Valley Roofing: What is Roof Flashing?

Did you know that there are areas on your roof that are more prone to leaks than others? Some of these areas include chimneys and skylights. But there is also a solution that helps reduce leak risks. That solution is flashing. You’re probably asking, what the heck is flashing? Where does it need to be installed and why? How is it a solution to leaks and problems with your roof? Today we’re going to share that information with you on what flashing is, why it’s important, and how it can be installed. 

What is Flashing?:

Flashing is a material used on roofs to keep critical roof areas safe. It is usually made of steel and is used to control where the water is going. The Flashing is installed around vertical components, such as chimneys, pipes, or skylights. Any vertical surface needs flashing around it to help guide the water from rainfall elsewhere.

Why is Flashing Important?:

The entire purpose of flashing is to protect your home from roof leaks. If you don’t have flashing, water could potentially seep in through the cracks and crevices and get into your home, which is something you certainly don’t want. If your flashing is damaged or not installed properly, this can lead to leaks, so you must have it fixed as soon as possible. 

What are your Options for Flashing?:

There are many different types of flashing. The flashing we use here at Valley Roofing comes from local manufacturers. Learn more about our flashing products here. You can also find flashing kits, made specifically for certain parts of the roof, such as skylight flashing kits. 

The Different Types of Flashing:

Each type of flashing serves its purpose and there are many different types. Please keep reading to learn what they are and why they are used. 

Continuous Flashing or “Apron Flashing”
  • Continuous or Apron Flashing guides water to the shingles. This type of flashing is just one long piece of metal.
Some Flashing comes in 2 pieces.
Base Flashing
  • Base flashing is the bottom part of this two-part system. This part is what guides the water in the direction it needs to go to properly drain.
Counter Flashing
  • Counter flashing is the piece that sits vertically on top of the base flashing. It is tightly sealed over the base flashing. Water drips down and off the counter flashing, following the base flashing.
Step Flashing
  • Step flashing is a connector that is bent at 90 degrees, and used between the roof and the wall. Any time the roof transitions to a wall or vertical surface, step flashing is crucial. Step flashing works best when overlapped, otherwise, water may get behind the flashing and cause leaking.  
Skylight Flashing
  • Skylight flashing is flashing designed to fit around skylights and guide water away from the skylight. You can often find them in kits.
Valley Flashing

Valley flashing is very important because it is placed where your roof intersects or connects. It has somewhat of a “W” shape and there are many different types. These Include:

  • Woven ValleyA woven valley has woven shingles. While woven valleys look nice and continuous, they are difficult to install and you may still be prone to leaks. It is not a commonly recommended option.
  • Closed-Cut ValleyIn a closed-cut valley, the shingles on top overlap the shingles on the bottom and are cut in a straight line, not woven like woven valleys. This type of valley flashing is also difficult to install and can be quite time-intensive because of cutting.
  • California ValleyA California roof valley is a metal slate placed in the center of the intersecting roof. Shingles are vertically installed on each side of the flashing, all the way down.
  • Open roof ValleyAn open roof valley is made with metal and it is visible and not covered with shingles, like closed-cut valleys. The shingles are applied after the flashing is placed. Open roof valleys are one of the most efficient and recommended options for valley flashing because of their easy installation and durability.
Drip Edges
  • Drip edges are metal sheets that are placed at the end of the roof. Their purpose is to guide water off of the roof and prevent leaks. 

Kickout flashing is used for guiding water into the gutters. It acts as a bridge between the gutter and the end of the step flashing.

Many options are available for roof flashing, and it can be hard to choose which one is best for your home. That’s why it is best to contact a professional for advice and to do the job for you, especially if you are unsure. Give us a call at Valley Roofing today for a free quote and to set up a consultation. We will do an inspection and go over what options are best for you. Flashing is added with every roof replacement.