What is Roof Flashing?

Take a quick moment to step outside your house and look up at your roof. Wherever you see something penetrating the roof’s surface, like a pipe or skylight, there is a chance of leaks developing around the openings of that penetration. Flashing keeps those openings shut and waterproof. However, over time, flashing can fail and need to be repaired. Keep reading to understand more about what roof flashing is and how it can be repaired.

What Exactly Is Flashing?


Flashing is a thin, waterproof piece of metal which helps prevent water from getting into gaps on a roof. It’s designed to carry the water safely over any gaps and channel it toward the roof’s gutters.

The material used for flashing is usually rust-resistant metal. Galvanized sheet metal is most commonly used, though aluminum and copper are used for certain applications. When a roofer installs flashing, he uses an adhesive or sealant to keep it in place and to prevent water penetration around the edges.

You will see flashing around any opening in the roof surface, including skylights, chimneys, vent pipes, and dormers. It’s also used to cover the joints between deck boards in roof valleys.

When Does Flashing Need to be Repaired?

Flashing can last for many years without any problems. However, with time, it can start to deteriorate. Some of the causes for damaged roof flashing include:

  • Old galvanized metal can start to rust as the galvanization wears off after years in the sun.
  • The sealant which keeps the flashing in place can start to crack.
  • When water starts to penetrate the flashing, water damage will follow.
  • It can also be damaged by falling branches or other elements.

How Do You Repair Flashing on a Roof?

To repair any roof flashing, you should call an experienced roofing professional to take a look at your roof. A certified roofer can do the job quickly and safely. The repairs required depends on the amount of damage to the flashing.

If water damage has already started to occur, the flashing may need to be replaced. This involves removing the existing flashing and installing new flashing in its place.

In many cases, repairs can be made to flashing without repairing other parts of the roof. However, if the underlying surface is degrading due to water damage, it’s important to replace or repair that surface before installing new flashing.

So if you’re in Pasadena, Burbank, Long Beach or Los Angeles and you’re thinking that your roof may need new flashings installed, then contact Roof Repair Specialist today!