Black asphalt roofing shingles with copper flashing

6 Common Issues That Cause Damage to Roof Flashing

Commercial real estate is an investment any property owner wants to protect, which means regular maintenance and repairs should happen as soon as they are needed. Having a strong roof to protect the rest of the building’s structural integrity is vital. Many commercial building roofs have issues that are created by bad flashing. Even when flashing is originally installed correctly, due to elements and age, it can become defective or damaged, leading to a variety of issues that impact the remainder of the building. Here are some of the more common problems that can cause damage to your roof flashing.

Membrane Shrinkage

Over time, dimensional shortening of the roof membrane can result in shrinkage. As the shrinking occurs, it creates pressure on the flashing and roof seams. Since this shortening, also known as tenting, cannot be repaired, eventually the flashing and seams are going to burst.

Where the flashing is no longer protecting the roof of the building, water can gain entry, creating more issues with the roof if it isn’t addressed immediately. A commercial roof repair company should be contacted to address the issue.

Poor Repair Jobs

Regular commercial roof maintenance is essential to the life of your building. It should be inspected regularly, because once an issue is caused by the elements, it’s likely going to get worse.

Business owners should always hire a professional to address issues related to the roof and its flashing. Flashing installation requires many important steps and knowledge that business owners and their maintenance employees typically don’t have.

A poor repair job could lead to leaking or billowing, which happens when parts of the flashing become disconnected from the structure and eventually become even more damaged in high wind. Even worse, a bad repair job can also lead to part or even all of the roof blowing away.


Flashing isn’t made to last forever. Seasonal temperature fluctuations can cause roof flashing to warp. Flashing can also bend as the building settles, and it can rust with age. Old flashing experiencing any of these issues is likely to fail the materials it is designed to protect.

If the flashing is aged, the entire roof probably is as well. How often your roof and its flashing should be replaced depends on the type of roof the building has. Generally, an asphalt roof will last 20 years, while a metal roof can last up to 30 years.


Extreme weather takes a toll on your roof, the drainage system, and its flashing. Heavy rain and high winds can reveal weak flashing. When snow or ice builds up, it can seep under the metal strips as it begins to melt. This melt can also refreeze and expand, causing the flashing to change shap

Initial Installation

When a new roof is installed, new flashing must also be installed. If someone is new to flashing installation, errors are more likely to occur. One way to avoid this is for the business owner to hire roofing professionals who are experienced and will closely oversee anyone new to the roofing team.

Accidental Damage

Sometimes a person performing an inspection or repair on the roof can accidentally and unknowingly cause damage to flashing. It’s important that anyone stepping onto a roof knows what they are doing as they begin to walk around.
Damage to flashing can occur when someone steps on it the wrong way. If the flashing becomes dented or cracked, it can give way to water.

Roof flashing is a small but important component of a commercial roof. If you suspect your flashing has become weakened or damaged, always consult with a professional commercial roofer before it leads to a larger issue.

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