One of the most important parts of creating a roof is the roof flashing. If you’ve ever sat tight in your home during a rainstorm, you probably have the flashing to thank.
What is Roof Flashing?
Roof flashing is a thin layer of metal sheeting that is applied to the corners and valleys on your roof.
This layer helps ensure that water is directed away from any seams and joints. Without, water can easily penetrate through these areas and cause significant water damage.
Roof flashing is particularly critical to some areas of your roof that are more vulnerable to water penetration.
These include any places where the roof surface touches a wall, like the front and sideways walls, as well as roof protrusions such as skylights and vents, and the edges on the roof, like at rakes and eaves.
There are several reasons why flashing is needed in these areas:
▪️ Valleys and Joints
Joints are usually not watertight. Also, valleys tend to collect more water than any other area of the roof. So, flashing is needed to help direct the water away from these areas.
▪️ Roof Protrusions
Anything jutting out from the roof is more susceptible to water damage if not protected. Flashing can help protect these areas from water damage, even if the roofing material fails.
▪️ Roof Edges
If your roof has edges that do not have gutters, flashing – known as drip edging – must be applied. Drip edging is a specialized type of flashing that ensures that all water is directed away from the roof and that no water gets trapped behind gutters.
Water can easily run through your chimney and collect at the base. Flashing prevents this from happening. For best results, it should be installed at the chimney base so that water can’t penetrate through the joint connecting the roof and chimney.
Usually, there are at least a few pipes on your roof that penetrate into the surface of your home. Pipes like this can compromise the waterproof nature of your roof. Pipe flashing, also known as pipe boots, can be placed around the pipes to protect the roof.
There are several types of flashing that can be applied to a roof.
Kickout flashing is usually installed at the lowest joint that exists between the roof and your wall and is also known as diverter flashing. This is because it diverts rainwater away from the wall. Instead, it is directed into your gutters so that you don’t have to worry about saturation leaks in your roof.
▪️ Vent Boot
This is also known as a vent pipe cover and is essentially a metal or lead sleeve that is fitted over a vent pipe.
▪️ Valley Flashing
This is applied on your roof where a valley is formed due to two sloped coming together.
▪️ Base/Step Flashing
This is used in areas where the surface of the roof deck intersects with a vertical wall of your house. Step flashing particularly looks like small metal rectangles and is applied to both the roof and the wall.
▪️ Ridge Cap
This covers peaks (or ridges) on your roof. Usually, these are a specialized variety of shingles or tiles or fabricated metal that has been specifically designed to help get rid of water or debris from your roof.
This is a triangular structure that is built on top of a flat or pitched roof. They work best with areas like chimneys and dormers due to their sharp angles.
Roof flashing should be laid down properly if you want to ensure that your roof is as waterproof and safe as possible.
We’d love to answer any questions that you might have