Metal Vs. Rubber Flashing: Which is Best for You?

Rubber flashing is one option available to you for roofing purposes. It is installed in various places on the roofs and walls of a building. Flashing prevents infiltration of water into the house. Typically, it is found on the joints around chimneys, plumbing vent stacks, windows and doors. When well installed and of good quality material, flashing goes a long way to prevent water leakages. Although metal is the most commonly used flashing material, rubber is also quite effective. Metal flashing is usually produced from copper, stainless steel and aluminum while rubber flashing is made from recycled rubber. The pros and cons are given below.

Metal Flashing Pros

Metal flashing is highly resilient. It can withstand various weather conditions very well and shows few signs of wear and tear. This gives it a high durability. Once installed, the flashing can last for up to 20 years. Metal flashing is fire resistance which adds to its durability. In the event of a fire, the flashing will not burn which helps to contain damage to property. Metal works better than rubber when you have to span flashing across a cavity. It doesn’t require support and retains its structure well. Metal is also compatible with most sealants which gives you more flexibility during installation and maintenance.

Metal Flashing Cons

Metal flashing costs more than rubber. The higher price may hinder acquisition. Although highly durable, corrosion and rust are common problems with metal flashing, especially when steel is used. This necessitates periodic application of primer and paint which adds to your maintenance work. Where anchors have to penetrate the flashing, metal doesn’t seal as well as rubber around the anchors. This is because of the rigid nature of metal. It is also difficult to splice metal which adds to the rigors of installation. Unfortunately, metal flashing contributes to a higher noise level during heavy rains or hail.

Rubber Flashing Pros

Rubber is an affordable choice for flashing purposes. This makes it easier to complete construction. It is a light and highly flexible material to work with which contributes to ease of flashing installations. You can easily bend, mold, stretch and seal rubber at corners and other awkward positions. Rubber has a high resistance to heat and cold which makes it ideal for flashing. It isn’t affected by the frequent expansion and contraction of structures that it supports. This is because the elastic nature of the flashing enables it to accommodate frequent movements without strain. This makes rubber ideal for roof flashing which experiences maximum exposure. Rubber is also fully recyclable which makes it a good choice for flashing if you have environmental concerns. Additionally, it has excellent acoustics and helps to minimize noise levels during rain storms or hail.

Rubber Flashing Cons

Unfortunately, rubber is flammable which can intensify damage should a fire occur. Although it s easy to work with, when stretched across cavities it tends to sag and eventually tears. It isn’t as resilient or durable as metal flashing. This means you have to be prepared for frequent replacement due to the high wear and tear rate of rubber.