What is Roof Flashing?

Roof flashing | KTM Roofing

Why Do You Need It?

Roof flashing is a crucial component of your roofing system, designed to direct water away from critical areas of the roof, towards the gutters. Made from galvanized steel, aluminum, copper, or PVC, the flashing is typically installed at intersections and joints, such as around chimneys, vents, skylights, and wherever the roof meets a wall.

The primary purpose of roof flashing is to protect your home from water damage. Channeling water away from the vulnerable areas of the roof prevents water penetration and subsequent damage to the roof structure and interior of your home. Without properly installed and maintained roof flashing, water can seep into the roof’s underlayers, leading to timber damage, mold growth, and leaks. Hence, roof flashing is an integral part of a durable, reliable, and weather-proof roofing system.

Where Is Roof Flashing Needed On A Roof?

Roof flashing is typically installed in areas that are most vulnerable to leaks and water damage. Here are the key locations where roof flashing is needed:

  • Roof Vents: Flashing is installed around roof vents to prevent water from seeping into the crevices around the vent pipe. It functions as a physical barrier, directing water away from these vulnerable points.
  • Chimneys: Chimney flashing is crucial to preventing water from entering the intersection between the chimney and the roof. It typically involves two components: step flashing that is integrated with the roof shingles and counter flashing that is embedded into the chimney mortar.
  • Roof Edges: Edge flashing or drip edge flashing is installed along the edges of the roof. It helps direct runoff away from the fascia and into the gutters, protecting the roof edge from water damage.
  • Valleys: Roof valleys, the angled intersection between two roof planes, are prone to water pooling. Valley flashing is used here to direct water down the roof and into the gutter system.
  • Skylights: Skylights are another area where flashing is necessary to prevent leaks. Flashing is installed around the skylight frame to create a watertight barrier.
  • Dormer Windows: Dormer windows, much like skylights, require flashing at the corners and sides to prevent water infiltration.

Remember, proper installation of roof flashing is essential to its effectiveness. It should be installed by a professional roofing contractor to ensure it is done correctly.

Common Types Of Roof Flashing

When it comes to protecting your roof, various types of flashing are used to safeguard specific areas. Each type of flashing serves a unique purpose and is designed to shield vulnerable points on your roof from water damage, making them essential components of your roofing system. Let’s delve into some of the common types of flashing:

  • Apron Flashing: This is commonly used around roof penetrations such as chimneys or vent pipes and places where the roof meets a vertical surface. It acts as a cover, or “apron,” diverting water away from these intersections to prevent leaks.
  • Step Flashing: Named for its step-like pattern, this kind of flashing is used where a roof meets a wall. The individual pieces of flashing are overlapped and integrated with the shingles, ensuring water flows away from the wall and down onto the roofing material beneath.
  • Counter Flashing: This is used in conjunction with base or step flashing, particularly around chimneys or other roof projections. It is embedded into a reglet cut into the masonry and folded down to cover the base flashing, providing an additional layer of water protection.
  • Roof Valley Flashing: Used in the valleys formed where two roof slopes meet, this flashing is designed to channel water down towards the gutters, preventing water penetration in areas where it’s most likely to pool.
  • Continuous Flashing: Also known as “long-length” flashing, this type is typically used in places where a vertical wall meets a side of the roof, offering a seamless barrier against water intrusion.
  • Drip Edge Flashing: Installed at the eaves and rakes of a roof, drip edge flashing directs water away from the fascia and into the gutters. This not only protects the underlying roofing components from water damage but also prevents water from wicking back under the roofing material.

FAQs About Roof Flashing

Roof flashing is an integral part of any roofing system, acting as the defender against water intrusion. However, it can also raise a number of questions, especially for homeowners who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of roofing. To help clarify, we’ve compiled a section dedicated to frequently asked questions about roof flashing. In this section, we’ll address concerns about replacement needs, the different types of metal options available, and maintenance.

Do you have to replace your roof flashing when you get a new roof?

When you get a new roof, it’s generally wise to replace all flashing, as old flashing may fail before the new roof’s lifespan is over. There are some exceptions where the flashing may be reused, like if it’s in good condition and the roof repair is minor. However, in most cases, especially with step flashing, installing new flashing is preferable.

What metal options are there for flashing?

Roof flashing can be made from various metals, including galvanized steel, copper, aluminum, and lead. The choice depends on multiple factors, such as the climate, the roofing material, and the budget. Galvanized steel is durable and affordable, making it a common choice. While more expensive, copper offers a longer lifespan and a distinctive aesthetic. Aluminum is lightweight and rust-resistant, and lead is highly durable but more expensive.

Does your roof flashing need to be maintained as part of your roof maintenance?

Yes, maintaining your roof flashing is a crucial part of overall roof maintenance. Regularly checking the flashing for any signs of damage, corrosion, loose nails, missing sealant, or detachment can help identify issues early and prevent leaks. If any problems are spotted, it’s recommended to get them repaired immediately. Routine inspections by a professional roofer, like KTM Roofing, can ensure your roof flashing remains in optimal condition.

KTM Roofing Is Here For All of Your Atlanta Roofing Service Needs

At KTM Roofing, we pride ourselves on providing premium roofing services to the Atlanta area and beyond. Our dedicated team of experts specializes in roof repairs, installation, replacement, and more, ensuring the longevity and durability of your roof. Understanding that roof flashing is a key element to maintaining the structural integrity of your roof, we offer professional installation services tailored to your specific needs. Our service is not limited to installation; we also offer comprehensive flashing roof maintenance to ensure your roof is always in top-notch condition. 

Since our establishment in 1984, we have been committed to raising roofing standards, offering unparalleled quality in each project we undertake. Our commitment to the community extends beyond providing excellent roofing services. We are deeply invested in building strong, safe, and vibrant neighborhoods. Trust KTM Roofing; we are more than just roofers; we are part of your community.