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Everything You Need to Know About Roof Flashing

Last modified: 2022-07-04 | Approximate reading time 2 mins

Cynthia Pigeon

It is no secret that a leaky roof can have severe budgetary repercussions: moisture problems, heat loss, and property damage.

To avoid such problems, avoid neglecting the installation of flashing on your roof.

Roof Flashing 

Definition & Purpose 

house_everything you need to know about roof flashing

Roof flashing—whether plastic, aluminum or steel—is a form of moulding that can be found in many different roof areas: in valleys, around plumbing vents, at the base of chimneys or roof vents.

Its purpose is to ensure that the roof is watertight in regard to the above-mentioned sections. Specifically, it allows the water to drain to the gutters and not stagnate on the surface of the roof, thus avoiding any water infiltration.

Furthermore, the seal provided by the flashing also prevents heat loss and therefore, any further expenses added to your heating bill. 

While mortar flashings can be made by a seasoned professional, the materials above-mentioned are more durable and the fact that they are premade significantly speeds up their installation.

Note that some flashings are fitted with an apron. This type of flashing (usually made of lead) is concealed under the roofing material to optimize waterproofing.

roof flashing_everything you need to know about roof flashing

Installing Roof Flashing

Looking to install your own roof flashings? While it is possible to do so, note that it is a task that presents its share of challenges, including working at heights and having good manual skills in order to adequately perform the installation. So, feel free to call in a professional contractor!

Looking for specialists for your roof renovation project?

Fill out the form so that we can put you in contact with certified contractors from our network!

Maintenance Needed

Surely you want your flashings to last through the years while still looking good? Make minor repairs as soon as they are needed.

Have you noticed any small holes in your flashing? Do not wait to seal it with a gutter putty, do it right away! Make sure to clean the surface beforehand with a small wire brush.

Need more information regarding new roofing materials? Check out our article Which Roofing Material Will Best Suit Your Needs?

Counter-Flashing

roof flashing_everything you need to know about roof flashing

To ensure roof flashing has maximum adhesion to the roofing material, it is equipped with a counter-flashing. There are two types of flashing: external and internal flashing.

External flashing: External flashing or exposed flashing is used to prevent moisture from seeping into the existing structural walls where the roof intersects the wall.

Internal flashing: Internal flashing or concealed flashing collects water that has penetrated any given wall of the building and then drains it out of the wall through drain holes.

Note that, ideally, around a chimney, vent, or any plumbing that is found on a roof, a base flashing should be fixed before installing the counter-flashing to ensure that the area is as watertight as possible. 

Looking to get a cost estimate for your roofing project? Try out our cost calculator!

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