What is Roof Flashing

What is Roof Flashing

Roof flashing is a critical part of your roof and the component that helps protect your home from water infiltration and rain run off.


A leaking roof is never a good experience. Not only do roof leaks impact your roof, but they can cause damage to your home as well. And, when you experience a roof leak, there is usually more than meets the eye. Roof flashing is your roof’s extra layer of protection. It is typically composed of thin, rust-resistant metal. Roof flashing is a seal that acts as a barrier where joints, vertical features, or structures such as chimneys, half walls, dormers, skylights, vent pipes, and other protrusions lie against the exterior wall. Roof flashing allows rainwater to run off the roof. 


A roof is a collection of components and items that work seamlessly to keep you safe from the elements. A properly installed roof typically doesn’t cause problems. However, as a roof ages, it is more susceptible to damage from storms, debris, hail, branches, and severe weather. By educating yourself on roof flashing and the various types, you will be able to discuss options with your roofing contractor and ask appropriate questions. 


Roof Flashing Explained

Roof flashing is that flattened, thin membrane that keeps water away from a roof’s crevices and holes. It sits beneath the shingles on your roof, and directs water from vulnerable areas.


Roof flashing can be made of copper, galvanized steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. Flashing along door edges, rain spouts, windows, and chimneys are installable by a roofing professional. Roof flashing is placed on every external joint or vents at the water exit points.


Do you know which sections of your roof require roof flashing? Take a look:


  • Front walls and sidewalls
  • Gorges 
  • Roof extensions (kitchen vents, bathroom vents, and skylights)
  • Roof’s edging (rakes and eaves)


Types of Roof Flashing


There are various types of roof flashing. Here is a closer look at the eight different types.


1. Step Flashing

Step flashing guards the point at which the roof meets the sidewalls of chimneys and others by stepping up the roof. It is a sequence of right-angled metal parts in the form of shingles. Each part overlaps the shingle below. The vertical border of the flashing is frequently tucked beneath the siding or covered with an additional counter flashing mortared into the chimney or caulked along a skylight to keep out water. . 2. Counter Flashing 

Counter flashing, like step flashing, is usable on walls and chimneys. The bit of flashing is on an existing mortar joint, and the metal goes over the head of the brick, unlike step flashing. It is occasionally installable in the same manner as step flashing. 

3. Base Flashing

Certain roof elements, such as chimneys, require two parts of flashing. Base flashing ensures that water is always directed away from the roof by a flashing surface. Unlike other forms of flashing, it is simple to install. The roof materials stretch and shrink with weather changes. Because the base flashing comprises two components, it may move with it.

  1. Skylight Flashing

Most skylights come with flashing, but if yours does not, your roofing contractor will have to order it or make it himself. The first line of defense against leaks and dampness is skylight flashings. They do it without employing sealants, which can break down over time and cause harm.

  1. Continuous Flashing

Continuous flashing, often known as apron flashing, is a lengthy piece of metal that transports water to the roof shingles beneath. Constant flashing struggles to flex as your house swells and compresses. Expansion joints are placed into extended lengths to prevent continuous flashing from wrapping and breaking.

6. Drip Edges

Put drip edges to keep water from leaking beneath roofing along eave and rake edges. It guides water away from the roof edge, preventing it from getting under your roofing materials or rotting the wood at the edges.

  1. Valley Flashing

Valley flashing shields the valleys formed by the intersection of two roof surfaces. This W-shaped channel is on the top of the building before installing the roof’s finishing material.

8. Kickout Flashing

Kickout flashing, also known as diverter flashing, plugs the gap between where the step flashing finishes and the gutter begins. It diverts water away from your wall and into the drain.