Diverters: 1" of metal can make your Calgary Roof

There are many elements that go in to a quality Calgary roof installation, all of them important.  One detail that is often forgotten is the flashing – where the roof meets the wall.  Time and time again we come across roofing installations that are nearly perfect, save for one or two inches of metal.
The large majority of roof leaks on a home occur around the flashing.  Most often around chimneys or skylights, and almost always due to improper installation of the roofing materials.  Chimney flashing typically consists of 4 types of flashing:

  • Back Pan – The back pan sits behind the chimney or skylight, and receives all water than drains from the roof.  The purpose of the back pan is to channel the water away from the sides of the chimney.  This is done by installing diverters (sometimes referred to as kick-outs) with the piece that will carry the water a few inches away from the corner of the structure, and are fundamental to keeping your roof installation waterproof.
  • Step Flashing – Step flashing is installed piece by piece with each successive course of shingles.  This ensures the water flows down the roof and into the eavestrough.
  • Wall Flashing – The wall flashing is installed on the lowest part of the chimney or skylight, and receives little water at all.
  • Counterflashing – Counterflashing is often installed during the re-flashing of your chimney or skylight during your roof installation.  This metal is fastened to the stucco or brick and sealed with silicone, and is utilized when the old flashing is totally unusable.

What is most important is that these pieces of flashing all have diverters cut into them.  Without this, water can much more easily penetrate the envelope of the structure and cause problems from minor to insidious.

What is a diverter?

Best practice roofing in Calgary

No diverter on your roof can mean the installation is susceptible to water penetration.

A diverter is a two-inch piece that is cut into the step flashing or back pan as it is installed.  the purpose of this piece is to shunt water a few inches over from problem areas to where it can drain freely and without incident.
As we can see in the picture to the left, without this diverter installed properly, water can easily leak into the roof, requiring repairs and causing all sorts of issue.  A diligent installer can stop this problem from happening, and that’s why its important to hire experienced installers.
All of these factors come together to give you a sound roof free of leaks.  It is common that we come across a roof that is missing diverters or the flashing is improperly installed.  As part of our effort to give Calgary homeowners a roof that stands up to the test of time and to the rigours of Calgary’s oft-times harsh weather, we are often finding ourselves adding small touches here and there to make the installation excellent.

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