Types of Roof Flashing

Last updated on September 22, 2023

Discover the various types of roof flashing and their importance in protecting your home from water damage, as we dive into this essential component of residential roofing.

If you’re a homeowner, you know how important it is to keep your roof in good condition. One of the key components of a well-functioning roof is proper flashing.

Flashing is the material that’s installed around roof openings and along the edges to prevent water from seeping into your home. There are several types of roof flashing available, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.

In this article, we’ll explore the different types of roof flashing so you can make an informed decision when it comes time to replace or repair your own roofing system. So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let’s dive into the world of roof flashing!

Types of Roof Flashing

types of roof flashing

Roof flashing is an essential component of any roofing system. It’s designed to protect your home from water damage by directing rainwater away from vulnerable areas such as roof valleys, chimneys, skylights and other openings.

There are several types of roof flashing available on the market today, each with its own unique benefits and drawbacks.

One type of roof flashing is step flashing. This type of flashing is typically used along the edges where a sloped roof meets a vertical wall or chimney.

Step flashings are installed in a “step-like” pattern to create overlapping layers that direct water away from these vulnerable areas.

Another common type of roofing material used for flashings is headwall or apron flashings which run parallel to walls at the base level between two roofs or around dormers projecting outwards.

Counter-flashing can also be installed over existing base metal counterflashing when it has become damaged due to weathering effects like rusting etc., providing additional protection against moisture penetration into your home’s interior spaces while maintaining aesthetic appeal through matching colors with surrounding materials such as shingles etc.

What Is Roof Flashing?

It’s the material that’s installed around roof openings and along the edges to prevent water from seeping into your home. Flashing acts as a barrier between different parts of your roof, such as where the shingles meet a chimney or skylight, preventing water from entering through gaps in these areas.

Flashing can be made out of various materials like aluminum, copper, lead-coated copper or galvanized steel. The type of flashing used depends on several factors including climate conditions and budget constraints.

In addition to protecting against leaks and moisture damage, proper installation and maintenance of roof flashing can also help extend the life span of your roofing system by preventing premature wear caused by exposure to harsh weather elements.

The Purpose of Roof Flashing

Water can seep into your home through gaps or cracks in the roof, which can lead to mold growth, rotting wood, and other structural issues. Flashing acts as a barrier between these openings and the elements outside.

Flashings are installed around various parts of a roof where there may be potential for water penetration such as chimneys, skylights or vents. They are also used along edges where two different materials meet like shingles meeting brick walls.

Without proper flashing installation or maintenance over time it will deteriorate leading to leaks that could cause significant damage if not addressed promptly.

Roof Flashing Materials

The type of material used for roof flashing depends on the roofing system and the location of the installation. Some common materials include aluminum, copper, lead-coated copper, galvanized steel, stainless steel and PVC.

Aluminum is a popular choice because it’s lightweight and easy to work with. It’s also resistant to corrosion which makes it ideal for coastal areas where saltwater can cause rusting.

Copper is another popular option due to its durability and aesthetic appeal as it develops a natural patina over time that gives off an elegant look.

Lead-coated copper combines both durability with resistance against weather elements such as hailstorms or heavy rainfalls making them perfect for harsh climates.

Galvanized steel has been around since ancient times but still remains relevant today due to its affordability compared with other options available in the market.

Stainless Steel offers excellent protection against corrosion while being durable enough not only withstands extreme temperatures but also resist wear-and-tear caused by exposure over time.

Identifying Roof Flashing Types

The first step is to locate all the areas where flashing is installed, such as around chimneys, skylights or vents. Once you’ve identified these areas, take note of the shape and material used in each section.

For example, step flashing consists of small pieces that overlap one another along a sloped surface like a chimney or dormer wall. Headwall flashing runs horizontally along walls that meet with your roofline while counterflashing covers up vertical sections and overlaps with headwall flashings.

Penetration flashings are used around pipes or other objects that penetrate through your roof’s surface while apron flashings cover up any gaps between roofing materials and exterior walls.

Roof Flashing Techniques

Some common techniques include step flashing, headwall flashing, counterflashing, penetration flashing, chimney and skylight flashings as well as apron flashings.

Step Flashing: This technique is commonly used for roofing systems with shingles or other similar materials. It involves installing small pieces of metal (usually aluminum) along each course of shingles where they meet a vertical surface such as a wall or chimney.

Headwall Flashing: Headwall flashings are typically installed at the intersection between a sloped roof and an exterior wall. They’re designed to prevent water from seeping into your home by directing it away from this vulnerable area.

