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Stamford Roofing: Article About Types Of Roof Flashing

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Although roofs are strong, certain portions tend to be weaker and prone to water leaks including roof valleys, dormers, areas around chimneys and skylight perimeters. Flashing is used in these areas to prevent water from entering through any gaps. Flashing is usually made from pieces of rust resistant metal such as lead, aluminum and copper. Depending on the type of flashing used, it can be installed under the shingles or over the shingles. A Stamford roofing contractor may assist a homeowner to add or replace flashing.

Aluminum is often chosen for flashing due to its cost. Additionally, the material can be easily bent into position and holds its paint very well. Aluminum flashing that has been prefinished will withstand the elements present in difficult environments. It is often used as drip edges, in roof valleys and around skylights. However, there are a number of downsides to this type of material. Unpainted aluminum can easily corrode when it comes into contact with wood and masonry. If the home is located in a climate that has salty air, the metal will oxidize and pit. Further, the aluminum cannot be soldered, which potentially limits its usefulness.

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Copper flashing is often desired, but it is an extremely expensive material. Soft copper is particularly useful for irregular areas on the roof, such as around chimneys, as it is malleable. Cold rolled copper is stronger and more durable, making it a good option for roof valleys. Over time, unpainted copper will form a green patina as it oxidizes. This type of flashing should not be used on galvanized steel roofs or red cedar shingles as the copper can be damaged. When paired with these materials, the copper flashing tends to last a mere 10 to 20 years.

Finally, lead flashing is often desired for roof areas that are complicated due to its malleability. Because lead is easy to mold and resistant to corrosion, it is often used around chimneys. The major downside to lead flashing is its softness, meaning that it can be easily damaged. Thermal movement can also cause it to fail.

If the home has a complex roof, it is likely that different types of flashing may be used for different sections unless the roof is made out of metal. In that case, the metal flashing should match the metal of the roof. Ultimately, flashing plays an important role when it comes to protecting the roof and it should never be overlooked.

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