What Are Cap Flashings?
If you are not familiar with cap flashings, it is time to learn about an important lesson in roofing. Cap flashing is a phrase used when a roofer attaches thin pieces of metal to areas where the roof meets a vertical surface, such as a wall, chimney, roof valley, or a skylight. This is done to direct water away from these critical areas.
Therefore, wherever the roof meets with one of these objects, custom cap flashings will be installed to protect from water damage from occurring. With cap flashings, water will run down the flashings and be channeled to the shingles and gutter rather than getting caught on the roof. When it comes to cap flashings, there are a few important things to know.
What Are Cap Flashings Made from?
Cap flashings are made from various metals. The most common metals used for custom flashings include lead, aluminum, copper, and stainless steel. Copper metal is the most popular choice because of its strength and high resistance to the corrosive effects of cement and hostile climates. Moreover, thanks to its elasticity, copper allows for utmost creativity in metal fabrication and can be used in base flashing, chimney flashing, or roof valley flashing.
Plastic is also a common material and an affordable substitute for metal. The only challenge is that plastic can wear down easily with time if left exposed to direct sunlight.
Cap Flashings May Not Need to Be Replaced When Getting a New Roof
Should you replace your cap flashings when you replace your roof? The answer to this query varies with every situation because it largely depends on the state of the metal.
Before any roof placement projects begins, a roofing expert should be used to examine the existing cap flashings to check for rusting and wear and tear. They can then assess whether the metal is still usable. If the metal's veracity is still strong and there is no rusting, the cap flashings will not need to be replaced.
Cap Flashings Last for a While but Need Annual Checkups
Regardless of the metal cap flashings are made from, they should last longer than the initial roof they were placed on. While cap flashings can outlive the roof, the flashings must be checked regularly. During this inspection check for integrity, damage, and fit. Doing this every year will make sure that the cap flashings are still doing their job and the roof is protected from water leaks.
Since 2004, Klassen Building Supplies has been a leader in sheet metal fabrication, supply, and installation in the Vancouver area. Klassen also does considerable custom metal work.
If you have any questions about this article or any of our sheet metal supplies, please call us at (604) 543-7331 or use the convenient form on our Contact page. Klassen is based in Surrey, BC.