Guide to Installing Step Flashings

Roofing Contractor

Guide to Installing Step Flashings for a Leak-Proof Roof

Welcome back to Ernie’s Roofing blog, where we’re dedicated to sharing expert tips and advice on all things roofing! As a licensed roofing contractor with over 40 years of experience serving Denver and beyond, we understand the importance of proper roof installation to protect your home from the elements. In today’s post, we’re diving deep into the world of step flashings – a crucial component of any well-built roof. Whether you’re dealing with storm damage, considering a roof replacement, or just want to ensure your roof is in top condition, understanding how to install step flashings is essential. So grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started!

Why Step Flashings Matter

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of installation, let’s talk about why step flashings are so important. Step flashings are thin pieces of metal (typically galvanized steel or aluminum) that are installed around roof penetrations such as chimneys, walls, or dormers. Their primary purpose is to create a watertight barrier between the roof and these vulnerable areas, preventing leaks and water damage.Step-Flashings

How to Install Step Flashings: A Step-by-Step Guide

Materials Needed:

  • Step flashing pieces
  • Roofing nails or screws
  • Roofing cement or sealant
  • Hammer or screwdriver
  • Roofing shingles or other roofing material


  1. Prepare the Area: Clear away any debris and old flashing from the area where you’ll be installing the step flashings. Ensure the surface is clean and dry.
  2. Cut Flashing Pieces: Measure the area and cut the step flashing pieces to size using tin snips or aviation shears.
  3. Install the Bottom Piece: Slide the bottom piece of step flashing under the shingle or roofing material and over the edge of the wall or chimney. Nail it in place, leaving room for expansion.
  4. Install Wall or Chimney Counterflashing: Apply roofing cement or sealant along the top edge of the step flashing and press the counterflashing into place. Secure it with more nails or screws.
  5. Overlap Subsequent Pieces: Install the next piece of step flashing above the bottom piece, ensuring it overlaps by at least 2 inches. Nail it in place.
  6. Continue Layering: Repeat the process for each subsequent piece of step flashing until you reach the top of the area to be flashed.
  7. Seal Joints: Apply roofing cement or sealant over the top edge of each piece to seal the joints.
  8. Install Roofing Material: Install the rest of the roofing material over the flashing, ensuring it overlaps for further waterproofing.
  9. Inspect and Test: Inspect the flashing for proper installation and run water over the area to test for leaks.

FAQs About Step Flashings

  1. What are step flashings? Step flashings are thin pieces of metal installed around roof penetrations to prevent leaks.
  2. Why are step flashings important? Step flashings create a watertight barrier between the roof and vulnerable areas like chimneys and walls.
  3. What materials are needed to install step flashings? You’ll need step flashing pieces, roofing nails or screws, roofing cement or sealant, a hammer or screwdriver, and roofing shingles.
  4. How do I install step flashings? Follow the step-by-step guide outlined above for proper installation.
  5. Can I install step flashings myself? While it’s possible, we recommend consulting a professional roofer for best results.
  6. How do I know if my step flashings need replacement? Look for signs of rust, damage, or leaks around roof penetrations.
  7. Do step flashings come in different sizes? Yes, step flashings can be cut to size to fit the specific area of installation.
  8. How often should step flashings be inspected? We recommend inspecting step flashings as part of your regular roof maintenance routine, at least once a year.
  9. Can step flashings be installed on any type of roof? Yes, step flashings are commonly used on various roofing materials, including asphalt shingles and metal roofing.
  10. Do I need to replace step flashings when replacing my roof? It’s a good idea to inspect and replace step flashings if necessary during a roof replacement to ensure a proper seal.


Installing step flashings is a critical step in maintaining a leak-proof roof. By following the steps outlined in this guide and consulting with a licensed roofing contractor like Ernie’s Roofing, you can ensure your roof is protected against the elements for years to come. Have more questions or need assistance with your roofing project? Don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re here to help!

Stay tuned to our blog for more expert roofing tips and advice. Until next time, stay dry and safe under your sturdy roof!

Ernie’s Roofing: Trusted Roofing Contractor Since 1978 in Denver 📞 Call us at 720-346-ROOF 📧 Email us at 💻 Visit our website:


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