Flashing is a roofing term that refers to uniquely shaped pieces of metal, plastic, or composite that protect your roof by directing the flow of water away from vulnerable areas. Without flashing, roofs would be susceptible to water damage in the form of lifting shingles, leaks, mold, or wood rot. The following are five common forms of flashing found on residential roofs.
Step flashing is a succession of “L” shaped pieces of material used along edges where the roof meets a vertical surface or steeper slope. Step flashing is placed between shingles to prevent water from getting underneath the shingle layer. Step flashing also helps stop water from entering cracks between the roof and walls, chimneys, or roof valleys.
Apron flashing is an obtuse-angled flashing piece that covers the sloped junction between a roof and a vertical surface. These pieces are usually present on the front of chimneys or dormers. Apron flashing directs the flow of water downward and outward over the roof. This prevents water from getting underneath shingles or seeping into cracks between the vertical surface and the roof.
Pipe flashing or pipe boots are pieces of material specifically designed to seal around ventilation pipes. These specialty pieces prevent water from getting in-between pipes and the roof or under the shingle layer where pipe vents protrude.
Counter flashing refers to pieces of flashing fastened to the vertical surface of a wall where it meets the roof. Counter flashing is installed over the step flashing and under the shingle layer. This flashing directs water downward onto the roof and stops water from getting under step flashing.
Drip edge is flashing applied along the eaves of the roof. This flashing is installed underneath the shingle layer and over the inside edge of gutters. Drip edge diverts water into the gutter and keeps water from getting behind gutters or soaking into the wood supporting your roof.
Knowing what is involved in roofing and roof maintenance will help you understand what questions to ask when hiring a roofing contractor. Atex Builders is committed to providing our customers with the information needed to make the best possible choice when it comes to roof replacement.