What Is Roof Flashing and What are the Different Types

One of the most important parts to look after in a house is the roof. The roof protects your home from the elements, so it is essential to make sure that it is in good condition. One part of the roof that often gets overlooked is the flashing.

Roof Flashing is a strip of metal or other material installed at the joints where the roof meets the walls, chimneys, and other protrusions. The purpose of flashing is to create a watertight barrier that will prevent water from seeping into the home.

It is a simple but essential component of any well-built home. Its installation is simple, but a qualified handyman or contractor during installation is required.

Three Things to Know about Roof Flashing

When it comes to your roof, there are several things that you need to take into consideration. One of those things is flashing.

roof repairs new tiles and lead flashing

Flashing is installed around roof protrusions and at the juncture between different planes on the roof to prevent water from seeping in and causing damage.

Here are three things that you need to know about roof flashing.

First, different materials are for roof flashing. The most common are aluminum and stainless steel, but you can also find flashings made from copper, lead, and even plastic.

Each material has its advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to talk to a professional before making a final decision.

Second, To be effective, roof flashing must be installed correctly. It means that it should be installed flush with the roof and should extend onto the sides of the protrusions or junctures to seal it properly.

If not installed properly, they will not be able to do their job effectively and could even cause more damage than they prevent.

Finally, it is essential to inspect your roof flashings regularly and repair or replace them as necessary. Over time, they can become worn or damaged and will no longer be effective.

If you notice any damage, be sure to have it repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your roof.

Roof flashing is a simple but essential component of any well-built home. By understanding what it is and what it does, you are sure that your home is safe from the elements.

Types of Roof Flashing

The roof is its first line of defense against the elements, and flashing is an essential part of any well-constructed roof. There are eight common types of roof flashing:

Valley Flashing

Valley flashing is a type of roofing installed in the valleys of a roof. The valley is a point where two different sections of the roofing connect.

It is from metal or rubber, and it can be either adhesive or mechanically fastened.

Step Flashing  

It is a type of roof flashing used where the roof intersects with the wall or chimney. Step flashing consists of a series of L-shaped metal pieces placed over the top of the shingles and under the siding.

The L-shaped pieces are then covered with tar or asphalt to create a watertight seal. 

If installed incorrectly, step flashing can cause more damage than it prevents.

It is best to keep in mind to hire a qualified roofing contractor who has experience installing step flashings.

Counter Flashing 

It is a narrow strip of metal installed over the top of existing flashings. The purpose of counter flashing is twofold.

First, it helps create a tight seal between the flashings and the roofing material.

Second, it provides an additional layer of protection against water infiltration. Without counter flashing, water can easily seep behind the flashings and cause damage to the roofing system.

Chimney Flashing

This flashing consists of two parts: base flashing and counter flashing.

The base flashing is installed first and covers the area where the chimney meets the roof.

roof with a chimney

The counter flashing is then installed over the base flashing and extends up the sides of the chimney.

Flashing is the part of any chimney, serving as a barrier between the roof and the chimney.

Over time, flashing can become worn or damaged, exposing the chimney to the elements. Water can seep through the gaps, causing damage to the masonry and eventually causing leakage. In extreme cases, the weight of the water can even cause the chimney to collapse.

Replacing damaged or missing flashing is essential to keeping a chimney in good working order. 

Skylight Flashing

Without skylight flashing, water can seep in around the edges of your skylight and cause damage to your home. The good news is that skylight flashing is easy to install and relatively inexpensive.

So if you’re concerned about leaks, be sure to get your skylight flashed as soon as possible. It could save you thousands of dollars in repairs down the road.

Types of Flashing Materials 

There are different flashing materials available, each with its benefits and drawbacks. Here are the common types of flashing materials and their pros and cons.

Metal Flashing

Metal flashing is one of the most popular choices for roofing. It is durable and weather-resistant, making it ideal for areas that experience severe weather conditions.

It is also easy to install and a good choice for do-it-yourself projects. However, metal flashing is also the most expensive option.

gray metal roof

For homeowners on a budget, there are several other options available. Asphalt shingles are less expensive than metal flashing and can still protect against the elements. Clay tiles are another option that is both durable and attractive.

Plastic Flashing

A plastic flashing is a less expensive option for material than metal, but it does not provide the same level of durability. It can be tougher to install due to its flexibility, and it does not resist weather damage as well.

Despite these drawbacks, plastic flashing may be the best choice for your home improvement project due to its cost and availability.

When deciding on materials for your project, it is wise to acknowledge the trade-offs between price, durability, and labor.

Rubber Flashing

One of the most common types of flashing material is rubber. Rubber flashing is the least expensive option, but it also has the shortest lifespan. It is also harder to install, and it is not as effective at resisting weather damage.

However, rubber flashing is the best choice for areas prone to leaks, such as around skylights. When installed correctly, rubber flashing can provide a reliable barrier against water damage.

But keep in mind that rubber flashing requires a replacement more often than other types of flashing. As a result, it is ideal to factor in the cost of replacement when choosing this option.

Final Thought

When choosing a material for your roof flashing, you should consider both the cost and the durability. Metal is the most expensive, but it is also the most durable. Rubber is the least costly, but it won’t last as long. Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on your budget and needs.