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Benefits and Uses of Copper Roof Flashing

Flashing is cut-to-fit, sheet-metal material fastened under shingles and vulnerable roof areas. Flashing prevents water from seeping into the roof decking, attic, and home. Copper is a reliable, long lasting material that’s often used for roof flashing. Here’s a quick guide to the benefits and uses of copper for roof-flashing applications.

Copper Flashing Outlasts Shingles

If you choose to have copper flashing installed on your home, you may never need to have flashing installed again. That’s because copper used for flashing is a long-lasting material that won’t need to be replaced nearly as soon as your roofing shingles.

The following are projected lifespans for several types of shingles:

  • Standard shingles – 12 to 15 years
  • Architectural shingles – 25 to 30 years
  • Cedar shingles – 30 to 40 years
  • Slate, tile, and copper shingles – 60 to 80 years

The typical 16-gauge copper used for roof flashing lasts around 70 to 100 years. Experts can tell how old copper flashing is by the color of the material. Exposed copper transforms from a shimmering copper hue to dark brown after eight months, dark green after four years, and finally pale green after 25 years.

Copper Flashing Is Suitable for Complex and Historic Roofs

Roof flashing is often made of aluminum, lead, galvanized metal, or stainless steel. However all of the above materials are rigid and not as easy to install as copper flashing. For some applications including over clay tile shingles, copper flashing may be coated with lead to create a more shape-conforming, watertight seal over the roof.

If your roof has a lot of components including several separate levels of roofing, multiple places where roof sections join, several dormers, or multiple gables, you need more flashing than is necessary on a simple roof.

Copper flashing works in all roofing areas including the following:

  • At roof edges
  • Where roof and wall meet
  • Around chimneys
  • Around roof vents
  • At edges of porch and doorway roofs and overhangs
  • Around bases and edges of dormers

Copper flashing is a great material to use on historical homes and other aging architecture. The sheet-copper material is easy to work with during renovations, and the material has a timeless look that adds authenticity to the roof appearance of older structures.

Dwellings and other buildings constructed of masonry also benefit from copper flashing material. Copper is flexible enough to provide great water protection where the roof meets stone or brick materials.

Copper Flashing Offers Superior Durability and Other Features

If you live in a coastal area where humid, salty air is a factor, copper is the superior metal to use for your roof flashing. Salt-water corrosion is known to rapidly degrade aluminum and galvanized steel roof flashing. However, copper flashing material has a natural resistance to salt-water damage.

Copper flashing has several other benefits that make the material a solid choice when your roof is being repaired or replaced. Copper offers excellent resistance to UV light, which means you needn’t worry about damage to any copper flashing that’s exposed to direct sunlight on your roof.

Your roofing professional can install copper flashing in nearly any type of weather, since the material remains flexible despite the temperature. Copper flashing is compatible with a wide array of glues, sealants, and roof caulking materials, meaning copper flashing can be installed with a wide variety of roofing materials that require specialized adhesives and seals.

Schedule installation of your new roof with great-looking, durable copper flashing in the Aberdeen, Maryland area by contacting Ray’s Harford Home Improvement Contractors Inc. right away. Our company has 60 years of experience installing and repairing roofs throughout Abingdon, Bel Air, and all of the surrounding neighborhoods.

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