In a perfect world, roofers would be able just to spread the roof covering out along the entire roofing structure and not worry about having to make adjustments around differing parts of the roofing system. However almost all types of homes are not built with a perfect area for shingles. There are protrusions coming out of the home such as chimneys and vents and different parts of the roof coming together at areas like valleys. There areas are one of the most susceptible to leaking so we need to protect the home, we need flashing. So what is roof flashing? Let’s take a look at what roof flashing is, when it should be used and some different types of flashing.

What is Roof Flashing?

To keep it simple roof flashing is a thin strip of material, usually metal, that is used in joints and protrusions on the roofing system to prevent moisture and water from leaking into your home or drain to areas where it shouldn’t be. The idea is that water is directed away from certain areas of the home that are prone to leaks onto the roof covering where it can drain off properly into your gutter system.

In the roofing world most flashing is made up of metal, usually aluminum or galvanized steel. These materials are used because they are cheap, strong, flexible and corrosion resistant. Using a metal like simple iron would cause the flashing to rust and age prematurely. The types of metal used to construct flashing are often manufactured specifically to be used in roofing operations.

Where is Roof Flashing Used?

Your type of roof will determine where flashing is used. Flashing is most often used as joints in the roof such as valleys as well as at protrusions on the roof, such as chimneys and vents. These areas are prone to leaks and flashing is used to better protect these components against them.

What Types of Flashing Are Used?

The type of flashing used depends on where it is going, drip edge flashing is used to direct water away from funneling back under your home around the soffits while counter flashing may be used to direct water away from your chimney.

If you have any questions about flashing ask your local roofing contractor. They can help tell you where flashing is being used, what type is being used and why.