Different Types of Roof Flashing

February 13, 2023

Roof flashing is a thin metal material that is used in roofs to make them waterproof. It avoids water from being in contact with critical areas of the roof.

There are several types of roof flashing and in this blog, we’ll take a look at all of those. But before we do that, let’s first understand why roof flashings are important and the benefits they come with.

Why Do We Need Roof Flashings?

Roof flashings are important since they prevent water from entering cracks between the roof and the wall, and even into the home. It is placed under the shingles on the roof and redirects the water elsewhere.

Without roof flashings, or with damaged flashings, you will be increasing the risk of leaks in your house and this can damage the structural integrity of your home over time.

Types Of Roof Flashings

  1. Step Flashing: Step flashing is a kind of roof flashing that is bent at 90 degrees and goes between the singles and the sidewall it is closest to. It can also be used near a window that projects directly from the roof. Normally, step flashings are made from aluminum, galvanized steel or copper, and are among the most common types of step flashings used in Maryland.
  2. Counter Flashing: Counter flashing is normally used to flash chimneys, which helps change the direction of the water away from the chimney and towards the sliding. This type of flashing consists of two layers: the first one is called the base and is situated at the bottom of the chimney while the second one is installed into the brickwork of the chimney.
  3. Drip Edge Flashing: Drip edge is the flashing installed at the edge of the roof that prevents water from entering underneath your roofing and into your home. Without drip edge flashings, the water slides down behind the gutters and consequently damages the roof decking. Be sure to include drip edge flashing when getting your roof replaced, since it may not be included by the contractors in order to offer lower estimates.
  4. Valley Flashing: Valley flashing is used where two slopes on a roof come together. The job of this flashing is to divert water from the top of the roof into the gutters. However, if you have closed valleys, you can skip installing valley flashing as long as you have the underlayment lining.
  5. Chimney Flashing: As the name suggests, chimney flashing is used where the roof meets the chimney. This avoids moisture from penetrating your roof, effectively rendering it waterproof. Ideally, a chimney flashing can last for over 30 years, however, it depends on the materials used or the location of the house.
  6. Skylight Flashing: Skylight is a window in the roof or the ceiling and skylight flashing is used to provide waterproofing between the skylight and the roof covering the material. More often than not, skylight flashings are made of aluminum and act as a defense against harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain or snowfall. Installing a skylight flashing can’t be ignored if you’re performing roof maintenance or installation.
  7. Pipe Flashing: Pipe flashing is designed to act as a seal around small ventilation pipes or vents and can be used in homes or commercial buildings. It consists of two layers, where the first is made of flexible metal while the top layer is made from rubber or silicon so that it can slip on the pipe. It is used in locations such as roof pipes, air conditioning vents, electrical wire pathways and solar panel pipings.

Benefits of Roof Flashings

  • Avoid water damage: Roof flashings channel water away from the roof and this helps in preventing leaks. Installing roof flashing is especially beneficial for areas with a lot of heavy rainfall.
  • Easy to maintain: Roof flashings don’t require much upkeep since they are quite easy to maintain. A roof inspection every now and then should reveal any problem, if present, with the flashings and you know it’s time to get them replaced.
  • Durable: Roof flashings are highly durable since they are made from materials such as copper, stainless steel, aluminum or galvanized steel. These materials can last for decades on ends with absolute ease.
  • Saves money: Roof flashings can help extend the life of your roof, preventing or postponing a repair or an entire replacement. This saves you quite a lot of money in the long run.

Today, we looked at all the types of roof flashings along with their particular uses and benefits. Installing roof flashings is never a bad idea if you want to extend the life of your roof, however, it’s important to consult your local roofing expert before you make any decisions.