Flashing Issues & Questions - Improper Installation (photos)

I’m a Florida homeowner who was up in my attic during a recent rainstorm and noticed some small leakage spots originating from the front of the house (although surprisingly minor when you see the following installation issues). I’ve spent the last few days doing research on roofing, so I feel I have a fundamental understanding of things.

As you can see from my house photo, the front of my house is troublesome from a roofing perspective - lots of flashing required. Close inspection of the flashing reveals lots of problems. Roof is original - house built in 1999.


Issue #1 - continuous flashing is used where the roof meets the wall. On some sections there appears to be approx a 3/8" gap between the horizontal flashing and the roof, I assume to movement of the structure over time. It looks like continuous flashing is installed over the shingles and simply caulked between the horiz. flashing and shingle.


What is my fix for this situation? Simply remove the decorative shingles glued on top of the flashing and re-caulk the gap? I’d imagine redoing the flashing would be very involved as the vertical portion of it is covered with stucco.

There’s also major issues where the rakes meet the roof. On many parts I can SEE the sheathing! There is tar used in some spots, and just cut shingles around it.


I believe the proper way to fix this is to remove all shingles around the area, form flashing to the exposed sheathing area, and re-shingle? Does anyone have photos of how a similar joint should look?

I’m an engineer by trade and an avid-DIY’er and believe in doing things right. I will consider hiring a professional depending on the feedback I get (although I always have trouble finding a good pro, locks of hacks around here). If anyone knows of a professional roofer in Orlando they would recommend, I will gladly take their info.

I’m not cheap, but my roof is almost 15 years old and I’ve lost a few shingles from winds already. I would prefer to do the repairs on a modest budget myself while saving for a new roof which will almost surely be due in the near future. As you can imagine I’m very frustrated at the poor quality work the builders did - I want to make it right!

Um, I would need to know where the leaks are coming in. My suspicion is the two dead spots left and right of the front door. However, you show the pics where the ridge cap ties in 3 times. You will need a new roof within a couple years so for now i just recommend re-caulking there. Or if you want to get more detailed the way we do those spots is take a long shovel and one guy prys up the rake and holds it up, while another guy places the top and ridge shingles as far up underneath the rake as possible. To the point where no caulk OR flashing is necessary there.

You’re house is not troublesome to roof. Especially considering it was new construction (no siding or fascia trim to deal with) when it was roofed. You’re house is a pain in the rear with all those dog-ears (porkchops, birds nest, dinks…) at the bottom of your gables, but I have done roofs like yours many times with no leaks. So let’s get to correcting.

#1 “Wall flashing” is the long metal we use at a roof/wall join that goes OVER the last shingle. There is no need to glue a shingle on top for cosmetic purposes. This metal should be laying flat against the roof, and flat against the wall. I suspect they used metal that was pre-bent for a roof steeper than yours and couldn’t get it to lay flat so they nailed shingles over top to hide the gap.
Remove those pieces of shingle that have been glued on top, and bang the nails back down. If they pop back up then you will need to put in a couple more nails. Caulk all nails visible.

#2 Where the rake meets the roof. I will take “Step Flashing” (7" x 7" that is bent 90 degrees in the middle) and as you said, form it to the roof/fascia board. But these pieces are interwoven between the shingles and go behind the fascia trim.
To fix it for now, I would suggest caulking the line between your fascia and the shingles, then see if you can slide a square flat piece of sheet metal (7" x 7") up underneath the upper roof so it sticks out and completely covers the caulked area. I suspect that first row of shingles that was cut off is going to be nailed fairly close to the edge, so take care doing this.

Can you see if they used “Step Flashing” on the sections where the roof meets a side wall (circled below), and can you also take a pic showing the dead spot on either side of your entrance way? Where the garage roof comes down and meets the wall, and the other side where your living room roof comes down to meet that other wall. Those are called “dead valleys” and can be a huge problem if not done correctly.

If you don’t have a saddle or a nice pan flashing where those hog valleys are my guess is thats where your leak is. Bc is right those endwall flashing should be exposed.

thanks for the feedback. You are right - the dead valleys should be more of a concern due to the flow of water from the adjacent roof. I will take some photos soon, but from my memory it is continuous flashing used there. I couldn’t really see how it was sealed as it was covered by shingles, but I can only assumed its caulked underneath (but did not have the large gap between flashing and shingle as shown in one area in my first photo).

