What is Flashing within a Roof?
Flashing is installed to prevent water penetrating the home from a joint. It tends to be made of metal or other flexible materials. You will typically see flashing as several inch-wide strips of metal around chimneys or along other joints within the roof.
You typically won’t hear of flashing under another term, but you will hear modifiers depending on the material used. For example “lead flashing” or “copper flashing” are used as a higher end material in some applications.
Why it Matters
The purpose of flashing is to seal the roof and prevent leaks around any project or intersection such as pipes, chimney, dormers, valleys, or adjoining walls. Flashing helps prevent leaks long term, but like many parts of the roof is subject to failure from weathering. This is also an area that during a roof inspection you’ll want to confirm isn’t allowing water and if you are doing a repair you may want to consider in investing in upgrading flashing as needed. Exterior signs of damage can sometimes be seen, but to do a thorough job, you’ll want to look on the inside of the roof if possible for signs of leaks.