Counterflashing: Counterflashing is often paired with headwall flashings in order to provide additional protection against water intrusion at these intersections. It’s usually made out of metal that’s bent over the top edge of existing masonry work around chimneys or walls.

Penetration Flashing: Penetration flashes protect areas where pipes penetrate through your roof by creating watertight seals around them using rubber gaskets or caulking compounds. Chimney & Skylight Flashes: Chimney & Skylights require special attention when it comes to waterproof sealing because they protrude above your rooftop making them more susceptible to leaks than other parts.

Apron Flashes: Apron flashes are typically found near dormers which can be tricky spots for moisture infiltration due their unique shape; aprons help direct rainwater away from these areas keeping everything dry inside!

Step Flashing

It’s called “step” flashing because it looks like a series of steps, with each piece overlapping the one below it. Step flashing is typically made from metal, such as aluminum or galvanized steel, and comes in various sizes to fit different roofing materials.

The purpose of step flashing is to create a watertight seal between the roof and wall by directing water away from vulnerable areas. When installed correctly, step flashings provide an effective barrier against moisture intrusion into your home.

To install step flashings properly requires skill and experience; therefore, we recommend hiring professional roofing contractors for this task. They will ensure that each piece fits snugly against both the wall and shingle while maintaining proper overlap with adjacent pieces.

Headwall Flashing

This type of flashing is essential in preventing water from seeping into your home through this vulnerable area. Headwall flashings are typically made from metal, such as aluminum or copper, and come in various shapes to fit different types of roofs.

To install headwall flashing correctly, it’s important to ensure that the material extends at least 8 inches up the wall and 2 inches onto the roof surface. The top edge should be bent down over the roofing material to create an overlap that prevents water from getting underneath.

If you’re unsure whether your home has proper headwall flashings installed or if you suspect they may be damaged or deteriorating, it’s best to consult with a professional roofing contractor who can assess your situation and recommend appropriate repairs or replacements.

In addition to headwall flashings, there are several other types of roof flashings used for different areas on your rooftop.

Counter Flashing

It’s typically used in conjunction with brick or stone walls and is designed to cover the exposed edges of base flashings, which are often made from less durable materials like tar paper or rubber.

The counter flashing installation process involves cutting a groove into the mortar joint along the wall where it meets your roofline. The counter-flashing material, usually metal, is then inserted into this groove and sealed with caulking or other waterproofing agents.

One advantage of using counter flashing is that it can be easily replaced without having to remove any existing roofing materials. This makes repairs much simpler and more cost-effective than if you were forced to replace an entire section of your roof due to water damage.

Proper installation and maintenance of all types of roof flashings are essential for protecting your home from costly water damage caused by leaks.

Penetration Flashing

These areas are particularly vulnerable to water damage because they create openings in the roofing system. Penetration flashing is typically made of metal or rubber and installed with a sealant to prevent water from seeping into your home.

There are two main types of penetration flashing: vent pipe flashing and chimney pipe flashing. Vent pipe flashings are designed for use on plumbing vents, while chimney pipe flashings are used around chimneys.

When installing penetration flashings, it’s important to ensure that they’re properly sealed against the roof surface. This can be done using a variety of techniques depending on the type of material being used for both sealing and installation.

Proper installation of penetration flashings is crucial in protecting your home from potential leaks caused by these penetrations through your roofing system.

Chimney and Skylight Flashings

Chimney flashing is installed around the base of a chimney to prevent water from seeping into your home. Skylight flashing, on the other hand, is installed around skylights to keep water out.

There are several types of chimney and skylight flashings available, including step flashing and apron flashing. Step flashings are small pieces of metal that fit under each shingle or tile along the edge of a chimney or skylight.

This creates a watertight seal that prevents moisture from entering your home.

Apron flashings, on the other hand, cover larger areas around chimneys or skylights with one continuous piece of metal. They’re typically made from aluminum or copper because they’re durable enough to withstand harsh weather conditions.

When it comes time for installation or repair work on your roof’s chimney and/or skylight flashings be sure you hire an experienced roofing contractor who can identify which type(s) will work best for your specific needs while ensuring proper installation techniques so as not compromise their effectiveness in protecting against leaks over time!.

Apron Flashing

It’s typically used to prevent water from seeping into the gap between your roofing material and your home’s siding or masonry. Apron flashing is made from durable materials like aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel and can be customized to fit any size or shape of roof.

One key benefit of apron flashing is its ability to protect against wind-driven rain. When strong winds blow rainwater up under your shingles, apron flashings act as an additional barrier preventing water damage inside your home.

If you’re considering installing new roofing on your home, it’s important not to overlook the importance of proper flashings such as aprons in protecting against leaks and other types of moisture damage.