interruptions have only reinforced the importance of domestic production.
Manufacturing in the USA at American Industrial Company
As a Chicago-based American manufacturer, American Industrial Company has proudly offered quality-driven precision manufacturing services in-house at our ISO 9001:2015-certified 25,000-square-foot facility since 1981. We specialize in comprehensive prototyping, design, tooling, metal stamping, laser cutting, and many more value-added services in the U.S for customers both domestic and international. Contact us today to learn more about our turnkey solutions and precision metal stamping capabilities.