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  • Writer's pictureBonnie

What is flashing?

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

If you are reading an inspection report, you'll inevitably see the word "flashing." If you aren't a roofer or contractor, it can be a confusing word because flashing looks different depending on its application. Let's break down what these different roof flashing pieces are and their function.


Kickout flashing

Where: installed around chimneys and roof-wall intersections

Material: typically metal

Purpose: "kicks" or pushes roof runoff away from walls and/or into gutters. Prevents walls or windows below the roof from being splashed and continually wetted during rain events

Vent flashing AKA "boot"

Where: installed around vent pipe for gas appliances (oven, stove, water heater, or furnace) or plumbing vents (usually one bathroom has one vent for the sink, tub, shower, and toilet)

Material: rubber, plastic, or metal

Purpose: prevents weather and critters from accessing through the hole in your roof around the vent pipe

Flashing around plumbing vent
Flashing around plumbing vent

Photo from attic space showing the underside of flashing around a plumbing vent
Attic view of flashing around vent pipe

Step flashing

Where: installed along chimneys and roof-wall intersections

Material: typically metal

Purpose: allows water to drain around roof-wall intersections without wicking up the siding

Counter flashing

Where: installed along chimneys and roof-wall intersections on top of step flashing

Material: typically metal

Purpose: allows drainage at roof-wall intersections and prevents water from wicking up the wall. Counter flashing is needed for homes with brick/masonry, stucco, and EIFS exteriors.

Chimney flashing

Chimneys have the most flashing because there are four sides to protect.

Head flashing - installed on the uphill side of your chimney

Step flashing - sections that stair-step down along the side of your chimney

Counter flashing - sections installed on top of the step flashing

Apron flashing - installed on the downhill side of your chimney

If you still have questions about flashing, please contact Honeybee at or on social media by clicking on any of the icons below

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