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A Comparison Of The Relative Merits Of Aluminum And Copper Roof Flashing

by Sara Cook

Where preventing leaks is concerned, the flashing on your roof is just as important as the shingles. Unfortunately, with the wealth of potential flashing materials now available, many homeowners have a difficult time determining what is right for their roof. If you have plans to upgrade your roofing in the upcoming future, read on. This article will arm you with valuable information about two common types of roof flashing.

Aluminum Flashing

Roofing projects are often fairly expensive endeavors, so it's natural to want to keep the costs as low as possible. Utilizing aluminum flashing is a great way to accomplish this goal. For one thing, the material itself carries a relatively low cost. Still further savings are due to the fact that the installation of aluminum flashing is especially easy. This has to do with the fact that aluminum flashing segments come pre-formed, meaning your roofer won't have to specially form each piece by hand.

Cost isn't the only benefit of aluminum flashing, however. Many homeowners prefer it for its wide range of aesthetic potential. You see, aluminum is very accommodating when it comes to receiving a coat of paint. That means it's easy to integrate aluminum flashing into the color scheme of your house. In addition, a layer of paint helps to beef up the flashing's resistance to corrosion.

It's important to understand that a higher risk of corrosion presents the primary drawback of aluminum flashing. While it won't rust like steel and other metals, it is highly susceptible to corrosion in the presence of alkaline substances. This becomes a problem because the mortars and cements commonly used in chimneys have a large alkaline content.

Copper Flashing

Copper roof flashing has two key benefits: pliability and durability. The former quality means that copper flashing can easily be formed to meet just about any roofing requirement. The latter quality means that, once fitted into place and soldered together, it will offer a trouble-free lifespan of many years.

Copper roof flashing also presents an indirect--but highly advantageous--benefit: preventing algae and moss growth. While relatively harmless, roof algae is capable of marring the appearance of your roof with large black splotches. Moss can hasten roof rot by retaining water. The growth of both these organisms will be stopped in its tracks by the trace quantities of copper sulfate that will flow down your roof each time it rains.

A high price tag is the principal drawback of copper flashing. This is true both of the material cost and the cost of installation. Forming the copper to fit the contours of your roof is a more time-consuming process. Likewise, because copper flashing has to be soldered into place, its installation requires the skills of a highly trained roofer. Contact a company like Slaughter Roofing Co for more details.