The Importance of Roof Flashing in Preventing Water Damage


You know how important it is to keep water out of your home, but you may not realize that roof flashing often plays a key role. Without proper flashing, rain and melted snow can seep into places in your roof that lead right into your attic or walls, leading to serious damage such as wood rot or mold growth.

However, proper flashing installation helps create watertight seals to direct water away from vulnerable spots. In this article, our Greenville, South Carolina roofing experts will walk you through what flashing is and where and why you need it.

What Is Roof Flashing and Why Is It Critical?

Roof flashing is a thin, waterproof material that seals any cracks or seams in your roof to prevent water damage. Typically made of galvanized steel, copper, or aluminum that is shaped to fit around obstacles protruding from your roof,  flashing protects vulnerable areas like:

  • Chimneys: Your chimney extends from your attic through the roofline, creating gaps where water can seep in. Flashing seals these openings to prevent excess moisture around the chimney which can lead to structural damage over time.
  • Valleys: The valley is where two sloped sections of your roof meet, forming a “V” shape. This area is prone to water collecting during heavy rains since shingles don’t overlap properly.
  • Vents: If your roof has attic vents, plumbing vents or exhaust fans that vent outside, the openings and joints around these fixtures must be sealed. Flashing is wrapped around the base of vents and sealed to the roof to block moisture and wind-driven rain from entering around the sides.
  • Roof Edges: The drip edge is flashing that runs along the edge of the roof, where shingles end and gutters or fascia begin. This edging helps channel water from shingles into gutters, protecting siding and trim from water damage. .

Without roof flashing, stormwater could seep into these spots and cause damage. Roof leaks may seem small at first, but over time they can lead to rot, mold, structural damage, and higher utility bills.

flashing is an important element in the roofing system

Types of Roof Flashing and Applications

Roof flashing comes in several types, each serving an important purpose in diverting water away from vulnerable areas of the roof.

  • Apron flashing: Apron flashing covers the joint where a sloped roof meets a vertical wall. It directs water flowing down the roof away from the wall and into the gutter system.
  • Step flashing: Step flashing is a metal roofing installation method that uses multiple layers of shingles to safeguard walls and chimneys from water damage. Step flashing should extend up the vertical surface of the wall or chimney by at least 2 inches.
  • Counter flashing: Counter flashing at the base of a chimney is an effective method for preventing water from infiltrating between it and the roof. Counter flashing is installed over step flashing for maximum protection.
  • Valley flashing: Valley flashing must be installed where two decks slope toward one another. Valley flashing channels water away from the intersection and safely off the roof.

Reach Out to an Experienced Roofing Company for Help

Flashing seals and waterproofs areas where the roof surface meets vertical surfaces like walls, dormers, chimneys, and skylights. Without proper flashing, water can seep into these joints and cracks, causing leaks and water damage.

For more information on the importance of flashing in preventing costly damage and ensuring the longevity of your roof, contact Lanier Roofing and Restoration. Our experienced roofing specialists in Greenville, South Carolina, can inspect your flashing, make any necessary repairs or replacements, and ensure your roof is sealed tight against the elements. Call us today at (864) 990-4836 for a free estimate.

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