Your roof is your home’s greatest protector against harsh weather conditions like rain, ice, and snow. But in order to do its job well, it requires a variety of durable, waterproof materials — one of the most notable being roof flashing. 

Roof flashing can make or break your roof’s ability to prevent water creeping inside your home and causing costly damage. Below, we’ll give a little more insight into what roof flashing is, where it’s needed, and what kinds are available.

What Is Roof Flashing?

Roof flashing is a flat, thin, waterproof material (usually steel) that’s placed underneath shingles and is used to direct water away from the most vulnerable areas of your roof. It helps prevent water from entering any openings or cracks on your roof. It’s a great second line of protection to ensure you avoid devastating water damage within your home’s interior. 

What Areas of Your Roof Require Flashing? 

While your entire roof doesn’t always require flashing, there are a few sections of it where flashing is critical. These areas are where openings or cracks are most common, and usually include: 

  • Any roof surface that joins a side or front wall
  • Valleys, or low points where two roof slopes join
  • Protrusions like bathroom vents, chimneys, and skylights
  • Edges, like eaves or rakes

What Are the Different Types of Roof Flashing?

The overall concept of roof flashing stays the same, no matter where it’s placed. However, there are several different types of flashing, and each of them is ideally suited for a specific application within the broad flashing spectrum. 

Below are the eight main types of roof flashing, as well as some information on what makes them unique. 

Base Flashing

Base flashing protects sections of your roof that meet a vertical wall juncture, such as your chimney. Base flashing is installed underneath your home’s siding and shingles, so it’s not easily seen. 

Counter Flashing

Counter flashing is the second piece of base flashing. It’s placed either above or opposite of base flashing to protect it. 

Step Flashing

Step flashing involves L-shaped pieces of flashing that are installed along the corner where your roof meets your sidewall. In most cases, this flashing can be partly seen, so some homeowners choose to find a material color that matches or complements their home’s exterior. 

Continuous Flashing

Also known as apron flashing, this is a singular, long piece of flashing that pushes water away from vertical walls and sloped roofs and then redirects it into a gutter. 

Valley Flashing

Valley flashing uses flashing to line the indent where two sides of a roof come together and form a valley. It directs water away from the valley, down the roof, and into a gutter. 

Kickout Flashing

Also known as diverter flashing, this flashing is used where gutters end against sidewalls. It directs the water into the gutter, instead of letting it run down the sidewall. 

Skylight Flashing

Today, many skylights can be purchased with flashing already attached. However, if yours doesn’t have this feature, you need to do it yourself or hire a contractor to do it for you. It’s an important way of preventing water from seeping into any openings around the skylight. 

Drip Edge Flashing

Drip edge flashing is placed around the edges of your roof to prevent water from dripping behind gutters and counterproductively damaging your roof. 

Looking for more ways to protect your roof from tough weather conditions? Let Werner Roofing help. From flashing to gutter systems, our team of experts can provide recommendations that fit the unique needs of your home. Give us a call or contact us online to learn more

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How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

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