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Our contemporary house has a shed roof that is finished with a layer of aluminum flashing nailed through the top course of shingles. The flashing turns down and just covers the top edge of the fascia board.

This doesn't seem to have caused any problems (it's about 12 years old), but I know that most roofs don't have exposed nails -- they are usually covered by the next course of shingles, which doesn't exist in this case.

Is this a standard technique for this type of roof?

Edit: Add pictures taken from the ground - the two higher roof lines are the ones I'm questioning. enter image description here

A closer look at the higher one. You can see the flashing turning down over the top edge of the fascia; it goes over the top and sits on top of the top course of shingles; it appears to have a layer of roofing cement under it. enter image description here

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How about a picture? By your description, the flashing was added after shingle installation. Your instincts are correct about the exposed nails, the flashing should have been installed under the shingles. –  Jimmy Fix-it Aug 13 at 5:46
    
It'll be a while till I can get up on top, added some photos from the ground. If the flashing were under the shingles, how would the top course of shingles be fastened? Would they be lapped to the side like a traditional roof peak? –  TomG Aug 17 at 22:40
    
And yes, it needs paint! –  TomG Aug 17 at 22:40

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

That's at the PEAK of a shed roof, true? If that's the case, what you have amounts to a ridge cap, but nobody I know of manufactures premade ridge caps for shed roofs (too many different possibilities, not enough market), so the builder used "drip edge" or flat flashing (bent around the peak) to function as a ridge cap.

There really aren't very many good alternatives to that situation, so what they did is actually pretty common on the peaks of shed roofs. They really SHOULD have tarred over the nail heads, though.

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Does it make sense to tar over the nail heads, 12 years later? –  TomG Aug 19 at 1:51
    
Absolutely. Your goal here is twofold: (a) prevent water intrusion around the nail shanks, and (b) prevent the nail heads from rusting off. PLEASE tar them, and check them every year or two to see if they need retarring. –  TDHofstetter Aug 19 at 1:56

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