Flashing materials will vary greatly based on roofing materials, structure, and climate. Three of the most common flashing materials you’re likely to encounter include:

1. Copper: The most preferred flashing material by far is copper flashing; however, it is the most costly. Nonetheless, copper remains highly durable and is easy to work into a desired shape to endure as a leak-resistant barrier. Copper is a flashing material that is less likely to rip or crack.

2. Aluminum: Aluminum flashing is most often used in DIY jobs since it is the most affordable and easy to work with. Aluminum flashing can be used to protect all roofing materials, with the exception of slate. When used for leak prevention, roofers recommend coating aluminum flashing to prevent corrosion.

3. Stainless Steel: Stainless steel is often seen as a compromise between copper and aluminum; stainless steel is more affordable than copper yet of a higher caliber than aluminum flashing. Stainless steel is easy to form and remains durable throughout its use, making it a popular choice in residential roof structures.

As another alternative, vinyl flashing continues to rise in popularity in today’s market. The main reason is due to the fact that vinyl flashing is easy to work with and will not crease as easily as metal flashing.

When working with one of the metal flashing materials listed above, it is possible to mold your own flashing by bending metal rolls over strips. However, in most cases it is easier to buy preformed flashing to install in a DIY job.

To complement existing roof materials, some of the most common flashing colors include:

  • Brown
  • Black
  • Metal
  • White

The flashing material you choose for your roof structure plays an important role in protecting a roof from leaks and water damage. As a rule of thumb, the lifespan of a flashing material should equal or exceed the lifespan of roofing materials used for installation.