Roof Flashing on TOP of Shingles?

MochikoMay 1, 2014

We just had flashing installed - we were initially told that the roofing contractor would remove part of the shingles, install the flashing and re-install new shingles. However we were later told that the roofing contractor was able to just "seal" the flashing to the top of the shingles. We were told that this was a "better" solution than removing shingles because that can be complex and could weaken the structure of the roof.

We just think that the work looks pretty bad and are contemplating having it redone by a different contractor. Our thoughts are that the water will hit the sealant versus the flashing - so it will likely work for a few years but it isn't a very good long term solution.

Any thoughts?

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This appears to be side wall where it meets a roof.

What are the roofing / sidewall materials?

Normally this is step flashing - where the flashing goes under the tab of the roof shingles. Step flashing doesn't depend on sealants (that will always crack with age) to be water resistant.

You are correct, this looks bad -- but worse it won't stay watertight.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 1:28PM
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It would have been nice to have a "belore" picture.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 2:13PM
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The roofing material is Presidential Shingles (composite). The sidewall is stucco.

We were told by the licensed roofing contractors because the shingles were so sturdy it was a "very good, long-term solution" to put the flashing on with sealant. They said that this type of work was much better than what they originally told us they would do which is remove shingles, install flashing, replace shingles... They said if they did what they originally discussed they would do much more damage to the roofing and so were trying to "help us out". We are first time homeowners and so know very little about this, but with our untrained eyes it looks bad. We were just wondering if this type of work where the flashing was just sealed on the roof was a common practice.

Before, there was nothing that was visible - just the stucco and the roofing. I attached a very small photo of before (it's all I have).

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 2:38PM
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I'm a long-time builder. You have been scammed, unfortunately. Make complaints with anybody who will listen about that outfit.

The situation in your photo will leak unless: the original situation was watertight; or, the wind never blows rain toward the cheek-wall, but always the other way (of course, in both cases nothing needed to be done). The most amazingly crazy arrangements will stay dry if the wind cannot blow water into it, OTOH things done more-or-less correctly can and do leak when exposed to more than usual wind.

The old saying is "think like a water-drop". If you are a drop of water being blown along the roof shingles toward that flashing, if you are propelled with much velocity, of course you will go under the flashing. Hence the reason for step-flashing - each piece is under it's corresponding roof shingle course and on top of the flashing piece below it. Doing that situation correctly would be a big job, which is why whomever installed that roof didn't do it then, because the steps on the wall need to be re-stuccoed - IOW not only pulling off roofing (at this point) but also new stucco on the cheek wall.

It's a big deal.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 2:54PM
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It's unfortunately, what I expected.

What prompted you to seek a remedy?

What you see is a common method and is "seen" as a "cleaner appearing" finish.
What you do not see, is the "L" flashing behind the stucco and beneath the shingles, which is supposed to act as a pan.

What you received is a continuing maintenance issue. The stucco and the flashing will expand and contract at different rates which will cause the caulking to separate from the stucco.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 3:05PM
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That wall is exposed to the wind/rain/etc - there is nothing shielding it from the various elements.

We purchased the house not too long ago but we can see slight discoloration in the ceiling paint where this connection is. There has been some rain but nothing really major since we've owned it so we really can't tell what will happen at that point in time.The original owner is no longer available for questions and the seller of the house did not live there (so doesn't know the history). If it helps, the roof was installed in 2004.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 4:38PM
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Ugh! I suspect the one part they told you is true. " We were told that this was a "better" solution than removing shingles because that can be complex and could weaken the structure of the roof."

Had they attempted to do a correct flashing job, I shudder to think of the result.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 5:58PM
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So, you are facing a succession of stop-gap installations and temporary repairs which will hopefully afford you a couple of years to decide to correct it permanently.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 6:35PM
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This is criminal.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2014 at 1:11AM
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