What is the Difference Between Wall Copings and Metal Flashing?

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Peter Overton
WRITTEN BY
PETER OVERTON

Accompanied by over 30 years of experience within the external construction sector, my skill set extends to many areas.

Both aluminium copings and flashing are there to help stop water from penetrating the wall, but what’s the difference? In this article, we go over the key differences between aluminium wall copings and metal flashing so that you know exactly what you need for your project. 

So, what is the difference between copings and flashing? Whilst both copings and flashing help to prevent water damage, the key difference is that copings are used to finish the top of walls in an aesthetically pleasing way, whereas flashing is purely functional, directing water away from windows and doors. 

Read on to learn more about the differences between aluminium wall copings and metal flashing.

What is a Wall Coping?

What is Metal Flashing?

What is the Difference Between Wall Copings and Metal Flashing?

When are Wall Copings and Metal Flashing Used?

What is a Wall Coping?

Wall copings are used to finish the tops of parapets and freestanding walls in order to prevent water from penetrating the building below. Copings are usually projected out by a small amount to encourage water away from the building. 

All walls need copings to direct water away, but they are particularly important for brick walls and brick parapets. 

Wall Copings come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colours, and materials to suit your project. Many companies also offer bespoke wall copings to fit your exact requirements. 

What is Metal Flashing?

Metal flashing is a thin sheet of shaped metal primarily used to maintain a watertight roof. The flashing encourages water to drain away from the building. Without it, rainwater would run down the wall, which runs the risk of penetrating and damaging the building. 

Types of Flashing

There are different types of flashing with different purposes:

  • Drip Edges: Often installed along the eaves of the roof, encouraging water to drip off the roof without damaging the building.
  • Continuous Flashing: Also known as Apron Flashing. Installation of one continuous strip of flashing to protect joints between a vertical wall and a sloped roof.
  • Step Flashing: A rectangular piece of flashing bent at 90 degrees in the centre, used for roof to wall flashing.
  • Valley Flashing: A W-shaped piece of metal flashing, usually placed on top of the roofing in areas where two valleys of a roof plain join. 
  • Vent Pipe Flashing: A cone-shaped flashing installed into the shingles to cover the pipes. 

What is the Difference Between Wall Copings and Metal Flashing?

Metal flashing and wall copings are completely different products, used in different places of the wall, however, both help to deter water from penetrating. Because of this, some may question what their differences are. 

Wall Copings Finish Walls

Whilst aluminium wall copings help to decrease water penetration, that is not their sole purpose. They are used to help water drain from the top of flat walls so that it doesn’t soak into the porous brick or damage mortar. However, wall copings are also used to finish the top of walls in an aesthetically pleasing way. 

At Kladworx, we recommend aluminium wall copings due to their durability, but wall copings are available in a range of materials to suit different projects. 

Metal Flashings Decrease Water Penetration

The sole purpose of metal flashing is to decrease water penetration around walls, eaves, windows and doors by encouraging water to drain away from the wall. They are not used for aesthetic purposes, although they can be made into bespoke profiles to suit individual projects. 

When are Wall Copings and Metal Flashing Used?

Wall copings are used when you want to finish the tops of parapets and freestanding walls in an aesthetically pleasing way, whilst still protecting it from water damage. 

Flashing, a separate product, is used in the same way as copings to direct water away from the roof or walls. Flashing creates a lip extending off the building for water to cling to and fall off, rather than run down the building. 

Wall Copings and Metal Flashings at Kladworx

Kladworx offers a range of aluminium wall copings and metal flashings in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colours to suit your project. Check out the range on our website, or get in touch with us to discuss your project and requirements. We’d love to see how we could help you and your project.

Need help with your external construction project?

We are suppliers of some of the most bespoke aluminium and uPVC systems on the market. With over 30 years of experience within the external construction sector, it leaves us well placed to offer our advice on the many different systems on the market

See some of our recent work, or get in touch with us today for a free, no obligation quote.

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