What Are The Different Types Of Flashing?

Man installing flashing around a chimney on a roof

Any project that involves the exterior of the home should include some type of flashing. Flashing is your home's protection against water leaks and expensive water damage.

Flashing is a construction detail that forms a protective seal over joints in a building from any type of water damage. Whenever there is some type of projection from a roof or from the side of the home, there is the need for extra protection. This is the weakest area of the home and most susceptible to leakage and rain damage.

Flashing comes in a few different forms that can be used for various applications. While you may first think of roof flashing, keep in mind that flashing can be used all around the home.

1. Roof Flashing

Dormer windows on a roof

Roof flashing can be used internally, which means that it is installed under the actual roof shingles. There is also an external type of roof flashing that is laid on top of the shingles in valleys and along peaks. This flashing can be made of metal or some sort of waterproof membrane. It is applied in several different areas.

  • Roof valleys
  • Roof peaks
  • Along edges of roof and wall
  • Around vents
  • Along chimneys

2. Window Flashing

Window flashing is installed around a window to keep rain from leaking in around the sash. Wind-driven rain can easily enter into small openings in the home around joints or crevices, but weatherproof flashing will help protect the areas around your windows. There are generally three types of window flashing:

  • Sheet metal - This is the basic thin sheet of metal that can be easily bent and molded to fit a space.
  • Vinyl - This is the type of flashing that usually comes with vinyl siding.
  • Tape - This is the newest form of flashing and comes as a self-adhering flexible membrane.

3. Deck Flashing

a deck with a few boards removed

Whenever you are going to attach a deck or porch to the house, add a protective flashing between the house and the ledger board. You can buy flashing for decking in several forms and materials, or you can easily make your own by bending thin sheet metal.

  • Stainless Steel - Thin metal that can be easily bent.
  • Vinyl - When using vinyl siding for your home, you will usually use a form of vinyl flashing around the ledger board and the edge of the vinyl.
  • Copper - When using copper flashing you will need to use copper nails, but this will hold up to the chemicals in the treated wood and finish products much better than other materials.

4. New Flashing

As building materials continue to advance with new technologies, new flashing materials will be introduced. Stay current with the best technologies so you will know what will best fit your needs and your home.