Flashing set to dazzle market

Roof flashing is often overlooked as an important building component. You might say it’s the Howard Hughes of the roof construction industry – inconspicuous and remote, but worth its weight in gold!

Flashing, or the moulded cladding that seals roof joins at dormers, chimneys and wall abutments, is not the type of building material that attracts a lot of attention. However a Sydney company, Combined Roofing Solutions, is seeking to redress the modest image of flashing and promote the benefits of a technical breakthrough in flashing technology and fabrication.

The company’s “Flash-Tite” range, made in Europe, turns the tables on traditional flashing. In the past, sheets of lead or other soft metals have served the purpose of sealing roof joins, sometimes resulting in ineffective weather protection and the discolouration of tiles and metal sheeting. In addition, lead can be a hazardous material to install, and is also a contaminant of run-off water saved for tank storage.

Flash-Tite is a lead-free, adhesive and flexible alternative to standard flashing products, and is available in black, brown, terracotta and grey colours to match most tiles, metal sheets and slate finishes. It consists of an inert plastic coating with an aluminium mesh insert that can be pressed snugly to fit the shape of any roofing configuration. Whereas lead is highly malleable and can suffer from localised stretching – particularly in areas where tiles are subject to shifting during severe weather – Flash-Tite is a more stable and tightly fitting material with greater tensile strength. Once in place, it adds significant toughness to tile joins and reduces the frequency and size of problematic gaps.

Another major advantage of Flash-Tite is the speed of installation. Builders who want to achieve high-quality, fast results will be quick to appreciate the advantages of a product that is non-toxic to handle, lightweight and easily transportable in five-metre rolls weighing just 4.25kgs each. It is estimated that Flash-Tite can be installed 75% faster than conventional flashings.

Different applications demand varying widths of flashing, and Flash-Tite is supplied in rolls that are 0.28m wide – more than adequate for most joins. Furthermore, the material is stable in temperatures from 40 to 100 degrees Celsius, and is therefore suitable for even the most extreme Australian conditions.

This flexibility extends to Flash-Tite’s year-round fitting capabilities. It can be set down in all temperatures regardless of whether a surface is damp or dry. All you need is a pencil, a ruler and some scissors to cut the flashing to size. A roller helps press the material to shape. The result is a permanent (“memorised”) and visually appealing seal that enhances rooflines of all types and ages.

Combined Roofing Solutions has been in operation for 25 years under the co-directorship of Joby Cronkshaw and Mark Goulding. The Sydney company is an exclusive importer of many roofing products including natural slate from China (Fesco Tiles),roof tiles from Europe (Eternit Clay Tiles), and man-made slate from the UK (Cembrit Blunn).

“Two years ago we set out to source a practical replacement for lead in flashing applications,” says Cronkshaw. “We then started setting up distribution in Sydney. In the last six months Flash Tite has been sold successfully through roofing and hardware distributors in Sydney, with product also sent to WA, QLD and VIC to individual customers who have contacted us.

“Local demand has been very high, with repeat orders providing a large natural growth. We are sole importers for Flash-Tite (as with all our products) and would be interested in talking to interstate distributors in all States. Flash-Tite complies with AS/ NZS 2904:1995. For more information, call Combined Roofing Solutions on (02) 9666 1592 or visit www.roofingsolutions.com.au.

Story by John Power