Preparing a New Roof Deck – Flashings

There are many different parts of a roof and flashings are what protects the roof at all its vulnerable points. These points can be found along the eaves, in the valleys and at the edges of the roof chimneys, roof vents and skylights. It is basically there to protect the roof from water leaks at the joints and to protect the sheathing underneath. Flashings are normally made out of galvanised and rust-resistant sheet metal. When you are doing work on your roof, you might not have to change the flashings as long they are in a good condition. Check it over and reseal any flashing joints, if need be, with a bit of plastic cement. Remember to use protective gloves if you are working with metal as any sharp edges can cause bad cuts which might lead to your project being delayed.

Roof Flashing

New Valley Flashings
It is important that the flashings in the valleys are particularly sturdy as they transport more water to the gutters than any other parts of the roof planes. Despite most valley flashings being made of galvanised steel, you can use mineral surface rolls for the valleys on asphalt roofs. There are different finishes such as open and woven valleys. The first are where shingles, or tiles for that matter, are cut in order to expose the valley. The latter one is where asphalt shingles overlap and covers the valley. If you have checked over the existing flashing and come to the conclusion that it will have to be replaced, this is how you install it.

New Roof Flashing

Installing New Valley Flashings
If you are roofing over a new or a completely stripped deck, it is advisable to use galvanised metal of 28-gauge for sloping roofs. This is regardless of whatever roofing material you are planning to use. You do not have to make your own valleys, unless you want to, as you can buy them from most roofing suppliers. Just make sure that they match the slope of your roof. If you purchase them, you will notice that they often come with a splash guard at the centre. The outer edges will have to be crimped in order to direct any water to the centre. The metal should reach about 8 – 11 inches up along each side of the valley. It you are planning to roof over asphalt shingles, a roll roofing of 36 inches wide can be used. Just make sure to match it to the new shingles – this is most important at the valleys.

In this day and age when prices seem to rise more often than they drop, any day that you can save some money is a good day in my book. You might have heard the saying ‘Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’. Well, in this article I will tell you a bit about a potentially cost-saving invention when it comes to water consumption. I have also had some queries regarding the ‘head’ and I will attempt to answer this as well.

Water meter

Water Meters
Water charges have traditionally been based on the ‘rateable value of a property’ rather than being based on charges that relate to actual water consumption. However, many water companies nowadays will offer their customers the choice of having a water meter installed. This means that rather than paying water rates that are based on the rateable value of your property; you will only pay for the actual water you use. If you would like further information about this, you should contact your water provider. Most of these companies will have information leaflets about this and they should provide you with a rough guide about whether you would benefit from having a water meter installed. The leaflet should also tell you whether it is possible to fit one in your property.

Water meter reading

If you are an existing customer and choose to have one installed, the meter installation is free. This has been the case since the 1st of April 2000. It works by customers paying an annual standing charge for every cubic metre of water used. You are most likely to benefit from having a water meter installed if you are a small family living in a large house and if the house has a high rateable value. In new properties or properties with either swimming pools or automatic garden watering systems, water meters are compulsory.

Water meter box lid

‘Head’
I have had a few people asking me about what ‘head’ means in relation to water and water flow and I will try to explain this as best as I can. Basically, the flow of water that comes from fittings such as taps, relates to the water pressure in the pipe that leads to it. This water pressure is measured as the ‘head’. The ‘head’ is the vertical distance from whatever fitting you are measuring, to the level of water in the cistern. Some water pressure is obviously lost as the water travels through pipes, fittings and around corners and it is therefore the norm to measure the ‘head’ to the bottom of the water cistern for a correct result.

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