I’ll pick up some flashing material and tin snips and do my best in mending the areas where the rakes meet the roof (the ‘gable ears’).

Unfortunately the closest matching shingle I could find locally (home depot) doesn’t have quite the red color as my current shingles, so it’s a noticeable difference. Hopefully it won’t be too bad, I don’t see any other alternative (at least in obtaining them in a reasonable time).

So I removed the shingles on top of the flashing (and scraped off a ton of roof cement), as shown in photo. I ran a bead of flashing caulk under the flashing (about 1/2" inboard) and then added a couple roofing nails to secure the flashing flush. I then put some caulk over the nail heads. I know flashing is typically left exposed, but since it looks so crappy with the tar residue, I put shingles over it (held on with just a LITTLE cement) for visual purposes.


In looking where the flashing meets the wall (stucco), it looks like the counterflashing is integrated into the stucco itself, so if I were to replace the flashing I’d simply unnail it from the roof, and pull it out? And new flashing would simply slide right in.


To answer your questions - continous flashing is used EVERYWHERE, even on the dead valleys. In examination, I can only assume the flashing is caulked to the roof and it looks like the shingles are cemented tightly on top of the flashing.


Lastly, shouldn’t a kick out flashing be used here (roof right by the entrance way)?


I still need to pick up some flashing pieces and use that to fix where the gables meet the roof.

Yeah, I spent 2 years living in Florida and unlike the rest of the country they don’t use step flashing anywhere. What they do is install a continous flashing, apply roof cement over the flashing, install shingles over flashing, roof cement on upper portion of each shingle, then repeat. Probably sounds confusing right? I will try to find a video. I don’t agree with it but I don’t make the building codes in Florida. However if done correctly won’t leak.

This type of flashing work is extensive and only a qualified professional should be performing the work. The flashing at the top parts is called “apron flashing”. Along the walls its called 4 x 4 hemmed wall flashing. There should be large metal pans installed at the two dead spots. Not just the wall flashing. You need to call a pro and take them into your attic and show them what you are seeing. Most of the flashing is probably fine. You only need repairs where you are seeing the leakage. Most likely some stucco will have to be cut out to properly do the repair. After the flashing work it will have to be patched back in.

@IslandRoofing, yea I’ve been looking closely at other houses and from what I can tell NO house I’ve seen has step flashing. Must be a Florida thing.

@LuckyChucky, I agree I do not plan on messing with any of the flashing unless I see an obvious defect or it leaks inside. I’m going to fix all the things listed in my first post then wait until the first good rain storm and go up in my attic crawling around looking for leaks.

At least now when the time comes for a new roof I know enough to discuss with the roofing contractor about how they will redo the flashing to ensure a professional, long lasting job.

If I was you I would get a professional roofing contractor to redo your roof asap, this seems to be a bit beyond the average diy project or regular roof maintenance. I would suggest that you make sure that when you do get your roof redone that you make sure they nail down that old flashing, apply some kind of roofing tar or cement to the portion that lays flat on your roof deck, for better adhesion. Then apply a nice 3ft strip of high quality ice and water shield, gaf storm shield or grace, running up along every wall and butt the new shingles tight to the old flashing. Then for good measure, caulk a bead with high quality roofing grade caulking, we use tremco or supra for example, keep in mind old roof caulking should be removed and replaced every 3-5 years as part of your regular roof maintenance. (or do this yourself if you feel comfortable and capable, u can just remove the rows near the flashing and do a color match, maybe not at home depot hopefully there are much better roofing supply stores in your area)

In the mean time grab some roofing cement or bitchement, and regardless of aesthetics apply, it where the roof is leaking as a very temporary solution to prevent water from getting in your home as this is going to cause mold and water damage issues and obviously more money down the line or even health issues. (and I think it’s crazy they don’t use stepping down there).


John Ward

Certain Seal Roofing

Your Ottawa Roofing Contractors
1044 Meadow Park pl
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
k1k 0m5

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