Roof flashing is a crucial component of any roofing system, yet it is often overlooked. Roof flashing is a thin layer of material, typically made of metal, that is installed around roof penetrations, such as chimneys, vents, skylights, and dormers. The purpose of flashing is to prevent water from entering your home at vulnerable points where the roof is joined or interrupted. In this article, we will discuss the importance of roof flashing and the different types of flashing that are available.

Protects Against Water Damage

Water is one of the most damaging elements to a building, and roof flashing is designed to protect against water damage. Flashing is installed in areas where the roof is interrupted or joined, such as around chimneys, skylights, and vents. Without proper flashing, water can seep into your home and cause damage to your roof, walls, ceilings, and foundation.

Improves Energy Efficiency

Properly installed flashing can help improve the energy efficiency of your home. Flashing helps prevent air leaks, which can reduce the effectiveness of your insulation and increase your energy bills. By sealing the gaps around roof penetrations, flashing can help keep your home comfortable and reduce your energy costs.

Increases the Lifespan of Your Roof

Roof flashing plays an essential role in protecting your roof from water damage. By preventing water from seeping into your home, flashing can help extend the lifespan of your roof. Without flashing, water can cause damage to your roof, leading to costly repairs and premature replacement.

Types of Roof Flashing

Step Flashing

Step flashing is a type of flashing that is used where a sloped roof intersects with a vertical wall. Step flashing is typically made of metal and is installed in a staggered pattern, with each piece overlapping the one below it. Step flashing helps direct water away from the joint and onto the roof, where it can be safely carried away.

Step flashing on chimney
Counter flashing on a chimney

Counter Flashing

Counter flashing is a type of flashing that is installed on the roof to help prevent water from penetrating into the building through the joints between the roof and the walls. It is typically installed at the base of chimneys, skylights, and other roof penetrations.

Counter flashing is installed by cutting a groove or chase into the mortar joint of the masonry wall, and then inserting the flashing into the chase. The counter flashing is then secured in place with fasteners or mortar. The top edge of the counter flashing is then sealed with caulk or a similar material to prevent water from seeping underneath.

Kick out Flashing

Kickout flashing, also known as diverter flashing, is a type of flashing used to redirect water away from a roof and prevent water damage. It is a critical component of a roofing system and is installed at the intersection of a roof and a wall to prevent water from entering the wall cavity.

Kickout flashing is typically installed at the lower end of a roof-to-wall intersection, where water tends to accumulate and can cause damage if not properly directed. The flashing is installed at an angle, with one end attached to the roof and the other end extended out and away from the wall. This angle helps to direct water away from the wall and onto the roof, where it can be safely carried away.

The name “kickout flashing” comes from the way the flashing is designed to “kick out”

Kick out flashing on a roof
Roof tray below downspout

A roof tray designed for diverting water from a downspout from an upper roof gutter is discharging onto a lower roof.

Rain diverters can be made from various materials like metal, plastic, or vinyl and are usually installed on the roof’s slope, above the gutter system. They are useful in preventing water from overflowing in one spot, causing damage to the shingles and siding.


Roof flashing is a crucial component of any roofing system. Properly installed flashing helps protect your home from water damage, improves energy efficiency, and increases the lifespan of your roof. If you are having a new roof installed or need to replace your existing flashing, be sure to work with a professional roofing contractor who has experience installing flashing. By investing in proper roof flashing, you can help protect your home and ensure that your roof lasts for years to come.

Whether you’re looking to buy and need a home inspection, or need an annual home inspection, Main Inspections is here to provide a thorough inspection of all of your home’s systems and components. For a free, no-obligation quote, give us a call today at (253) 279-3525.

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