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Roofing: How to Install Step Flashing

Continuous flashing is sometimes seen where a roof meets a sidewall, but in the long run step flashing will do a better job of preventing water leaks.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Best roof protection

Continuous flashing against a sidewall is one way to install a roof, but it’s not the correct way. It may seem as if a single piece of flashing would offer more protection than many pieces of step flashing. But it doesn’t work that way. Once even a small section of roofing cement fails, you’ll have a leak. Each additional rain adds more water, and before you know it, you’ve got rotted wood.

Step flashing offers far better protection from leaks, because even if a single piece of step flashing fails, the water just hits the next lower piece. That flashing directs the water onto the shingle and the water drains down the roof.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

    • Hammer
    • Tin snips

You'll also need leather gloves

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

    • Step flashing
    • Roofing nails

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November 21, 3:23 PM [GMT -5]

This is all well and good, but what about a "stucco" wall? My house has a one story addition that fills in two 2 story exterior walls. The exterior walls are stucco. The addition is clad with exterior panelling and topped with a asphalt shingle. Where the asphalt roof meets the stucco a continuous flashing was installed. The flashing is butted up against the stucco and chalked. It appears to be leaking there. Water enters the addition over a what used to be an exterior patio door. The stucco is very thin with a "styro-foam" insulation under it and then 4x8 plywood/mdf(?). What can I do to fix this situation or should I tear off the old roof, (less than 6 years old), and cut into the stucco and install a "weep screed"? Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

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Roofing: How to Install Step Flashing

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