Roof flashing is usually a thin galvanized steel which is used by the roofers to protect the roof from getting the water into the critical areas to surround roof features such as chimneys, skylights and vents, in this way the water goes down the side of the flashing and directed towards the shingles instead of going or finding it’s way into the roof deck.. Flashing is installed by the roofers at the vertical surface like a dormer or a wall. Roof flashings are very important as they protect the roof damage. If in case you don’t install roof flashing then the water will get into the crevice which is the area between the wall and the roof, and then eventually inside the house, in that case your home exterior as well as the interior will get damaged by the water.
One of the most common causes of the roof leakage is the poorly installed or damaged installation of the roof flashing around the dormer, roof cricket and in other cases around the chimney. This poor installation of the flashing results in wood rot and even the deck collapse.
Roof Flashing: As there are many parts of the roof, likewise the roof flashing comes in different types as well. Each roof part needs protection from the damage. The most common types of the roof flashing are:
- Continuous flashing.
- Base flashing.
- Step flashing.
- Skylight flashing.
- Valley flashing.
- Kickout flashing.
Continuous flashing: Continuous flashing/Apron flashing are named as CF/AF because of their nature; and how they act. Apron or filters shaped as a long single piece of metal, whose function is to carry the water down to the shingles ends. Long pieces are built in expansion joints so they can move with the home without damaging or breaking which results in water leakage and going to places where they damage the different parts of the house.
Base flashing: In chimneys the requirement is to install two pieces flashing in order to ensure that the rain meets only a flashing surface which automatically directs it towards the downwards direction. It is difficult to install flashing around the chimney. Two pieces flashing comes with some benefits, in roof flashings when the roof material gets expanded and contracts with weather changes the two pieces can change their position in order to make sure that the whole system remains secure.
Counter-flashing: Counter flashing is placed in a totally opposite direction to base flashing. Thus, counter flashing completes the two part team.
Step flashing: Step flashing is used to make the water flow away from the wall, they are installed in multiple layers with the shingles. It is a rectangular piece having a flash bent of approx. 90 degrees in the mid that is used for the wall flashing.
Skylight flashing: Skylight flashing is purchased or created by the roofers. However, some of the skylight manufacturers already include flashing in their product.
Valley flashing: Well, in the valley flashing two most important roles are played: one is open valleys (they have a metal flashing which protects the area around the roof) and the other one is drip edges (the thin metal edges around the roof that helps from water drip off without any damage).
Kickout flashing: In kickout flashing, they direct the water flow away from the walls and directly make it rush the water into the gutter.
Although now in markets premade flashings are also available some roofers prefer to make the flashing by themselves. The roofers cut their own flashing from the metal sheet. But if you are buying flashings on your own from the store, then make sure you buy the right types of premade flashing because not all flashings are used on the roofs and may break if you install them on the roof. When the roofing professionals make their own flashings they use tinning snips which make the cut smooth and exactly the size they want to install. For example if you see cap flashing or head flashing, these types of flashing are used to protect the doors and windows from the water.