Copper And Aluminum Roof Flashing Compared

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Many homeowners make the elementary mistake of assuming that the shingles are the only protective element on a roof. The fact is that roof flashing is equally important when it comes to keeping water damage and leaks at bay. Installed around plumbing vents and other through-roof features, flashing acts to protect vulnerable gaps in the surface of your roof. If you would like to learn more about two of the most common varieties of flashing, read on. This article will discuss the pros and cons of aluminum and copper flashing.


At first glance, the most appealing feature of aluminum flashing is its low price point. This is especially helpful given the already expensive cost of most roofing projects. The cost of aluminum as a material is quite low and its relative ease of installation helps to keep labor costs equally low. This is the direct result of the fact that aluminum flashing comes in the form of pre-shaped parts, thus saving your roofing contractor from the time-intensive task of forming each piece of flashing themselves.

Aluminum flashing also presents a desirable option in terms of its aesthetic potential. This is tied to the fact that aluminum is well suited to receiving paint. As a result, it is very easy to incorporate aluminum roofing flashing into your home's overall color scheme and visual aesthetic. Such a layer of paint has the added benefit of increasing the flashing's resistance to wear and corrosion.

This is where aluminum's main drawback must come into account. Aluminum is especially vulnerable. Many people are surprised to learn this, since they appreciate the fact that aluminum does not rust like steel. Yet when exposed to alkaline substances—like those contained in the mortar used to hold a chimney's bricks together—aluminum will begin to corrode at a fairly rapid pace.


Because of aluminum's vulnerability, many homeowners elect to pay a bit more to have copper flashing installed instead. Copper flashing bears both a higher material cost and a more labor intensive installation. That said, its durability is second to none. It is also highly pliable, which means, unlike relatively rigid aluminum, it can be molded in such a way as to closely conform to the shape of the chimney, vent, or other roofing feature it is meant to protect.

Copper flashing also does double duty in preventing discoloration due to moss and algae growth. This not only helps to keep your roof looking fresh and new, but it also prevents such life forms from absorbing and retaining water—a problem that tends to accelerate the process of rot and degradation. 

For more information, contact local professionals like Todd Harkleroad Roofing Inc.