Roofing, Siding, and Deck Blog Post

The Importance of Flashing for Your Roof 

Your roof is the first line of defense against the elements, and it consists of a number of vital components that work together to protect your home. If one or more of these elements are worn, incorrectly installed, or damaged, the integrity of the roof can be compromised and damage may occur to the exterior or interior of your home. Though not as prominent or visible as your shingles, roof flashing serves an important purpose and should not be overlooked during the installation process or as part of yearly maintenance.

What Is Roof Flashing?

Regardless of the pitch of the roof or the type of materials used to finish it, flashing is used to prevent water penetration around vulnerable points of entry. Waterproof materials are applied along edges, joints, valleys, and protrusions, or any areas of the roof where two opposing surfaces meet.

What Is Flashing Made of?

Flashing can be made from a variety of materials, including:

  • Aluminum
  • Copper
  • Galvanized steel
  • Plastic
  • Roofing felt
  • Rubber
  • Stainless steel
  • Tin
  • Zinc alloy

The type of material used is based upon a number of criteria such as environment and the potential for the flashing to react chemically to metals used in other roofing applications.

Flashing Applications

It is imperative that the flashing be installed correctly during roof installation or replacement, using high quality, compatible materials. Inadequate or poor installation practices can result in damage to your roof or the interior of your home, and repairs can be difficult and time consuming. Common areas of application include:

  • Chimneys
  • Dormers
  • Skylights
  • Vents

How Does Flashing Protect Your Roof?

When properly installed by an experienced, knowledgeable professional, flashing protects against seepage and moisture in a variety of ways. Because it extends below the surface of your roofing material and siding, flashing diverts any water that collects or pools at vulnerable points or intersections, away from the area. Types of flashing include:

Chimney Flashing

Chimney flashing is composed of a network of layers along the bottom, up the sides, and at the top to channel water away from the structure.

Continuous Flashing

This type of flashing protects the area that falls between the sloped roof and a vertical wall.

Drip edges

This flashing is installed under roofing felt along the length of the eaves and on top of roofing felt along the length of rakes. When installed properly, drip edges prevent water from seeping under roofing materials along the outer lines of the roof.


Quality skylights are often equipped with integrated flashing systems, while others utilize a combination of continuous flashing at the base, step flashing up the sides, and saddle flashing along the top.

Step Flashing

As the name indicates, step flashing involves an intricate set of steps up the grade of the roof to protect the area where the roof intersects with the side of a chimney, dormer, or skylight.

Valley Flashing

The valley that is created where two separate planes of a roof meet is protected by valley flashing, which is installed over the roofing felt prior to shingle installation.

Vent Pipe Flashing 

Plumbing vents, wood stove piping, or other vents which penetrate the surface of the roof require protection to prevent water penetration to your homes interior. A rubberized compression fitting creates a watertight seal around the pipe itself, while a wide, metal square forms the base, which is installed below the shingles during the roof installation.


Flashing is a vital component of any roofing system which plays an important role in the protection of your home and roof. Professional installation using quality materials is required to ensure the longevity and integrity of your structure. Trust the experts at Fowler Exteriors for expert roofing services in Cherokee or Fulton County.

Call us today at 770-377-8009 to schedule a consultation, or contact us online to arrange for professional roof installation, replacement, maintenance, or repair in the Canton area!

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