June 01, 2022
Roof Flashing 101: What You Need to Know
When it comes to preventing roof leaks, installing the correct roof flashing for your home is the key. Flashing comes in different materials and serves a variety of purposes on your roof. Discover the best type of flashing for your next project or repair.
What is Roof Flashing?
Roof flashing is a thin metal sheeting that redirects water, so it doesn’t penetrate the roof and cause damage. The metal creates a seal at each exposed joint to lock out moisture. Flashing metal is typically made of aluminum, steel, or copper.
Aluminum: This type of flashing is lightweight and easy to install. However, it needs to be coated if it’s used with concrete or masonry, otherwise it will corrode over time.
Steel: Aesthetically pleasing and resistant to corrosion, steel is a common choice for roof flashing.
Copper: Copper flashing is easily soldered, durable, and has a long lifespan. It does discolor over time, which some homeowners like and others don’t.
Flashing can be found at seams and joints, such as where the roof meets the wall, where two roof slopes meet, near skylights and eaves, or any other angle. When water runs down the side of flashing, it redirects to the shingles instead of the roof deck where it could potentially enter the home.
Damaged or poorly installed flashing is a common cause of roof leaks, which can lead to expensive roof repairs and a decrease home value. Dark water stains in your attic, especially along the edges or near the chimney, may be a sign of bad flashing. Check out our guide on the warning signs of flashing damage to learn more.
Types of Roof Flashing
Each feature on your roof needs the appropriate flashing to protect your home from the elements. Here are some of the most common types:
• Base Flashing
Some roof features, such as chimneys, require two pieces of flashing. Base flashing is made up of two pieces and is easy to install. It ensures that water always meets a flashing surface to direct it downward.
Counter-flashing is placed on top of or opposite to base flashing, functioning as the second part of the two-piece team.
• Step Flashing
Bent at a 90-degree angle, step flashing is installed along the full length of the wall where it intersects with the roof.
• Continuous Flashing
Also known as “apron flashing”, continuous flashing is one long piece of metal that carries water down to the shingles below. Most of these long strips use expansion joints to flex with the house as it expands and contracts.
• Kickout Flashing
Kickout flashing directs water into the gutter and away from walls. It closes the gap between step flashing and the gutter.
• Valley Flashing
This flashing protects open, vulnerable areas where two roof slopes form a valley.
• Drip Edge Flashing
This is thin flashing installed on the edge of the roof so that water can drip-drain without leaking into the home.
Is your home in need of flashing repairs or installation? Give our roofing experts a call at 937-240-2206 or contact Enterprise Roofing online for a free consultation!
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