What Is Roof Flashing? Everything You Need to Know

Apr 11, 2023


Viking Contractors




April 11, 2023


May 10, 2024

Got Questions?

If you’re building a new roof or repairing an old one, you must have heard about the term “flashing.” 

So what is roof flashing? Roof flashing utilizes thin metal in critical areas of your roof to prevent water and dirt from seeping. It’s usually made of a thin layer of strong metal, and it’s crucial to have it on every roof.

Whether or not you have shingles installed on the roof, you must have roof flashing. You may be able to handle the job yourself, but such a critical task should be left to professionals

Where Should You Install a Roof Flashing?

You should install your roof flashing in any area where water penetration could occur. Vents, chimneys, skylights, and valleys are good examples of such areas.

As a general rule, whenever a vertical surface joins the horizontal plane of your roof surface, you’ll need to install roof flashing.

What Are the Types of Roof Flashing?

Roof flashing is often done using metal (typically galvanized steel), but how you “shape” that metal to construct the flashing results in a different type of flashing. Here are some examples:

1. Base Flashing

Base flashing is one of the most important types.

It’s essentially an L-shaped piece of metal that surrounds vertical structures, like chimneys, to prevent water from seeping at the intersection between the base of the chimney and the roof.

Unfortunately, this is one of the most difficult types of flashings to install correctly on your own. 

2. Valley Flashing

roof valley flashing on an asphalt shingled waterproofing roofing construction of a brick house. - What Is Roof Flashing

This flashing type covers the open valleys of your roof.

These valleys are the areas where different slopes of your roof meet, and they’re vulnerable to water damage.

3. Kickout Flashing

Kickout flashing serves to direct the water away from the wall and into the gutters.

It’s often slightly extended and curved to prevent the water from dripping on the walls of your house and ruining the paint.

4. Drip Edges

Drip edge flashing is installed where the roof’s ending meets your house’s walls. 

Water can easily seep through that intersection; those edges cover that area and “drip” the water away from it. 

5. Skylight Flashing

Beautiful roof window and skylight on shingles roof

Those who don’t utilize flashings after installing skylight flashing will have water dripping from their roof windows every time it rains.

Many skylight manufacturers include that flashing with the installation service. But if they don’t, you must get it done to prevent water from pouring straight into your house. 

What Is Roof Flashing Made Of?

As mentioned earlier, galvanized steel is the most popular option because of its high strength and corrosion resistance. However, aluminum and copper can also be used.

Aluminum is lightweight and easy to shape but must be coated to protect against corrosion.

Copper’s popularity stems from how strong, solderable, and easy to manipulate it is. Still, it’s likely to change color over time which some people might find unpleasant.

In Conclusion

Roof flashing goes hand-in-hand with protecting your roof from water damage, especially if you have multiple structures there.

Unlike installing shingles or dimensional shingles, installing the roof flashing isn’t a walk in the park, even for those who prefer DIY jobs. The flashing itself might feel simple to install, but securely placing it to have it actually perform its job can be challenging.

Because of that, you’ll need a reputable contractor for the job. Contact us, Viking Contractors LLC, through email or call us at (612) 567-5522.

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