Roofing: How to Install Step Flashing

Why step flashing works

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