Roofing Flashing 101: What Happens if You Don't Install Properly?

Roofing Flashing 101: What Happens if You Don't Install Properly?

Installing flashing properly is essential in all roofing systems. It ensures water resistance and prevents leaks.

Find out what happens if you don't install roof flashing properly in this guide.

What is flashing roof?

Installing roof flashing involves placing thin material that safeguards the joints and edges of a roof. It helps redirect water from intersecting areas, such as:

  • Chimneys
  • Skylights
  • Vents

Not installing flashing properly can lead to water seepage. Eventually, this will damage your home's structural integrity.

Common types of roof flashing

The different roof flashing types are:

Apron Flashing. This is placed where the roof meets a wall or chimney to guide water away and protect against leaks. Apron flashing is a type of metal flashing. It's normally made from steel.

Metal roof flashing. Metal roof flashings are typically crafted from galvanised steel or aluminium. It seals roof joints in metal roofing systems.

Valley flashing goes at the intersection of two roof slopes on the roof surface to create a valley. This ensures proper water drainage off the roof. It is crucial for preventing water accumulation that could result in leaks and structural damage if not installed correctly.

Drip edge flashing. This sits along the roof edges to channel rainwater away from the fascia towards your square or rectangular gutter. It prevents moisture from seeping beneath the roofing material. It also safeguards against potential rot and damage to the underlying structure.

Step flashing is employed at junctions with vertical surfaces like chimneys and skylights. It is installed in a stepped manner to effectively divert water away and prevent leakage.

Counter flashing, integrated over the step flashing and secured within masonry, provides an added layer of defence against water intrusion around features like chimneys and walls.

Base flashing goes at the bottom of vertical structures like chimneys. It's installed along with counter flashing to establish a waterproof barrier. This safeguards against water infiltration into the roofing system.

Pipe vent sealing is meant to seal around roof openings like plumbing vents and exhaust pipes. It usually includes a metal base and a flexible boot that wraps tightly around the pipe, guiding water away from where it enters.

Peak roof covering is placed along the highest point of the roof, where two slopes meet. It shields the peak from water seepage and aids in ventilating the roof.

Gable edge covering is applied to the ends of a roof to safeguard the edges and divert water away from the structure. It also assists in blocking wind-blown rain from infiltrating the roof's perimeter.

Pole plate flashings are set up at the bottom of a pole to guard against water seepage and maintain a seal. They work to redirect rainwater from the base, stopping any water-related harm and rot. Furthermore, these flashings serve as barriers to keep out debris and unwanted critters that might try to get in through openings near the pole.

The role of flashing on a vertical surface

Vertical surface flashings found on walls and chimneys keep water out and maintain a watertight seal. They are essential in preventing water infiltration at the points where the roof meets these surfaces. If vertical surface flashings are not installed correctly, water could seep in, causing damage such as:

  • Rot
  • Mould growth
  • Structural problems

The consequences of improperly installed roof flashing

Poor installation of flashing material will result in water leaks. This harms not only the roofing materials but the structure beneath. If you don't install properly, you'll face:

  • Mold and mildew
  • Poor indoor air quality
  • Worse physical health

Water seepage weakens roof sheeting over time. You'll face expensive repairs in the near future - espeically if you don't take action.

Repairing damages from faulty flashing installation is much costlier than investing in proper installation initially. Regular upkeep can help avoid these costly repair bills.

Signs of flashing problems

Visible Leaks

  • Water stains on the ceiling or walls indicate flashing issues.

Mold and Mildew

  • Persistent dampness around roof penetrations, such as chimneys and skylights.

Peeling Paint

  • Water infiltration can cause paint to peel around affected areas.

Damaged Roofing Materials

  • Inspect for cracked or missing shingles near flashing points.

Tips for preventative measures

  • Always ensure that flashing is installed correctly. Follow building codes and manufacturer’s installation guides.
  • Schedule regular inspections by roofing professionals. They will identify and fix any issues early.
  • Use high-quality flashing materials like pre-painted steel or aluminum for extra durability.
  • Maintain a weather-resistant barrier system and check for wear and tear. Look around vulnerable areas.

Improve your home with Roofstuff

Roofstuff is your online destination for lead-free flashing solutions. Featuring the world’s number one brand, Wakaflex, as well as Dakaflash and Smartform, Roofstuff provides options to suit any installation type and budget. Roofstuff offers durable and reliable non-lead materials - no matter the type you need.

Properly installed flashings from Roofstuff enhance the performance of your roofing system. So, you can keep your home waterproof and structurally sound with our products.

Ensuring that your roof flashing is installed correctly is essential for keeping your roof strong and free of leaks. Maintain it and use top-notch materials to avoid water damage and extend the life of your roof. Opt for flashing options to safeguard your home and boost its ability to withstand poor weather.


What types of materials are best for roof flashing?

Contemporary environmentally friendly alternatives like Wakaflex and Smartform offer effective sealing solutions without the health hazards associated with lead. Aluminium flashing is also a sturdy alternative.

How does drip edge flashing help prevent damage to roofs?

Drip edge flashing is installed on roof edges to redirect rainwater away from the fascia and towards the gutters. This helps prevent water from seeping under the roofing materials, which could cause decay and damage to the roof's framework and fascia boards. Moreover, it plays a role in preserving the soundness of the roof by preventing water-induced wear and tear.

In what ways can Roofstuff assist with my flashing requirements?

Roofstuff offers a wide range of lead-free flashing options, showcasing top brands such as Wakaflex, Dakaflash, and Smartform. These products are crafted to suit various installation needs and budgets, ensuring that your roof receives optimal protection. Roofstuff's products are long-lasting, dependable, and simple to set up, making them a great option for individuals who enjoy DIY projects as well as experienced roofing professionals.

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