‘Brake Metal’ refers to thin sheets of sheet which a bent or ‘broken’ into the proper shapes to fit, contour, and flash around a structures vulnerable materials, i.e. wood, joints, dissimilar materials etc. ALuminum is one of the most commonly used materials in brake metal construction, however stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, etc can be used as well. A brake machine is a mechanical unit which conveniently bends sheet metal to the appropriate profile section needed to wrap or flash a building element. There are constraints to the degree and number of bends that can be completed with many brake metal machines, though more modern machines have become much more capable in terms of making complex breaks.
Many building exterior components, especially those that are wood framed, require flashing with brake metal. Aluminum brake metal is commonly used for roof flashing, especially in residential and light commercial construction to conceal a pressure treated fascia board, protect it from excessive moisture, and to provide a clean/appealing look. One prime example of this treatment is flashing a roofs eave and rake board or fascia piece.
Aluminum fascia may be smooth or with continuous horizontal ridges. It will typically slide underneath the roofs drip edge and tuck past the back underside of the fascia board.
Soffit panels, if utilized underneath, will tuck underneath the fascia wrap at this location. Fascia metal wrap should be overlapped at each corner a minimum of 2″. Pre-broken fascia trims can be had at custom lengths (commonly +/- 12′) or they can be cold formed/bent in the field with stock material to suit proper lengths and widths and to reduce joints. Aluminum fascia wrap material is commonly +/- 0.0175″ thick but can be thicker if higher durability or strength is desired. It can come in many different colors either baked on, powder coated on, or simply shop or field painted.
Brake metal is utilized in flashing numerous other situations like trimming out windows, doors, openings, joints, dissimilar metals etc.