As with every element at every stage of the roof renovation process, when it comes to roof flashing tape, you’re faced with an array of options, and it can be challenging to determine which is the best to use alongside your roof flashing.
What do roofing and building professionals use?
What are the functions of flashing tapes?
What on earth is adhesive butyl backing?
We’ll answer these questions and more in this review of the various roof flashing tapes on the market.
But first, what is the purpose of roof flashing tape?
Why do you need roof flashing tape?
Roof flashing tape is a self-adhesive material used in conjunction with your everyday flashing. It is typically made from a flexible and durable material, such as butyl rubber or asphalt, and is used to seal the edges and joints of flashing to create the desired watertight seal.
Roof flashing tape is an essential component of a roofing system that is used to protect against leaks and water damage. You’ll see it around chimneys, gutters, skylights, vents, and other roof features where there’s a chance that water could seep through the flashing material.
Besides keeping water out, good flashing tape will also prevent airflow where you don’t want it, creating air barriers that lower AC costs and improve interior air quality.
Of course, ensuring no water gets into the building is vital to the longevity of your roof and broader structure, so think of roof flashing tape as an extra precaution to give your roof a longer life.
Roof flashing tape also serves as an excellent repair solution for damaged roofing surfaces, essentially patching up your metal roofing or other roof materials instead of paying for costly waterproof maintenance repairs. The right flashing tape can offer a stopgap solution until you find a more permanent replacement.
Flashing tape is also the perfect solution for maintenance on your cracked or damaged tiles. Nullify these potential leak situations and repair older damaged roofing materials by placing some of your multi-use flashing tape over the existing roof material.
Before heading to your nearest store, let’s examine the options you have to hopefully give your roof a much longer life.
How to Choose Your Flashing Tape
There are a few things to consider which will determine the best tape for your roof.
It is critical to understand how much UV protection a roll of tape offers, especially if it will be exposed to sunlight for extended periods (a common occurrence in many parts of Australia!). Sunshine degrades some tapes and makes them less effective over time if UV protection is not integrated into the tape. Building professionals understand that a home in the Australian outback could require a slightly different tape than a Sydney home, for example.
Staying with the weather, the temperature is an important consideration while selecting the proper flashing tape. Modified-bitumen products, in general, do not perform well in cold temperatures. Most become less sticky at about 50°F and do not adhere well below 40°F. Though this may not be a factor for many Australians, it could still be a consideration for those who experience these temperatures now and then.
Modified Bitumen vs. Butyl vs. Acrylic
These are the three standard options you have in terms of flashing tape materials.
Many contractors will opt for the less expensive bitumen flashing consisting of petroleum and asphalt. It will, however, dry out with time, diminishing the tape’s effectiveness.
Butyl adhesive technology is the next step in quality, but not all butyls are created equal. While most butyl rubber compounds adhere better to challenging surfaces than modified bitumen and may be peeled off and altered during installation, you should take a look at the temperature range. Certain butyl adhesives have been changed to be more flexible in cold weather and more stable in hot weather, making them the wise choice.
Acrylic adhesive technology is the best in terms of roof flashing tape. It offers the best longevity of the three and the broadest temperature range.
However, you guessed it; it’s also the most expensive.
You can weigh up the various pros and cons of each material with a building professional before deciding what’s best for your home.
Fastfix and Butyl Tape
At Evo Build, we can offer two great options for roof flashing tape: Fastfix and Butyl Tape.
Fastfix is an economy flashing roll consisting of an aluminium top sheet with an adhesive butyl backing that comes in rolls of 50mm to 280mm in 5m roll lengths.
The Butyl Adhesive Strip is a 10m x 20mm long roll of pure butyl that has a wide range of applications. It quickly and simply forms a waterproof seal in a variety of roofing and building applications. In complex fitting scenarios, use it as a companion to Wakaflex or to attach roofing and construction membranes together.
Use these tapes in conjunction for different requirements on your roof, and contact us to find out more about these necessary accessories to your roofing system.