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What is Step Flashing? (Video)

The roof of your home never takes a day off. It is on duty 24/7/365, protecting your home from the very worst that Mother Nature can dish out. One of your roof’s most important functions is to prevent water from entering your home. It’s not easy, though, because rain and snowmelt will find even the smallest opening and exploit it. This is why step flashing is such a critical component in your roof’s construction. If you’ve never heard of step flashing, you’re not alone. It is a relatively small and seldom-discussed part of a roof’s overall construction. In the video below, Chris Snook, a Professional Craftsman on the ProMaster team, explains exactly what step flashing is and why it is an essential component in keeping water out of your home.

What is Step Flashing?

Step flashing is a series of metal pieces (typically aluminum or galvanized steel) that are bent at 90° angles. These metal pieces are installed in an overlapping stair-step fashion down the roofline where it meets a sidewall. Every seam or joint in a roof’s construction is a potential entry point for water. Step flashing provides a critical barrier to prevent water intrusion along the joint of the roof and the wall.

Step flashing repair - after picture

Improperly Installed Step Flashing

In the video, Chris demonstrated how the step flashing on this customer’s home was not installed properly. Instead of running from the roof’s peak all the way to the gutter, the step flashing stopped a few inches short of the gutter. That may seem insignificant to the casual observer but, as we said earlier, water will find even the tiniest opening.

Because the original installer decided to cut corners and stop the step flashing short of the gutter, water found its way between the gutter and the sidewall, as well as under the shingles. Instead of flowing into the gutter and away from the home, the water flowed back into the home and damaged the ceiling of the entryway underneath. The entire problem stemmed from improperly installed step flashing.

Making the Step Flashing Repair

Step flashing installation

Chris extending the step flashing to the gutter and installed a diverter that would direct water away from the sidewall and into the gutter. It would also prevent backflow under the shingles.

He also installed two more pieces of step flashing beyond the diverter that extended down into the gutter itself. This extra layer of protection means that the water flowing down the roof, as well as any water running down the wall itself, cannot enter the home. It will either be funneled into the gutter or will continue to flow down the wall. It can no longer flow between the gutter and the sidewall and it is blocked from flowing back under the shingles.

Completing the Water Damage Repair

porch ceiling repair

Once the root cause of the problem was fixed, Chris repaired the damage caused by the leak. He cut out the damaged piece of drywall from the ceiling underneath and replaced it. Once he was finished, the ceiling was in like-new condition.

Why Worry About a Little Bit of Water?

Your entire house is framed with wood, and water is the mortal enemy of that wood structure. When moisture reaches the wood inside your home, it damages that wood and compromises its structural integrity.

Water ingress can occur along roof seams and joints, as was the case with the step flashing failure that Chris encountered. Windows and doorways can also be prime suspects for water intrusion, especially in older homes. 

Water damage may also be an inside job. Plumbing fixtures such as faucets and toilets can begin to leak as they age. Left unaddressed, these small leaks can turn into big problems.

A Money-Saving Call

Had this customer ignored the water intrusion caused by the faulty step flashing, the problem would have spread beyond the drywall ceiling. It would have likely damaged the gutter board and the frame of the roof itself. But the astute homeowner caught the problem early and called in the Home Repair Heroes at ProMaster to fix it. Because of this quick action, the damage was limited to a small portion of the drywall ceiling. The repair was faster and much less expensive than it would have been had this homeowner put off making that call. And, thanks to Chris’ skillful work, any sign of the previous water damage is long gone and the homeowner can rest assured there will be no such damage in the future.

Drywall patch - after picture

Water damage will never get better on its own. It will only worsen over time, growing larger and more serious until a repair is made. If you have water damage in your home, this is exactly why you need to call us today!

ProMaster: The Leak Stopper

We are the Home Repair Heroes in the Greater Cincinnati area, and one of our superpowers is stopping water leaks in their tracks. We receive more calls about water damage and wood rot than any other home repair issue. The highly skilled craftsmen at ProMaster are experts at diagnosing and repairing any type of leak in your home, whether it’s coming from the roof, the basement, or anywhere in between.

If you have a roof leak or have noticed water damage around your soffit or gutters, give us a call and say goodbye to those leaks.

If you notice water spots on the ceiling or water-damaged drywall, we’ll restore it to like-new condition. 

Got a leaky window or door? We’ll slam those leaks shut. 

Have you noticed water pooling around your kitchen faucet or your bathroom fixtures? Our craftsmen can repair any plumbing issue.

There is no leak, water damage, or wood rot issue that we cannot repair. Plus, when you call the Home Repair Heroes at ProMaster, we will always show up on time. We set exact appointment times and we stick to them.

Our friendly, courteous craftsmen will complete the work using only the best materials and with craftsmanship that cannot be matched by any other home repair or handyman company in the Greater Cincinnati area. We stand behind every job with a full one-year warranty. We’ll follow up with you several times after the job is completed to ensure you are fully satisfied with our work.

If your home has water damage, or even if you just think something doesn’t seem quite right, you can schedule an appointment online or contact us by phone, email, or text message. Our family-friendly team of multi-disciplinary craftsmen will put an end to any of your home’s water woes!

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