Chances are you’ve heard the phrase “roof flashing,”—but do you know what roof flashing is, what it does, and why it’s important to the integrity of your roof? Whether you answered no to one or all of those questions, you’re in luck.

At Maycon Construction Services, we want to do more than just provide top-quality roof installation, repairs and replacements in Huntington, WV. We also want to make sure homeowners know everything they need to know to keep their roofs in top condition.

Here’s a full guide to help you understand roof flashing. Give it a read and give us a call at (304) 208-8978 if you still have questions or suspect your flashing could use replaced or repaired.

What is Flashing and How Does It Work?

roof flashing rain dripping

Flashing is a thin material, typically metal or PVC, used to protect the seams in your roofing, such as in roof valleys or around a chimney. They work to redirect water off your roof. Different types of roof flashing accomplish this in different ways, yet the result is always the same. Keep water from entering your roof at any seams, valleys, or edges.

Types of Roof Flashing

There are several types of roof flashing, each specific to different areas of a roofing system.

Base and Step Flashing

Base and step roof flashing protect vertical walls that intersect your roofing. For instance, if you have a half-second story, this type of flashing would protect the intersection between the second story’s walls and the first floor’s roof.

Chimney Flashing

Around your chimney and dormers are the most complicated areas as far as flashing goes and require an absolute water-tight seal. Chimney flashing expands and contracts while still keeping water away from your home.

Valley Flashing

In areas where the slopes of a roof form a V, it’s important to flash the valley where they meet. Valley flashing ensures that water flows off the roof rather than building up to a point where it can get under shingles or through the seams of panels.

While valley flashing is a must for open valley installations, it provides an extra layer of protection underneath closed-cut and woven shingle valleys as well.

Drip and Rake Edge Flashing

Drip edge flashing protects the very edges of your roof where wind and rain can lift shingles or paneling and cause wood rot. They’re the last line of defense roof edges have if your shingles and gutters fail.

Roof Flashing Materials

Roof flashing materials must be both strong and malleable as they need to withstand constant exposure to the elements and be bent and shaped as required. The most common materials used include:

Copper, Lead-Lined Copper, and Lead Roof Flashing

Copper provides the most durability but is one of the more expensive options. Lead and lead-lined copper are also excellent materials for roof flashing yet have health risks associated with them and high costs.

Steel and Aluminum Roof Flashing

Steel and aluminum are less expensive yet not as durable and require an expert hand to create a water-tight seal. Stainless steel becomes a better option in coastal areas due to its resistance to salt corrosion.

Roof Roll and Roof Tape

Roof roll and roof tape are easy to install and cost-effective. They make it almost effortless to flash around windows and doors. Unfortunately, they suffer from durability issues, as well as shrinkage under certain conditions.

Where Is Roof Flashing Most Important?

roof rot from failing flashing

Roof flashing is a necessity in areas where water needs to run off your roof. It is imperative around roof perforations such as skylights, chimneys, and exhaust pipes. Flashing is also essential around windows, doors, and gutters.

Two of the most critical areas for roof flashing are the roof’s drip edge and rake edge. Flashing in these areas are designed to make water flow past the actual edge of your roofing. They channel water into gutters or out and away from the fascia board.

Need Help With Roof Flashing?

Our skilled team at Maycon Construction Services is happy to handle all your roofing needs in Huntington, WV. For more information on roof flashing, roof flashing inspections, or repair, call (304) 208-8978.