How to Repair Flashing on a Roof

Flashing: A vital element of your roofing structure. Roof flashing acts to preserve the longevity and integrity of your roof by channeling water away from “soft spots” in the roof. Some “soft spots” in your roof would be for example, chimney’s, skylights, and outdoor vents. Flashing is made up of thin pieces of galvanized steel. Other forms of flashing material are aluminium, and copper. Flashing types You can imagine how many different types of roof flashing are available on the market today. Here at RoofMasters, we know that no roof is the same, and we firmly believe our customers should too. Below you will find the 8 common types of roof flashing:
  1. Continuous Flashing Also known as “apron flashing”. This term was given due to the fact that this type of flashing does in fact resemble an apron. Long, single pieces of metal that are meant to carry water to shingles beneath. However, this type of flashing is not often recommended due to the inflexibility of the material. Over time your home will expand and contract with changing temperatures. When left without continuous upkeep often this flashing can break or distort, which will lead to water getting inside the soft spot in your roof. If using continuous flashing, it’s important to have long pieces with built-in expansion joints to assist your flashing with the expansion of your home during changing seasons.
  2. Base Flashing Often, base flashing is used on the bottom part of your chimney. This is because this area will often require two pieces of flashing to be installed. When using base flashing, the main purpose is to make sure that rain and weather don’t have a chance to sit around that area, and are directed downward on the roof. Another largely popular benefit of installing base flashing is that due to the two pieces of material, your flashing has the ability to expand with your home.
  3. Counter-flashing This form of flashing is placed on the opposite to the base flashing, and or above the base flashing.
  4. Step Flashing Step flashing is a rectangular piece of flashing that is bent at a 90 degree angle in the center. This flashing is usually placed in layers with shingles to ensure water flows away from your wall.
  5. Skylight Flashing When purchasing a skylight, most manufacturers will include flashing in their products, however sometimes they do not. When this happens, it’s important to call a professional to create or install it separately and correctly.
  6. Valley Flashing As stated above the “roof valley” is a highly susceptible area to roofing damages. Open valleys will have metal flashing placed in order to protect this area in the roof further. Installing valley flashing is likely to increase the livelihood of your roof overall.
  7. Drip Edges Drip edges are thin metal pieces of roofing flashing that are placed on your roofs edging. These drip edges do exactly as they say with their sole purpose being to help water drip off of your roof, with ease, and no to minimal damages.
  8. Kickout Flashing Last but not least, kickout flashing. Kickout flashing is a type of flashing that is made to build the gaps between step flashing and your gutters. The sole purpose of this is to help direct water flow away from the wall and instead, into your gutter system.

How to flashing on a roof? Answered.
  1. Gently remove your shingles that are around the flashing you are about to replace. You may have to remove undamaged flashing if you are replacing step flashing.
  2. With your chisel, gently remove asphalt from cement.
  3. Check your underlying roof structure for any damages. If damage is found it’s advised to call a professional to repair the area before replacing new flashing.
  4. If no damage was found in step 3, you can now reinstall the new flashing, replace the shingles, and have a final inspection of your work.
It’s advised that you do not attempt to repair flashing on your own. Know that flashing is often most effective when installed by a professional roofing contractor. If you find that you are in need of assistance, give RoofMasters a call. Our goal is to provide our homeowners with peace of mind.