When you think about your roof, you probably picture the shingles or tiles that make up its exterior structure. But roofing systems also consist of many elements, like roof flashing, that you may not see at street level. Different types of roof flashing are necessary throughout your roofing system to prevent water from entering your home.
Whether you’re wondering how to fix a leak in your roof or are curious about the flashing installation process, contact Polaris Roofing Systems for a free inspection. For over 25 years, we’ve been helping homeowners in Flagstaff, AZ and the surrounding areas with outstanding roofing services!
What Is Roof Flashing?
Roof flashing is a thin metal material that helps waterproof your roof. These metal strips direct water away from your roof’s features, guiding the water toward the gutters and preventing damage.
Roofing crews install metal roof flashing around chimneys, skylights, air vents, and any other protrusions that disrupt the flat roof surface. Without roof flashing, these areas are vulnerable to water damage and may allow moisture to seep under your shingles, impacting your roof’s integrity.
Common Roof Flashing Types
Because the different elements on your roof all contain various shapes and angles, roofers use different styles of roof flashing for each one. The most common types of roof flashing you’ll likely see on your roof include the following:
Step Roof Flashing
Step flashing covers the vertical structures on your roof, such as your chimney or any side walls that lead to upper levels. Instead of laying traditional shingles or tiles on these protrusions, roofers use a specialized “step” process that involves:
- Placing a shingle on the structure
- Laying a piece of flashing
- Placing another shingle
- Laying another piece of flashing
This step-by-step technique ensures that the entire structure is protected. As a result, water cannot seep into the connection between the roof and the chimney.
If your home is made of brick, stone, or another dense material, your roofers may use counter flashing alongside the step flashing. This material uses mortar fasteners and sealants to secure the step flashing into the wall. The roofing contractor saws into the mortar joint and lays the flashing on top of the brick.
Skylights often use step flashing, but if yours are oddly shaped, your roofers may cut custom metal sheets to use in these areas. Roofers always overlap flashing to prevent water from seeping into any gaps.
The base of the vertical structures on your roof, such as your chimney, likely use apron flashing to seal any gaps where these structures protrude. Apron flashing consists of L-shaped sheet metal, allowing one side to rest flush against the side of the chimney and the other to lay flat on the roof.
These types of roof flashing can measure up to 14 feet, making them suitable for most roof elements.
The valleys of your roof, or the areas where two slopes meet, use specialized valley metal flashing that fits smoothly into the gaps. Valleys are particularly susceptible to leaks, so your flashing may be as wide as 24 inches to provide additional security.
Gutter Apron Flashing
The points where your gutters connect to the roof may have gutter apron flashing to seal the gap between the roof sheathing and the fascia trim board. This flashing directs water into the gutters using a drip edge, preventing water from pooling on the edge of the roof. If the roof has an ice and water shield, this will go on top of the gutter apron flashing.
Schedule a Roof Flashing Inspection Today
Roof flashing plays a valuable role in your roof’s protection against moisture. That’s why we recommend scheduling a roof inspection at least once per year to identify issues with your roofing structure that may not be visible from the street.
At Polaris Roofing Systems, we have 25 years of experience in the roofing industry, so we’re well-versed in all types of roof flashing. Schedule your free roof inspection with our licensed and insured roofing professionals in Flagstaff, AZ, today by calling 928-699-4840.