Building energy-efficient homes are becoming increasingly common. And one way to make your homes more energy efficient is to install skylights on your roofs. However, skylights are not only about getting aesthetic add-ons to let in natural light; they have many other aspects, like step flashing. But what exactly is step flashing, and how does it work with your skylight? In this article, we will tell you everything about it.
Skylight step flashing is a protective layer fitted around the skylight to make it waterproof. It’s like a seal that covers the gap between the skylight and the roofing material. Step flashing is made of metal that prevents leaks by keeping the water from getting into the skylight.
As we mentioned, step flashing works like a protective layer around the skylights. Its primary purpose is to keep the water or snow on the roofing surface on which the skylights are installed.
Most people use sealants to fill in the gaps between the skylight and the roof; however, this method is not viable as sealants can break down with time and cannot sustain harsh weather conditions for long. As a result, your roof can be damaged, in addition to water leakage.
Step flashing helps shed water or snow from the roof without needing any sealants. It is fitted underneath the shingles, tiles, or slates, giving a clean and polished look to the skylights and roof.
Therefore, whenever you purchase skylights, get a skylight flashing kit with it for a secure installation.
The longevity of skylight step flashing depends on the material used and its quality. The most common types of step flashing are made up of metal or rubber, and plastic.
The types of metals used for skylight flashing include lead, copper, zinc, aluminum, and steel. However, lead proves to be the most durable, lasting for as long as 500 years! Copper is a good option for buildings that need to look aesthetically pleasing, like historical buildings and classy houses.
But, if you’re looking for cost-effective yet durable metal skylight flashing, we suggest going for zinc, aluminum, and steel.
Rubber and plastic skylight flashing are suitable for temporary skylights, as they are cheap to install but tend to degrade in the sun quickly.
Most skylight step flashing lasts for decades and is only replaced when a new skylight is installed. However, if your step flashing has been around for quite a while, the material seems to be deteriorating, and frequent repairs have left nail holes in it, you can replace it with flashings specific to the skylights.