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Bergen County Roofing: Article About Flashing Alloys and Material Incompatibilities

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Though the tiles and shingles are the most visible sections of the roofing system, they are not the only components responsible for protecting the deck below. Above the deck and below the shingles is the underlayment, which prevents moisture damage from seeping too deeply into the deck. Around the corners and edges as well as between the tiles, protecting the underlayment, are the sections of flashing. Flashings are typically made from metal alloys to provide the rooftop with the maximum degree of water protection.

Bergen County roofing contractors typically use a variety of alloys for their flashing systems, though matching the correct alloy with the appropriate surrounding material is critical. By avoiding the following materials, homeowners and contractors can avoid early galvanic corrosion and chemical damage to their rooftops.

One of the biggest problems, especially for aluminum flashing materials, is mortar. Cementitious materials do not work well with aluminum because the alloy can be damaged by the alkali presence in the mortar. However, because of how affordable aluminum is as a flashing material, many professionals use the alloy and take care of it where it must touch the mortar.

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Often, the solution is to treat the aluminum with lacquer or some type of acrylic coating as a protective measure. Once the mortar is dry, the aluminum works as intended and the chances of chemical erosion are significantly reduced.

Some materials may also interact poorly with pressure-treated wood. Most types of pressure-treated wood may end up corroding galvanized steel and aluminum because of the presence of the copper in the wood. Because many different types of wood shakes are made with pressure-treated wood, homeowners must choose the appropriate flashing systems to avoid unnecessary moisture damage. One of the best solutions to reduce damage is to use different flashing materials, such as rubber or plastic, as most artificial materials do not contain the chemicals necessary to result in such damage.

Finally, it is crucial to avoid using galvanized metals in corrosive environments. Homes that are built along mild and moderate environments do not need to be treated in a special way, but if the property is built along a coastline or is in a polluted part of an urban area, certain flashing materials may develop damage over time. Saltwater spray, in particular, is hard on uncoated aluminum and steel products, and it may even lead to complete destruction in as little as five years. Stainless steel and treated aluminum stand as better alternatives.

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