Protect Your Slate Roof With Custom Copper Flashing And Gutters

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If you have a home with a slate roof, consider having your flashing and gutters custom fabricated from copper. Here's why it could be worth the extra cost and effort.

Your flashing is what helps keep your roof in good shape.

Slate roofs are expensive, but they are also incredibly durable. Depending on the type of slate that's on your roof, you can expect a slate roof to last anywhere from 50 to 200 years -- if it's properly maintained. Your flashing is what helps keep your roof in good shape:

  • It keeps water from seeping into the joints of your roof and damaging your home.
  • It serves as the connector where sections of the roof meet.
  • It is used as a buffer between your roof, walls, and chimneys.
  • It protects the exposed eaves and rakes of your roof from damage.

Your choice of materials dictates how long your flashing will last.

Copper is considered a superior choice for flashing by many roofing professionals because it is durable and highly resistant to corrosion (which is especially important in areas with a lot of pollution in the air or rainwater). Unlike aluminum flashing, copper can be soldered at connecting points, allowing it to handle the expansion and contraction that can occur in building materials due to temperature changes. If your aluminum flashing is sealed with caulk, the caulk isn't going to survive the exposure to the elements for more than 10-15 years. Ultimately, moisture is going to get in around the flashing as it fails and damage your roof.

If you think of flashing as the seams that hold your roof together, you start to see why it doesn't make sense to use flashing that's going to degrade in 10-15 years on a slate roof that is meant to last for 50 or more years. Copper flashing is meant to last as long as your slate roof. 

Your gutters and downspouts also protect your investment.

Copper gutters and downspouts make sense for the same reason that copper flashing does. Gutters and downspouts guide rain and water from melting snow off of your roof and away from the foundation of your house. By their very function, they have to endure constant exposure to any corrosive elements in the water, such as acid rain. In coastal areas, they're exposed to high levels of salt, which can eat away less durable materials like aluminum.

Damaged and corroded gutters can't do their job properly, and that can end up leaving water pooling on your slate roof in places. It can also end up causing water to seep into the foundation of your house. Plus, you run some risk of having your slate shingles damaged when the old gutters have to be torn off and replaced every 20 years. It simply makes more sense to use copper gutters that can last 60 years or longer, just like your slate roof.

The only real drawback to copper gutters is the initial cost. A standard aluminum gutter costs anywhere from $3.50 to $7.00 per linear foot. A copper system will cost between $18.40 and $26.00 per linear foot. However, the longevity of the copper system makes up for the price in the long run.

For more information about the uses and benefits of copper, or to have flashings and gutters built for your home, contact a company like Legacy Restoration & Construction LLC.

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27 October 2015

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