One of the most common causes of roof leaks is roof flashing issues.
Your roof is one of the most precious parts of your house, but that doesn’t guarantee that it is fully protected from the elements! In this uncertainty, there is an unlikely hero that is helping your roof fight water penetration and compromises your roof system, and chances are that you’ve never heard of it before. It’s called roof flashing!
Seems technical right? Not at all. Today, we are going to discuss what roof flashing is and what you need to know to be able to get ahead! Let’s go!
Why is roof flashing important?
Roof flashing is made up of a thin material of galvanized steel (material to prevent corrosion) generally that is used by roofing contractors to steer water away from vulnerable parts of your roof. Therefore, water flows down the roof, flashing onto the shingles to be expelled off the roof.
It is a crucial roofing material that every roof ought to have due to its ability to prevent leaks and deter water damage when appropriately installed. No flashing or compromised old flashing would cause water penetration and is even more severe around the chimney, causing roof leaks, rotting of the roof deck and other building materials internally, and ultimately roof collapse.
It pays to direct water where it needs to go and roof flashing does just that!
Where is the roof flashing installed?
The roof is meant to be installed correctly where the roof place and vertical walls meet, side walls and front walls (roof surface that joins the wall), roof valleys, chimneys, roof protrusions like pipe vents and skylights, and other vulnerable roof features that could be compromised due to the elements.
It is recommended to install roof flashing on an exterior joint where water has the ability to drain out.
6 Common Types of Roof Flashing
Roof flashing types come in a variety; here are some you need to know!
1. Continuous flashing
Also referred to as “apron flashing” due to its similar function. It is a single metal flashing that helps carry water down to your roofing shingles. As the weather changes, your roof will expand and contract, making it hard for continuous flashing to adjust; luckily they are generally installed with expansion joints for structural flexibility.
2. Base flashing
Secure, the bottom piece of flashing surface underneath apron flashing that carefully steers water to roofing shingles.
3. Counter flashing
Roof flashing helps connect both continuous flashing and base flashing, making it possible to secure roof features like chimneys, etc., adequately.
4. Step flashing
Roof flashing bent 90 degrees in the center has a rectangular shape designed for roof-to-wall flashing. Keep in mind that multiple layers of flashing will be carefully installed in layers with shingles in order to ensure that water can be properly expelled.
5. Drip edge flashing
The edge of a roof is covered with a thin piece of metal flashing to avoid water damage and roof leaks.
6. Valley flashing
Metal roof flashing is installed on vulnerable, open valley (where two roof slopes join) sections of your roof.
Roofing materials for flashing surface
Roof flashing materials are expensive, but here are the top common and most widely used on the marketplace:
Flexible, lightweight, inexpensive material used in concrete and masonry when properly coated to prevent corrosion when exposed to wood, roofing cement and concrete, and the elements. Used for chimney flashing, base flashing, and valley flashing.
Most commonly used among the three for roof flashing due to its durability, resistance to corrosion when galvanized, and malleability.
Generally used for chimney flashing, copper is malleable and takes well to soldering for secure attachment. It can aesthetically change to patina due to oxidation, but only a curbside appeal issue.
Cost of Roof flashing
The cost of roof flashing will vary depending on roof flashing material, the need for skilled labor, and supply and demand. Contact your local roofing professional to assess your situation and see what works best for you and your home.
That said, most companies will replace a minimum amount of flashing – like 10, 15, or 20 feet and will charge per linear foot. The average price can range between $15 to $25 per linear foot.
See and learn more about the Legacy Roofing roof replacement process!
Learn about the pricing model and cost guide for a new roof!
Get to know more about the most frequently asked roofing questions!
What’s the verdict?
Roof flashing is probably not a commonly used term in home improvement circles, let alone in the daily household, but it is significant! Your roof surface seems indestructible, but that’s not always the case due to vulnerable areas of your roof that could spell bad news over time if not treated with preventative measures with adequate roof flashing.
Their dynamic ability to come in different shapes and sizes also furthers a need for more awareness about them as a whole, whether you have a new or an old roof. If you have any questions about roof flashing or need repair and installation help, give us a call, and we will be more than welcome to assess your situation and point you in the right direction.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is it expensive to replace roof flashings?
Roof flashing can be inexpensive to replace or expensive, just depending on how many linear feet of flashing you need to replace. The average price to replace step flashing, base flashing, or any roof flashing is between $15 and $25 per linear foot. If you needed 10 feet of flashing replaced, it would cost between $150 and $250 feet.
Most companies have a minimum amount of flashing they will replace, for example, a minimum of 15 feet.
How hard is it to install flashing yourself?
Having your roof flashing properly installed is a must! This is not a DIY project considering all the types of roof flashing to how vital it is to protecting your new roof. Not to mention, walking on sloped roofs is not safe for the everyday homeowner.
What are the types of roof flashing?
There are several types of roof flashing, including step flashing, kickout flashing, base flashing, chimney flashing, skylight flashing, and wall flashing. You never want to try to install step flashing or any flashing on your own and be sure to always contact a roofing contractor if you suspect your flashing is causing a leak.