Roof systems are made up of a handful of parts. From the shingles and accessories you see to the underlayment and roof flashing you don’t, a properly installed roof takes planning, coordination, and skill. This article will cover one element, roof flashing, in detail. If you are in the market for a new roof, you will benefit from spending a few minutes learning about this key waterproofing aspect of all roof replacement projects.

AIC Roofing & Construction, Inc. opened in 2003 with the belief that we could provide a better roofing experience to our customers by consistently exceeding expectations. Our team is knowledgeable, hard-working, and courteous to everyone we contact. We believe in sharing our experience and expertise by publicly answering some of our clients’ most popular questions in a public forum. That’s why we will share the critical elements of roof flashing.

The article covers the following:

  • The importance of roof flashing
  • What is roof flashing?
  • Material for roof flashing
  • Roof flashing types
  • What parts of a roof need flashing?
  • What does roof flashing look like?

Understanding the Importance of Roof Flashing

Roof flashing protects the vulnerable areas of your roof where water is likely to penetrate. These areas include the joints, valleys, corners, chimneys, skylights, and vent pipes. By sealing these areas, roof flashing prevents water from seeping into your home and causing extensive damage. Without proper flashing, water can infiltrate your roof and find its way into your attic or ceiling, leading to mold growth and damage to your home’s structure.

But roof flashing does more than prevent leaks. It also helps to keep your home safe from insect infestation by sealing off potential entry points, such as gaps around chimneys or skylights. Flashing acts as a barrier against unwanted pests. This can save you from the hassle and expense of dealing with an infestation.

What is roof flashing?

Roof flashing is an essential component of any properly installed roofing system. Flashing refers to the thin, narrow pieces of metal or other durable materials installed in certain roof areas to prevent water from penetrating the structure. The most common locations for roof flashing include valleys, where two slopes meet, chimneys, vents, and skylights. Essentially, in any area where two planes of a roof intersect, it is critical to install proper flashing to direct water away from the structure and protect against leaks and water damage. While it may seem like a small roofing system component, flashing is crucial in maintaining a roof’s long-term integrity and water resistance.

What material is used for roof flashing?

Regarding roof flashing, there are a few different options for the type of metal used. Steel roof flashing is a common choice, providing durability and strength. However, aluminum roof flashing is popular because it comes in various colors and finishes, is lightweight, and resists corrosion. For a more premium option, copper flashing is often chosen for its aesthetic appeal and long lifespan. Ultimately, the type of metal used for roof flashing will depend on your budget and personal preference.

Roof flashing types

When it comes to roofing, ensuring that your flashing is installed correctly is essential to preventing water damage and prolonging the life of your roof. There are different types of flashing, each serving a specific purpose and installed in other roof areas. Step flashing, for example, protects the areas where the roof meets vertical walls or chimneys. Apron flashing is typically installed at the bottom of a chimney or over a sloped roof where a vertical wall meets a horizontal roof. Counter flashing is installed over step flashing to provide an extra layer of protection. Lastly, roof valley flashing is used in areas where two roof surfaces meet at a valley or where the roof meets a wall.

What parts of a roof need flashing?

The specific parts of a roof that require flashing vary depending on the design and structure of the roof. However, the most common areas that need flashing include the chimney, valleys where two roof planes meet, the edge of the roof known as the drip edge, and any vents or openings on the roof. Chimney flashing is essential to prevent water from seeping into the gap between the chimney and the roof. Meanwhile, valley flashing is essential to prevent water from settling in the concave area where two roof planes meet. Drip edge flashing is installed along the roof’s eaves to prevent water from entering the roof sheathing, while vent flashing is installed around any roof vents to ensure they are secure and watertight. Overall, ensuring that these areas are adequately flashed will help extend the lifespan of your roof and prevent costly water damage issues.

Should you be able to see the roof flashing?

It’s not always visible from the ground, but it should be easily spotted if you inspect the roof up close. Overall, being able to see the flashing isn’t necessarily a sign of good or bad installation; what’s more important is that it’s installed properly and doing its job of preventing water from leaking into your home.

In closing

Proper and professional flashing is essential for a long-lasting, problem-free roof that looks great. It is worth spending time to learn about your flashing options. Poorly installed flashings are the #1 cause of roof leaks. If you live in Kentucky and have questions or concerns about your roofing needs, don’t hesitate to contact us. We can provide reliable help and advice on our services and products, as well as guidance on maintaining your home from water damage caused by poor flashing installation or weather damage.



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