What To Know About Roof Flashing

Mar 29, 2023 | Education, Roof Information

When preparing or getting a roof installation, you’re probably having terms thrown at you that you may not understand. A term you may have heard is roof flashing (RF). It is common for homeowners to not know the term unless they’ve dealt with roofing in the past.  

Stepped lead flashing roof gulley creating a water tight seal be

What Roof Flashing Is 

It is a thin material that roofers install to direct water away from certain areas such as walls, chimneys, roof valleys, etc. 

Why Roof Flashing is Important

Roof Flashing is a crucial material that every roof needs. It protects your roof from water damage. Water should run down the side of the flashing and be directed to the shingles instead of finding its way to your roof deck. 

Without RF, water can slowly drip into the crevices between the wall and the roof. Enough water damage could cause it to leak into your home. 

Different Types of Roof Flashing 

There are several different types of RF. The four main types are continuous flashing, base flashing, counter flashing, step flashing, kickout flashing, valley flashing, and drip edges.

Continuous Flashing

AKA Apron flashing, continuous flashing acts a lot like an apron, hence its AKA name. It is a long single piece of metal that carries water down to the shingles below. When installing these long pieces they need to have built-in expansion joints so they can move with the home. Without these expansion joints, the pieces would have trouble moving and flexing when the home expands and contracts while seasons change. This could cause them to break and fail to keep water out if not installed properly. 

Base Flashing 

Some roof features require two pieces of flashing. Base Flashing ensures that rain always meets a flashing surface that directs it downwards. Two-part flashing leaves room to move when the roof is expanding or contracting. This benefit allows the whole system to stay secure. 

Counter Flashing 

Base Flashing is the bottom piece and counter flashing is placed opposite to base flashing, or above base flashing. Counter-flashing completes the two-part team.

Step Flashing 

Step flashing is a rectangular piece of flashing bent 90 degrees in the center. It is used for roof-to-wall flashing. Multiple pieces of the flashing will be installed in layers with shingles to ensure the water flows away from the wall.

Kickout Flashing

When installing step flashing roofers need something to bridge the gap between where step flashing ends and the gutter begins. Kickout flashing is used to direct water away from the wall and into the gutter. 

 Valley Flashing 

Your roof may have open valleys in between shingles. The crevices need to be protected with valley flashing. Metal sheets are used to cover open valleys. 

Drip Edges

The edge of the roof has thin metal flashing that helps water drip off the roof without damaging the home or causing a leak. This causes water to drip away from the home and not onto the home. 

Use a Professional to Install Roof Flashing 

Improper installation of RF can cause issues to your roof. It could lead to roof rot, the roof deck collapse, or roof leaks. 

Are you in need of immediate roofing repairs or a roof replacement? The team at Southline Roofing is here to help. Contact us today!

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