3 Types Of Flashing To Choose From For Your Residential Roof

When you're getting a new roof put on, the roofing contractor might use your old flashing if it's still in good shape, or they might put new flashing on. Flashing is an important part of residential roofing because it keeps rain from rolling down a pipe or your chimney and getting in your attic.

You might want a say in the type of flashing the contractor uses if you're particular about the appearance of your home. Common choices in flashing include copper, aluminum, and steel. Here's a look at the three types of metal used for flashing on residential roofing and how they compare.

1. Copper Flashing

Copper flashing is an attractive option, especially if you have copper gutters and you want to extend the look of copper on your roof. Flashing is usually applied in valleys, around the chimney, and around vents, skylights, and other protrusions through the roof.

If the flashing on your roof can be seen from the street, you might want copper due to its appearance. Keep in mind the copper will develop a patina over the years and change from a bright copper color to green. Even if you don't care about appearances, you might still want copper flashing due to its durability and long life.

2. Aluminum Flashing

Roofing contractors often make flashing on the spot from sheet metal. Aluminum is one of the easier metals to work with since it is lightweight. Aluminum also lasts a long time, and you don't have to worry about rust. However, aluminum can corrode under the right circumstances.

Your roofing contractor might recommend another type of metal for chimney flashing since the reaction between aluminum and mortar can cause aluminum to corrode and wear out too fast.

3. Steel Flashing

Steel flashing is a popular choice. Your roofer might use stainless steel or galvanized steel. Galvanized steel is a good option since it's treated to resist rust. Steel flashing comes in different thicknesses, and your local residential roofing codes might stipulate the thickness of the flashing you have to use.

If you have a choice in flashing for your new roof, talk to your roofing contractor about the best metal to choose, or if you can save money and use the flashing your roof already has.

Flashing is a common reason for roof leaks, so proper installation of flashing is essential. Regular checks of the flashing throughout the life of your roof are important too so the flashing can be repaired or replaced when it's damaged or wearing out due to age.