Anatomy of a Roof System: Roof Flashing
No Flash in the Pan
Keeping water from entering your home at any point is critical. That’s why the roofing gods created roof flashing. This important invention is actually thin steel that’s installed around your vents, chimneys, walls, skylights, valleys, edges or dormers that keep water from getting into your attic and house. It has to be nearly impermeable. That’s why at Peak, we use only the best-of-the-best, long-lasting materials. You can’t be too careful.
Speaking of materials, there are several different types you can use. Let’s take a look.
The Big Three: Copper, Steel and Aluminum
Copper: It’s easy to solder and is malleable, plus it’s highly durable and lasts a long time. Over time, it fades into a patina. For comparison in terms of strength, even though pennies are not 100% copper, look at the date on one or a few. You’ll be surprised how long some of them have been around.
Steel: Generally, steel is the most used material for flashing. Not only is it pliable, but it also looks good. To keep it from deteriorating, it’s galvanized.
Aluminum: This material is easy to install and lightweight. But before it can be installed, it has to be coated with masonry and concrete so it doesn’t disintegrate.
The 8 Types of Roof Flashing
- Continuous: Built-in long, single pieces, these expansion joints carry the water down to the roof shingles. They expand and contract—flex—with your house.
- Base: This material works for roof features that need two pieces of flashing, like chimneys. It ensures that water always hits a flashing surface and is guided away from the roof. Super easy to install, this type also expands and moves with your roof.
- Counter: This one goes on top of Base flashing or opposite it and basically completes it.
- Step: Shaped like a rectangle and bent 90 degrees from the middle, this type is installed in layers so that water is directed away from the walls.
- Skylight: If your skylight doesn’t come with flashing, this is what the contractor will need to buy or create separately.
- Valley: Appropriately named and made of metal, Valley flashing protects valleys on your roof from water damage.
- Drip edges: Installed on your roof’s edge, it helps water drain off your roof without causing a leak or damaging your house.
- Kickout flashing: This closes the space between where the gutter starts and Step flashing ends. It also helps keep water away from the wall by redirecting it into the gutter.
Noticing a theme here? Flexibility, as well as being water-resistant, is what good flashing is all about. It might seem like a small part of your roof’s structure, but it plays a big part in keeping your home in good condition—free from water!
Newsflash: We’re Always Here for You
As you know by now, we’re ready and waiting to help you, no matter what kind of roof issue you might be having. In fact, we even guarantee our work, which is something we’re most proud of. If you want to talk to someone, just get in touch. In this world of fly-by-night operations, especially after a storm, you can trust us. We hope that when it comes to your home, we’ll become a permanent fixture.
Be sure to read the next article in our series: Anatomy of a Roof System: Roof Ice and Water Shields