Standard roofing supplier flashings fail prematurely!
A recent visit to a country club in Watertown, Wisconsin revealed a problem with the valley flashing. The Roof Valley Flashing used on the roof had the paint finish failing. It was the standard, painted valley flashing that is usually supplied with the roofing shingles from a roofing supplier. (Side Note: When purchasing a roof from a contractor, you will usually receive the standard valley flashing metal referenced here in the article. If your contractor is offering a valley flashing that will last the life of your shingles, they will inform you in writing on your proposal. Beware – it is standard practice to use the inferior products originally designed for 15 -25 year roofs!)
Why don’t roof valley flashings last longer?
The problem with the roof flashing industry is that the standard paint finishes have not kept up with the increase in lifespan of today’s roof shingles. When I first started in the roofing business in the early 1990’s, shingles were expected to last 15 – 25 years. The metal flashings used in valleys and at walls and dormers did not need to last any longer because they would be replaced every 15 years or so. In the mid to late 90’s, shingle manufacturers began to produce shingles that had a longer lifespan. Today, there are shingles designed to last 50 years or more. However, the standard flashings used in valleys have not kept pace. The paint finishes are not always durable or long lasting. The thin metal used dents easily and rusts often. The paint coating processes are designed to meet a price point rather than longevity.
Is there an alternative to the roofing supplier valley flashings?
There are commercial metals on the market today that have a much longer lifespan. Kynar and SMP are two that are commonly used. The base metals are thicker and have a superior galvanizing coating them. With these finishes and tougher base metals, it is reasonable to expect a much longer useful service life from these valley flashings. These superior valley flashings will not easily corrode and are less prone to denting because of the thicker base metal. They are not commonly used by most residential roofing contractors because they have a higher price point. For these contractors, selling on price is their mainstay. They do not believe in offering better products because they compete on price and not on the quality of their work. While you may end up with a cheaper roof when you choose these contractors, you also end up with inferior products that shorten the overall life of your roof.
And, if they are willing to cut corners on the products used on your home, what else are the willing to do?
How can you make sure you end up with the best products on your roof?
Insist on using commercial grade flashings for your valleys and other areas on your roof. If the contractor you are working with is unfamiliar with these products or where to obtain them, have him contact us and we will be happy to assist. Many Wisconsin roofing contractors are already purchasing their valley and other roof flashings from GSB Services, LLC. Want to know who they are (or if your contractor is on the list) - just give us a call and we will be able to point you in the right direction.
Don’t settle for inferior products. Insist on the best for your home.