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Roof Flashing 101: Materials & Types Of Flashing

Posted on August 25, 2022

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Roof Flashing 101: Materials & Types Of Flashing

It may not seem like it at first glance, but roof flashing is one of the most important aspects of a home’s roofing system. It prevents water from leaking into your walls, ceilings, and basement during heavy rains. If roof flashing is damaged or missing, it can cause serious damage to your house and property – not to mention your wallet!

It’s important that you know how to identify when your roof needs new flashing, and to understand which materials are best. In the following sections, we will review everything you need to know about roof flashing. So let’s move forward.

What is Roof Flashing?

Most homeowners have little knowledge about the different roof components or parts of a roof. Understanding different roof components can help homeowners make the best decision when their roof needs to be repaired or replaced.

Roof flashing is a piece of metal or plastic that is installed between the roof and wall to prevent water from entering your house. Flashing at the roof is used to protect vulnerable areas of your roofing system, such as the areas surrounding the chimneys or skylights.

Roof flashing can be installed in a couple of different ways, depending on the type of roofing material you have installed. For example, the most common types of roofing materials are asphalt shingles and metal roofs, and they both require different types of flashings.

Roof Flashing

Image Source: oldhouseguy.com

Why Flashing Is Important?

Since it is a small piece and is not often the first thing you see on the roof, many homeowners think that it is not that important and they tend to neglect it. Some people might think that flashing is only necessary when installing a new roof, but it’s actually important to have a roof flashing in place even when you’re just repairing or re-roofing your house so that there are no leaks when it rains. Here are some of the reasons why roof flashing is important.

It Helps To Reduce Moisture

Flashing is important for many reasons, but one of the most important is that it helps to avoid moisture.

Moisture is a major cause of roof problems. If there isn’t an adequate barrier between the roof and the rest of your home, water can get inside, where it can cause damage and mold growth. The flashing on your roof helps to keep moisture out by creating a barrier between the two different sections.

It Can Increase The Performance And Lifespan Of The Roof

Roof flashing helps ensure that your roof lasts as long as possible, and it protects the most vulnerable parts of your roof from water damage. Roof flashing is used to cover up any joints or seams in your roof so that water cannot get in your home.

Roof Flashing Can Reduce Mold Growth

Mold and mildew are common problems resulting from water damage trapped inside your home. Roof flashing helps to prevent water damage by allowing rainwater to run off the roof and away from your home. This prevents water from getting trapped between layers of shingles or other materials on your roof, which can lead to mold growth.

Materials Used In Roof Flashing

A leaky roof can lead to major problems for your home—from mildew growth on walls to mold infestations that may cause respiratory issues. That’s why it’s important to make sure you have the right kind of roof flashing in place.

The materials used for this type of product vary widely, depending on what size or shape you need them cut into before application. Here is the list of the materials that contractors use:


Steel is also a common material used for roof flashing. Steel flashing is made from galvanized steel, which means it has been treated with zinc to resist corrosion and rust. It is also available in different colors to match the roofing material being used on your home or business. Steel flashing can be cut to fit any size or shape area. Some contractors use stainless steel options as well.


Out of all the metals, aluminum is likely to have the most applications. This is used in the making of flashing pieces as well. Aluminum flashing is the most commonly used type of flashing. It is a lightweight, affordable material that is easy to work with, and it provides many benefits to both homeowners and contractors.

Aluminum does not have the same durability as stainless steel or copper materials and there is a possibility that this material can rust. However, aluminum roof flashings can last for years if properly cared for and maintained.


Copper stands out from the rest as a roofing material, and when it comes to roof flashings as well. This is by far the most sturdy and durable form of flashing available. Copper has an aesthetic appearance that many homeowners desire. Copper flashing comes in many different styles and colors, and they are one of the most beautiful flashings available!

Copper flashings can be expensive, but they are one of the longest-lasting materials that can be used on a roof.


Lead is a heavy metal that has many uses, and is a popular material for roof flashings. When used in flashing, lead is usually made into a sheet of lead or lead pipe and installed on the building’s roof to redirect water away from the structure.

Lead flashing is one of the most durable materials on the market, and it can help protect your home for years to come.

