How to Choose the Right Flashing for Your Roof

How to Choose the Right Flashing for Your Roof

Preserving your roof's durability and lifespan is almost impossible without flashing.

This article provides insights into roof flashing options, tips for selecting the most suitable type and guidelines on proper installation and upkeep.

What is roof flashing?

Roof flashing is a weather-resistant barrier system to protect your roof system and the overall roof surface from water leaks.

Installing roof flashing is crucial. It helps keep water out by using thin roof sheeting made from waterproof materials at joints and edges. Flashing stops water from seeping into vulnerable areas on your roof. It's usually placed where different roof sections come together like:

  • Near chimneys
  • Skylights
  • And vents

If flashing is not correctly installed, water can leak through the roof, leading to substantial harm to both the roofing materials and the underlying structure.

Types of roof flashing

Here are the different roof flashing types you'll typically find in Australia. Each are normally made from:

  • Galvanised steel
  • Aluminium
  • Or copper.

Apron flashing

Apron flashing goes where the roof meets a vertical surface. This is usually over a wall or chimney. It guides water away and prevent leaks. It works best for areas where a sloped roof intersects with a vertical surface.

Metal roof flashing

Metal flashing is strong and durable. It provides excellent protection against the elements. Typically, it seals roof joints and edges on metal roofs.

Step flashing

Step flashing consists of multiple pieces arranged in a stepped pattern. It goes where the roof intersects with a vertical surface, like in:

  • Chimneys
  • Skylights

It’s ideal for roof-to-wall intersections, too.

Valley flashing

Valley flashing is installed where two roof slopes meet to form a valley, ensuring proper water drainage. This is normally placed in roof valleys to prevent water accumulation and leaks.

Drip edge flashing

Drip edge flashing is placed on the edges of the roof to guide water away from the fascia towards the gutters, safeguarding roof edges and averting water penetration.

Counter flashing

Counter flashing, on the other hand, is positioned over the step flashing. Anchored into the masonry to offer additional defense against water seepage. Typically utilized near chimneys and walls, it bolsters water resistance measures.

Base flashing

Base flashing is placed at the bottom of vertical structures, such as:

  • Chimneys
  • Or dormers

It works with counter flashing to create a waterproof barrier and goes at the base of vertical structures to prevent water infiltration.

Pipe vent flashing

Pipe vent flashing seals around roof openings, like:

  • Plumbing vents
  • And exhaust pipes

It directs water away from the penetration. It typically includes a metal base and a flexible boot.

Ideal Situations: Used around any roof penetrations for pipes and vents.

Ridge flashing

Ridge flashing is installed along the roof ridge, where two slopes meet. It protects the peak from water seepage and aids in ventilation. Roofers place it at the highest point of the roof to seal and ventilate the ridge.

Box guttering flashing

It’s normally used to cover a square or rectangular gutter.

Pole plate flashings

This type of flashing protects the pole plate from water damage. It’s often made from flexible metal roof flashing materials.

The best type of flashing for a vertical surface

When deciding on the flashing for a vertical surface, step flashing and counter flashing are considered the top choices. Step flashing is arranged in a stepped manner to divert water, whereas counter flashing offers extra protection by being firmly attached to the masonry.

Factors to consider when choosing roof flashing

When selecting materials, make sure they can endure the weather in your area. Confirm that the flashing matches your current roofing materials. Take into account the local climate and any environmental effects on the flashing material. Follow the building codes and regulations in your area for proper installation of flashing. Find a balance between cost, durability and longevity when making your decision.

Installation tips for different types of flashing

When installing types of flashing, it's crucial to adhere to guidelines to ensure proper functionality and prevent water infiltration. The initial step involves complying with the manufacturer's instructions and local construction regulations to guarantee installation and optimal performance.

For apron flashing, which goes where the roof meets a wall or chimney, making sure it forms a tight seal is crucial to stop water from getting in. Metal roof flashing, known for being strong, should be installed securely to prevent any water leaks.

Step flashing, used around things like chimneys and skylights, needs each piece to overlap in steps so that water flows away from vulnerable spots. Valley flashing, which goes at the meeting point of two roof slopes forming a valley, is important for proper water drainage and must be installed correctly.

Lastly, drip edge flashing along the edges of the roof plays a key role in directing water into gutters to protect against potential damage to the structure underneath.

Quick maintenance and inspection of roof flashing tips

  • Schedule regular inspections to identify and fix any issues early.
  • Look for visible leaks, mold, mildew, and damaged roofing materials.
  • Keep the roof and flashings clean, and repair any damage promptly to prevent leaks.

Improve your roof flashing with Roofstuff

Roofstuff provides a wide selection of roofing products, including both standard and customised flashings, to cater to all your roofing requirements. With renowned brands like Wakaflex, Dakaflash and Smartform in their inventory, Roofstuff offers solutions for various installation types and budgets.

Whether you're in need of apron flashing, metal roofing flashing or solutions for vertical surfaces, Roofstuff delivers durable and dependable materials. By ensuring proper installation of their flashings, Roofstuff enhances the durability and performance of your roofing system, keeping it secure against weather conditions.

Selecting the appropriate roof flashing plays a crucial role in maintaining a long-lasting and leak-free roofing system. Regular upkeep and the use of top-notch materials are vital in preventing water damage and promoting the longevity of your roof. Investing in reliable flashing options can safeguard your home and boost its resilience against environmental elements, making roof flashing an incredibly important addition to your roofing systems. 

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