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12 Different (Yet Common) Roof Flashing Types

Roof flashing is a critical component in maintaining the integrity and durability of any roofing system. Its primary purpose is…
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Jacob Wadding

Roof flashing is a critical component in maintaining the integrity and durability of any roofing system. Its primary purpose is to direct water away from vulnerable areas of the roof, such as joints, seams, and edges, to prevent leaks and water damage. There are several types of roof flashing, each designed for specific applications and roof types. In this article, we will explore 12 different, yet common, roof flashing types, their functions, and where they are typically used, including:

  • Step flashing
  • Counter flashing
  • Valley flashing
  • Drip edge flashing
  • Vent pipe flashing
  • Skylight flashing
  • Chimney flashing
  • Continuous flashing
  • Kickout flashing
  • Cap flashing
  • Corner flashing
  • Apron flashing

🏠 12 Roof Flashing Types

Choosing the right type of roof flashing is essential for ensuring maximum protection and longevity of your roofing system. Here, we outline 12 different types of roof flashing, each with its own specific function to safeguard your home from water infiltration.

1. Step Flashing

Function: Step flashing is designed to protect the areas where the roof meets a vertical surface, such as a wall or a chimney. It is installed in layers to ensure that water is directed away from these joints.

Application: Step flashing is commonly used where a sloped roof meets a wall. Each piece of step flashing overlaps the shingle and the vertical surface, creating a stair-step pattern.

  • This ensures that water runs down the roof and is directed away from the wall, preventing leaks

Installation: Step flashing is installed in conjunction with shingles. Each piece of flashing is bent at a 90-degree angle, with one side attached to the roof deck and the other side to the wall. The shingles are then laid over the flashing, ensuring that each piece of flashing is covered by the next shingle layer.

2. Counter Flashing

Function: Counter flashing is used to cover and protect step flashing and other types of base flashing from exposure to the elements. It adds an extra layer of protection to prevent water infiltration.

Application: Counter flashing is commonly used around chimneys, skylights, and where walls intersect with the roof. It is typically installed on top of base flashing to create a waterproof seal.

Installation: Counter flashing is installed after the base flashing is in place. It is embedded into the mortar joints of a chimney or secured to the wall. The bottom edge of the counter flashing overlaps the top edge of the base flashing, creating a continuous barrier against water.

3. Valley Flashing

roof flashing types-valley flashing

Function: Valley flashing protects the valleys where two roof slopes meet. These areas are prone to water accumulation and are particularly vulnerable to leaks.

Application: Valley flashing is used in the valleys formed by the intersection of two roof slopes. It ensures that water flowing down the roof is directed away from the valley and into the gutters.

Installation: Valley flashing is typically installed before the shingles. It is placed along the valley and secured to the roof deck. The shingles are then laid over the flashing, ensuring that the flashing remains exposed in the valley to effectively channel water.

4. Drip Edge Flashing

Function: Drip edge flashing directs water away from the roof edges and into the gutters. It prevents water from seeping under the shingles and causing damage to the roof deck and fascia.

Application: Drip edge flashing is installed along the eaves and rakes of the roof. It is a crucial component in managing water runoff and protecting the roof’s edges.

Installation: Drip edge flashing is installed before the underlayment and shingles. It is nailed to the roof deck along the edges, with the lower flange extending over the gutter. This ensures that water flows directly into the gutter, preventing damage to the roof edges.

5. Vent Pipe Flashing

Function: Vent pipe flashing seals the areas around vent pipes that penetrate the roof. It prevents water from entering around the pipes and causing leaks.

Application: Vent pipe flashing is used around any pipes that protrude through the roof, such as plumbing vents and HVAC vents. It is designed to fit snugly around the pipe and provide a watertight seal.

Installation: Vent pipe flashing is typically a boot-like piece with a rubber gasket that fits around the pipe. It is installed over the pipe, with the flange extending onto the roof. The shingles are then laid over the flange, creating a watertight seal around the pipe.

6. Skylight Flashing

Function: Skylight flashing protects the edges of skylights from water infiltration. It ensures that water is directed away from the skylight and prevents leaks.

Application: Skylight flashing is used around the perimeter of skylights. It is designed to integrate with the skylight and the roofing material to create a seamless, waterproof barrier.

Installation: Skylight flashing is usually provided by the skylight manufacturer and is installed as part of the skylight installation process. It includes a combination of step flashing, counter flashing, and continuous flashing to ensure a watertight seal.