Roof Flashing Popular Types

There are many different types of roof flashing, and each is used for a specific purpose. The most common types of roof flashing are:

Step Flashing

There are many types of roof flashing. You may have heard the term “step flashing,” which is a type of flashing that has a raised portion to go over metal steps. This type of flashing has the look of a staircase. To install this type of flashing, the roofer will use a rectangular piece of metal bent at a right angle. Step flashing is used in the area between the roof and a sidewall and is done in layers, i.e., first, you will install the metal flashing and then the shingle.

Continuous Flashing

When installing most types of flashing, multiple metal pieces are often required. But this is not the case with continuous flashing. As the word suggests, it involves a single, continuous piece of metal that will help to pass the water to roof shingles. Continuous flashing is a kind of roof flashing that acts as a water barrier for the entire roof. It can be used in places where there are no vents or pipes located on the roof. There is a risk that the piece of flashing can get damaged during the change of seasons, and in some cases, the entire piece may need to be replaced. This type of flashing is known as Apron flashing.

Counter Flashing

This is a very important type of flashing and is generally used in the chimney area. Counter roof flashing is done to complement the base flashing around the chimney. The contractor will install it over the base flashing to make sure that the water flows to the gutters and does not seep under the roof. This is the final layer that is installed and is the piece that is most visible.

Drip Edge Flashing

Drip edge flashing is installed at the edges or eaves of your roof, and it prevents water from filling up the gutters. It can be made from different metals or plastics and is extremely important to prevent any damage to your home. This type of flashing is used at the eaves to protect the fascia boards that cover a home’s soffit area. It prevents water from entering the attic space and flowing down into the house. Over the years, having a drip edge roof flash has become crucial. In many areas of North America, it is even required by most building codes.

Valley Flashing

The roof valley is a feature of a roof that is commonly found in the design of pitched roofs. It is the small triangular space between two sloping roof surfaces. The roof valley is formed when two sloping roof surfaces meet at an angle other than 90 degrees. It’s where your rainwater drains from your roof, and it can also be a place where you find leaks, cracks, and other problems.

Valley flashing is a method of protecting the roof of your home from water damage. Valley flashing is used to ensure that water and ice don’t get into the valley between your house’s gable roofs, which can lead to leaking, rot, and other damage. This is wider in nature than other flashings, and it will run down to the drip edge area.

Skylight Flashing

Skylights continue to become more popular as they give your home an exquisite look, and they can provide an added dash of natural light to any room in your home. However, similar to chimneys, skylights can be one of the most vulnerable places on a roof. Water can seep in through this area, and cause water damage throughout your home. This is why if you have a skylight, you need skylight flashing.

Flashing is installed around the edges of a skylight so that it can seal properly against the roof. Some flashing is installed at the corners of the skylight, and some are installed along the sides. This process helps prevent water from leaking into your home through tiny holes in your skylight.

How To Install Roof Flashing?

Now that you know the materials used to install roof flashing as well as the areas that require flashing, it is now time to understand how this part of a roof is installed.

Take Precautions

First, let’s cover some safety precautions: use eye protection while working with any power tools or metal-cutting devices. Wearing gloves will help protect your hands from sharp edges and flying debris. Finally, make sure you wear sturdy shoes.

Install The Underlayment

The first step is to install the roof underlayment. This is an extra layer of protection that goes beneath the layer of shingles and above the roof decking. The flashing is installed over the underlayment.

Install Flashing

After installing the underlayment, it is now time for the main step, i.e, installing the flashing piece. Install the roof flashing and cover it with the shingles. Different types of flashing have different methods of installation.

Note that the installation is complex and requires a professional roofing contractor.

Securing The Flashing

Next, use nails or screws (and appropriate fasteners) to secure each piece in place on top of each other in order from the bottom up—this will help keep them straight and level with each other

Hire Us To Get The Best Roof Flashing Services

As you can see, installing flashing on the roof is not as easy an easy process. It needs to be done correctly to keep your home safe from water damage. It is best to contact a professional roofing company if your roof flashing needs to be replaced. The team at A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing has years of experience in the roofing industry, and we can help if you need your roof flashing repaired or replaced.

Our team pays attention to the smallest details, and we know how to get the job done right the first time. We offer roof flashing services for residential and commercial properties in Tulsa. We are a full-service roofing company, and we can help no matter what your roofing problem is. Our team has over 50 years of combined experience in the roofing industry, and we look forward to assisting with your roofing needs.

Contact us today at (918) 402-7167.