When Should Flashing Be Used?

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Peter Overton
WRITTEN BY
PETER OVERTON

Accompanied by over 30 years of experience within the external construction sector, my skill set extends to many areas.

Flashing is a thin sheet metal used in the construction industry to help prevent water penetration and excess seepage from infiltrating the structure of the building and to redirect the flow of moisture within the walls. But when should flashing be used and what’s its purpose? In this guide we’ll uncover the how, what, and why of flashing use, and make sure that your buildings are ready to face whatever the elements have in store.

So, when should flashing be used? Flashing should be used to help protect the parts of a building that are particularly susceptible to excess water run-off, such as the intersection between a wall and rooftop, chimney and skylight perimeters, or in any instance where two surfaces meet and there is likely to be a build up of water.

Due to its importance, flashing is never overlooked by property developers – no one wants their building to be akin to a leaking bucket. As such, we’ve outlined all the uses for flashing so that you have all the information you need to ensure that your building’s occupants will remain dry.

When Should Flashing be Installed?

What is the Purpose of Flashing?

Where Should Flashing be Used on a Roof?

Do You Need Flashing around a Door?

Do You Need Flashing Around a Window?

When Should Flashing be Installed?

Flashing should be installed in any circumstance where you would expect there to be excess water run off, or where there are susceptible gaps between walls, windows, or other finishings. 

The types of different flashing are wide ranging and are often determined by the size and shape of the area that they are tasked with weather-proofing.

Roof Flashing

Roof flashing is installed in a bid to ensure that any water is directed away from seams and joints, thus protecting the structural integrity of the building from where it will receive the most rainfall and water run-off.

Wall Flashing

Wall flashing is used to help protect embedded installations, most commonly windows. Wall flashings are used to not only prevent water ingress, but also to redirect any water that has gathered back outside.

Sill Flashing

Sill flashing is installed under windows or door thresholds to prevent unwanted water ingress. It is often considered the last line of defence for your building with the aim of collecting excess water and directing it away from the door or window frame.

Drip Edge Flashing

Drip edge flashing is a metal flashing installed along a roof’s edges to ensure that water run off does not make its way into the fascia or damages any of your inner roofing components.

Stepped Flashing

Stepped flashing is a flashing technique designed to weather-proof junctions where there is a slope. This method of flashing relies on the flashing materials to be ‘stepped’ and is often installed around chimney stacks and on pitched roofs.

Kickout Flashing

Kickout flashing is your building’s attempt to kick out unnecessary water away from your walls and cladding. It is found at the bottom of roof and wall installations and it’s sole job is to divert water towards the drainage systems. When correctly installed is a valuable line of defence to protect your building’s envelope from water penetration.

Valley Flashing

Valley flashing is a flashing technique used when two intersecting roofing places form to create a valley, and as such is considerably more susceptible to water pools forming. One common complaint with valley flashing is its less than pleasing aesthetics, however there are practical workarounds such as matching your flashing material to the roof by adding paint and similar roofing particles.

What is the Purpose of Flashing?

Regardless of the type of flashing, whether it be sill, drip edge, valley, stepped or kickout, flashing serves one true purpose, and that is to protect your building from water penetration and seepage.

In many ways, flashing can be viewed as a type of sealant which works to block or redirect water flow to ensure that there is no water-related damage to the property such as mould, rot, or other structural issues.

Installing flashing extensively (and correctly) across your build is a valuable investment that will not only bring you peace of mind but also save you money. This is because you are taking every step possible to mitigate the chances of structural issues to the building which can lead to mountainaning repair bills that would have otherwise been incurred had the property been forced to battle the elements on its own.

Where Should Flashing be Used on a Roof?

We’ve already discussed the different types of, and uses for flashing, however applying correct flashing to the roof is of paramount importance as this is the area of the building that is most exposed to rainfall.

To protect your roof (and run off to the walls) from water damage you may have to use as many as four different types of flashing:

  • Roof flashing
  • Sill flashing
  • Drip edge flashing
  • Valley flashing

Regardless of the variations in your roofing junction shape and structure, installing your rooftop flashing is essential. You wouldn’t want an umbrella with holes in it, would you?

Do You Need Flashing around a Door?

Flashing is not required on interior doors, however a flashing system is often used for any exterior door to help prevent water ingress. When flashing around an exterior door it is important to minimise air and insect filtration and this should be a consideration when finding your best solution.

Do You Need Flashing Around a Window?

Flashing is an essential component to fit and proper window insulation, and as such should never be overlooked. Flashing windows helps to add an extra layer of defence to water and moisture, as window sidings alone will not be sufficient enough to battle the elements.

Metal Flashing at Kladworx

At Kladworx, our goal is to help you to weather-proof your building and our metal flashings can accommodate a wide spectrum of materials and design requirements.

Our standards are held high, and our metal flashings are designed to provide water resistance and structural integrity for your buildings’ long term future. The best part is that our metal flashings can be made in bespoke profiles to suit your project’s exact requirements. We have years of experience in the world of flashings and are constantly striving to meet and exceed the ever-changing performance requirements of the cladding, roofing, and facade industry. If you’d like to discuss your project’s scope in more detail, please contact us here, and we’d be happy to help.

Need help with your external construction project?

We are suppliers of some of the most bespoke aluminium and uPVC systems on the market. With over 30 years of experience within the external construction sector, it leaves us well placed to offer our advice on the many different systems on the market

See some of our recent work, or get in touch with us today for a free, no obligation quote.

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