Flashing is a construction detail used to create a seal and protect against water damage around building joints. The most vulnerable joint areas of a building are where roof structures such as chimneys, skylights, and vent stacks meet the roof. An effective flashing material must provide a waterproof seal, while also allowing for the regular expansion and contraction due to fluctuations in temperature and humidity levels. Below are four areas of consideration when determining which flashing material is best to use for your commercial masonry restoration project.
Cost is a major factor in determining the best flashing material for the given commercial masonry restoration project. There are many flashing choices that are effective and long-lasting, but it is prudent to choose which one is best suited to your budget, while still not sacrificing quality.
Durability is an area on which you should not compromise for the sake of cost. In fact, the longevity of a joint flashing material can have an effect on the lifespan of the building itself. If a flashing material isn’t capable of withstanding severe weather conditions, harsh climates, and a wide range of temperatures, it puts a building at risk for damage and deterioration.
Just as a brick building should be repaired with original or closely compatible bricks, a replacement flashing material should be historically appropriate for the building as well. It is advisable to research which flashing materials have been used in the past for the specific masonry of the building to determine if the material you have in mind is an appropriate fit.
Another consideration for the suitability of a flashing material is its chemical compatibility. Certain materials are reactive to different compounds, making them ineffective at creating a waterproof and weatherproof seal. For example, aluminum and lead are highly susceptible to corrosion and deterioration when used with wet mortar. On the other hand, copper is perhaps the most practical choice as it is extremely durable, a superb moisture barrier, does not react with any other building materials, and is affordably priced.
For more information regarding commercial building restoration, call Abbot Building Restoration at 617-445-0277.