7. Chimney Flashing

Function: Chimney flashing protects the area where the chimney meets the roof. It prevents water from seeping into the roof and chimney structure.

Application: Chimney flashing is used around the base of chimneys. It includes multiple components, such as step flashing, counter flashing, and cricket flashing, to ensure complete protection.

Installation: Chimney flashing is installed in several steps. Step flashing is installed around the chimney base, followed by counter flashing embedded into the mortar joints. A cricket, or saddle flashing, is often used on the uphill side of the chimney to divert water around the chimney.

8. Continuous Flashing

Function: Continuous flashing, also known as apron flashing, provides a continuous barrier against water. It is used in areas where a single, uninterrupted piece of flashing is required.

Application: Continuous flashing is commonly used where a roof meets a vertical surface, such as the lower edge of a dormer or a parapet wall. It is also used along the eaves and rakes.

Installation: Continuous flashing is installed in a single piece along the length of the joint. It is secured to both the roof deck and the vertical surface, with shingles or other roofing material laid over the top edge to ensure a watertight seal.

9. Kickout Flashing

Function: Kickout flashing directs water away from the roof and into the gutter, particularly in areas where the roof meets a wall. It prevents water from running down the wall and causing damage.

Application: Kickout flashing is used at the end of a roof-to-wall transition, where the roofline terminates into a vertical wall. It is particularly important in areas with heavy rainfall.

Installation: Kickout flashing is installed at the base of the roof-to-wall intersection, where the roof edge meets the wall. It is angled to direct water away from the wall and into the gutter. The flashing is integrated with the step flashing and covered by shingles.

10. Cap Flashing

Function: Cap flashing, also known as coping flashing, protects the tops of parapet walls and other vertical surfaces. It prevents water from penetrating the wall cap and causing damage.

Application: Cap flashing is used on the tops of parapet walls, chimney caps, and other vertical surfaces that are exposed to the elements. It provides a continuous barrier against water infiltration.

Installation: Cap flashing is typically installed over the wall cap, with the edges extending down the sides of the wall. It is secured in place and sealed to ensure a watertight barrier. The top edge may be integrated with counter flashing to provide additional protection.

11. Corner Flashing

roof flashing types-corner flashing

Function: Corner flashing protects the corners of the roof, where two vertical surfaces meet. It ensures that water is directed away from these vulnerable areas.

Application: Corner flashing is used at the intersections of walls and roof corners. It is particularly important in areas with complex roof designs, such as dormers and gable ends.

Installation: Corner flashing is installed at the roof corners, where the vertical walls intersect. It is secured to both the walls and the roof deck, with shingles or other roofing material laid over the top edge to ensure a watertight seal.

12. Apron Flashing

Function: Apron flashing directs water away from the base of vertical surfaces, such as dormers, skylights, and chimneys. It prevents water from pooling at the base and causing leaks.

Application: Apron flashing is used at the lower edges of dormers, skylights, and chimneys, where the roof meets the vertical surface. It is an essential component in preventing water infiltration.

Installation: Apron flashing is installed along the base of the vertical surface, with the top edge secured to the vertical surface and the bottom edge extending onto the roof deck. Shingles or other roofing material are then laid over the flashing to create a watertight seal.

🙌 Ensuring a Leak-Free Roof: The Importance of Proper Flashing with Arch Exteriors

Understanding the different types of roof flashing and their specific applications is crucial for maintaining a durable and leak-free roofing system. At Arch Exteriors, our team excels in identifying and applying the right type of flashing to protect vulnerable areas from water infiltration. With our expertise, we ensure proper installation and regular maintenance, significantly extending the life of your roof and preventing costly repairs. Whether you are a homeowner or a roofing professional, you can trust Arch Exteriors to keep your roof in optimal condition. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and experience the Arch Exteriors difference!

About the Author
Your home is probably the most expensive thing you own. When you hire somebody to make improvements, you want high-quality work. In addition, you hope they’ll take the same care you would. You want someone with a good reputation, legitimate credentials, well established, using quality materials, and who charges a fair price. For over 11 years, I have worked hard to provide all of those benefits to my clients. One of the major reasons we have been able to do that is our ability to keep highly qualified personnel. Our workers are well trained, properly motivated, and managed professionally. I make certain that I convey measurable systems and procedures that our team understands and can readily follow.

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