How to Install Step Flashing on Existing Roof

How to Install Step Flashing on an Existing Roof

Step flashing is an essential component of a roofing system that helps to prevent water from seeping into the roof and causing damage. It is particularly important in areas where the roof intersects with a wall, chimney, or skylight. Installing step flashing on an existing roof can be a challenging task, but with the right tools and a step-by-step guide, it can be done efficiently. Here’s a detailed guide on how to install step flashing on an existing roof.

Materials Needed:
1. Step flashing
2. Roofing nails
3. Roofing cement
4. Roofing tar or sealant
5. Pry bar
6. Hammer
7. Roofing nails

Step 1: Assess the Roof
Before starting the installation process, carefully inspect the existing roof to identify areas where step flashing is required. Typically, step flashing is needed where the roof intersects with a vertical wall, chimney, or skylight.

Step 2: Remove Existing Flashing (if needed)
If there is any old or damaged flashing in place, use a pry bar to carefully remove it. Be cautious not to damage the surrounding roofing material.

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Step 3: Install Step Flashing
Starting at the bottom of the wall or chimney, place the first piece of step flashing against the surface. Ensure that it extends over the shingle and covers at least 6 inches of the wall. Attach the flashing to the wall using roofing nails, making sure to nail it in the upper corner, so the next piece of flashing can overlap it.

Step 4: Install Shingles
Once the first piece of step flashing is in place, install a shingle over it. Secure the shingle with roofing nails, ensuring that the nails penetrate both the shingle and the flashing. Repeat this process for each piece of step flashing, making sure that each piece overlaps the previous one.

Step 5: Seal the Flashing
To provide extra protection against water infiltration, apply roofing cement or sealant over the top edge of each piece of step flashing. This will help to create a watertight seal between the flashing and the shingles.

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Step 6: Repeat the Process
Continue installing step flashing and shingles until you have covered all the areas where flashing is required. Make sure to overlap each piece of flashing properly and seal it with roofing cement.

Step 7: Inspect the Installation
Once the installation is complete, carefully inspect the step flashing to ensure that it is securely attached and properly sealed. Look for any signs of gaps, loose nails, or damaged shingles and address them promptly.


1. What is step flashing?
Step flashing is a type of flashing used to prevent water from entering the roof where it intersects with a wall, chimney, or skylight.

2. Do I need step flashing on my existing roof?
If your roof intersects with a vertical wall, chimney, or skylight, step flashing is necessary to prevent water damage.

3. Can I install step flashing on my own?
While installing step flashing requires some skill and knowledge, it is possible to do it yourself if you have the right tools and follow the proper steps.

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4. How many layers of step flashing should be installed?
Typically, at least two layers of step flashing should be installed to ensure proper protection against water infiltration.

5. How often should step flashing be inspected?
It is recommended to inspect step flashing at least once a year, especially after severe weather conditions, to identify any signs of damage or deterioration.

6. Can I reuse existing step flashing?
If the existing step flashing is in good condition, it can be reused. However, if it is damaged or worn out, it is best to install new flashing.

7. Should I hire a professional to install step flashing?
If you are unsure about your DIY skills or if the roof is complex, it is advisable to hire a professional roofer to ensure proper installation and prevent any potential issues.

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