Flashing is a common, yet essential roofing component that should never be overlooked. Here’s why.
What Is Flashing?
Flashing protects breaks on the roofing plane that are vulnerable to water infiltration. These are areas that cannot be sealed with caulk like gutter seams and joints. A standard roofing system utilizes a combination of the following types of flashing:
Valley flashing – Valley flashing is the most common type of flashing seen on residential roofs. It is made of strips of metal shaped like an inverted T and is installed on roof valleys. Valley flashing forms a vertical fin that prevents rainwater from crossing from one plane and under another.
Continuous and step flashing – Both continuous and step flashing are installed on parts where a roof plane meets a wall, dormer or chimney stack. Continuous flashing is installed on the part parallel to the roof’s edge while step flashing is installed on the perpendicular side. The “steps” follow the overlapping shingles.
Drip edge – The drip edge protects the roof edge from water infiltration. Its inverted L profile stops rainwater from seeping into the roof deck. The roof edge takes the brunt of high winds in a storm, and a properly-built roof edge can help minimize the needed repair work.
Rubber boots – Rubber boots, or vent pipe flashing, are cones that are installed at the base of vent pipes and tubular protrusions. The narrow end is trimmed to match the pipe circumference. Rubber boots are made with diagonal bases for use on sloped roofs.
Flashing typically has a shorter lifespan compared to the roofing system itself. Replacing flashing is a normal part of the roof’s care and maintenance. In addition to degradation over time – rubber boots, in particular, become brittle from long-term exposure to extreme temperature – flashing can be dislodged by high winds or hailstone impact.
This is why it’s important to perform roofing inspections regularly. Keeping an eye on your roof and calling for repairs in case you find damaged, missing or misplaced flashing, can help prevent major damage to your roof.
Willi Roofing Services is your leading provider of roofing and storm damage repair services. Give us a call at (512) 394-8234. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve customers in Pflugerville, Austin and Lakeway, TX.