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What is Roof Flashing and Why Do You Need It?

How flashing protects LI/NYC Homes

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Roof flashing is the thin line of metal you see whenever an asphalt shingle roof meets a vertical wall, vent, chimney, or dormer window. Flashing provides a watertight surface that redirects rain flow to the shingles. This prevents leaks and seepage that can damage your home.

Flashing is one of the most important parts of your roof system. But many contractors cut corners or do sloppy work on flashing. For a long-lasting, watertight roof, a proper roof flashing installation is a must.

Here are the types of flashing you might find on your LI/NYC residential roof.


Galvanized steel flashing along the roof eaves helps water drip off the roof instead of leaking into the roof deck. Your roof installer must apply flashing along the entire roof perimeter.

Your drip edge should extend about 3/4″ beyond the fascia board to ensure runoff drains into the gutters. If your overhang is too short water can drip into the roof sheathing and fascia. This can cause siding stains, exterior wall rot, and even basement flooding.

Ice dams are one of the most common causes of roof damage claims in New York and Long Island. If your gutter freezes over, a drip edge helps prevent water leaking beneath the shingles.


Flashing chimneys requires some skill. Your roofer must protect the chimney with a bottom base flashing and a top counter-flashing. This seals the space between your roof and chimney. It also provides more flexibility for your roof to expand and contract with changing weather conditions.

Bad chimney flashing installations are one of the most common causes of roof flashing leaks. Leaky chimney flashing can lead to water damage and ultimately deck rot. If your chimney flashing looks like the picture shown, you need to contact County Roofing immediately.

Our team is not only skilled in chimney flashing repair. We also have experience in chimney repair, installation, and cleaning.

Bad chimney flashing


Contractors protect the junction between dormer and roof with step flashing. The installer bends the flashing piece 90 degrees, then affixes it to the roof and the wall with nails and roofing cement. This is another place where we find installer error leading to trouble later.

We use a similar technique for flashing skylights. Most skylight manufacturers today include flashing in their products, so we don’t have to create or purchase our own.

We do window installation in addition to windows. This means we take special care to protect your dormers and skylights from the elements

Highland Slate Fieldstone Roof with Dormers


Vent flashing, sometimes called a roof boot, is a cylindrical piece of flashing. It seals tightly around ventilation, plumbing, and other pipes and equipment. The water pours around the vent and onto the shingles to the gutter.

Some plumbing, electrical, and HVAC pipes that exit the side of the home require specialty side flashings. We can help you with side flashing and siding needs.

Roof vent flashing


The valleys formed where two parts of your roof meet can attract standing water during storms. This can then seep in under the shingles and cause problems. Metal flashing protects this critical area of the roof.

If you start noticing leaks and seepage from the valley, have a roofing contractor check it out. The valley is also a common area for underlayment leaks and breaches. Left untreated these can lead to serious roof problems including deck rot.

Belmont Black Granite


Roofing professionals need something to bridge the gap between where step flashing ends and the gutter begins. Kickout flashing directs water away from the wall and into the gutter.

We often install kickout flashing as a response to previous installation errors. Roofs without sufficient overhang can benefit from kickout flashing. It keeps the water from pouring down the wall before it reaches the gutter.

kickout flashing
Over 35 years in the industry

Keith Schmied, CEO and owner of County Roofing Systems, has been working in Long Island and New York City for over three decades. He has experience in everything from large commercial and multi-family projects to residential roof, siding and exterior repairs.

Whatever your project, County Roofing Systems can help. We don’t rely on subcontractors and we only work with a proven team of experienced specialists. We do the job done right the first time.

Whether it’s installing flashing around your new addition or replacing your old roof, County Roofing Systems can help. We provide step by step guidance through every step of the project. We give you an honest, detailed and accurate estimate. Then we get the work done on time and to budget.

County Roofing also knows that financing your roof project can be stressful. We do what we can to make things easier. We make sure your financing agent has all the paperwork and that all permits are in order. If you don’t have a lender, we can put you in touch with one of the many local lending agents we’ve dealt with in the past.

Give us a call and let us give your home the roof it deserves.

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