Roof flashing helps protect your roof against water damage. Flashing is strips of galvanized steel or aluminum placed next to your roof joints like your chimney, skylights, or elevated vents.
Find out more about roof flashing and why it’s essential to keep your roof and house safe from water damage with this guide from 1st Coast Metal Roofing Supply.
What Is Roof Flashing?
Roof flashing is strips of metal that are an essential part of your roofing. Flashing is placed at roof joints, like at the tops of dormers. Metal roof flashing helps direct water away from the joints and roof deck and onto the shingles and helps prevent water damage to your roof.
Roof flashing is also installed around roof features for the same purpose. Roof features create joints in your roof where water could easily seep in and cause damage. Flashing protects the roof at those weak points by diverting water away.
Is There Flashing for Metal Roofs?
Metal roofs run into the same problems and potential risks as other roofs. Metal roofs use different materials to cover the roof, but flashing is still an essential part of protecting your roof from water damage, mildew, rot, and mold.
What Are the Different Types of Flashing?
While the general purpose of roof flashing is to prevent water damage, there are different types of flashing depending on where it is installed. Here are some of the most common types of flashing and why they get used.
Apron Flashing/Continuous Flashing
The joint between a vertical wall and a sloped roof is a prime spot for gaps and small slopes where water could seep in and cause damage. Apron flashing is roof-to-wall flashing that creates a water-tight joint between the vertical wall and sloped roof to help divert moisture.
Vent Pipe Flashing
Because vents are circular, it makes it almost impossible to use straight strips of flashing to protect them. Vent pipe flashing is specifically made for these and designed to cover the vent’s base to protect the roof and home.
Open valleys are where two sloped sections of your roof come together and create a joint. Valley flashing is a bit different than other forms of flashing because it is typically left exposed, leaving visible lines of metal down any valleys in your roof. Since it’s more visible, some homes choose to accentuate the roof’s shape using copper or painted valley flashing.
Drip edges are different from other forms of flashing because they don’t cover a joint or connecting point between two pieces of your roof. Instead, they are installed at the edge of the roof. They help water fall away from the fascia and into a gutter. This prevents water from getting into the underlying roofing components and protects against ice dams during the winter. It also seals any gaps at the bottom of the roof, which can help prevent small animals from entering the attic.
What Is the Purpose of Roof Flashing?
For most homes, the base and structure of your roof are made up of wood. That might sound simple, but if it’s treated well, your roof could easily outlive you. The biggest thing that threatens to shorten the lifespan of your roof is water. Even a little bit of water damage can start to rot the wood and weaken your roof.
That’s why flashing is so important. Flashing helps protect your roof from water damage. It directs the flow of water off of the roof, so it doesn’t have the time to become stagnant and create rot.
What Are the Benefits of Roof Flashing?
The biggest benefit and main purpose of roof flashing is to protect your home against water damage and rot. Roof flashing keeps your roof from leaking and extends the life of your roof. The benefits are so significant you should never overlook or disregard flashing.
Is It Necessary to Have Roof Flashing?
According to the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC) in Section R905.2.8, which states the requirements for roof coverings, a roof must have flashing.
Section R903.2.1 of the 2018 IRC specifically says that flashing is required to be installed at “wall and roof intersections, wherever there is a change in roof slope or direction, and around roof openings.” Florida has adopted the International Residential Code as its building code, so the wording of the 2020 Florida Residential Building Code is identical.
Building a roof without flashing would mean your roof is not up to code. That is illegal and counts as a misdemeanor crime. This can result in you being forced to stop construction, removing the work you have done, and/or pay fines as set out in Section 113 and 114 of the Florida Building Code.
Where Can You Get Roof Flashing?
If you’re looking for flashing for your metal roof, contact 1st Coast Metal Roofing Supply. We service Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tampa, Palm Coast, and other areas in Florida. We manufacture a world-class selection of materials, which allows us to bring you competitive pricing and financing along with fast service. Not only does our team provide the materials you need, but with more than 20 years in business, we can help you manage any metal roofing project.