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Copper Metal Roofs: Pros, Cons, Costs & More

Posted on October 18, 2023

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Copper Metal Roofs: Pros, Cons, Costs & More

Do you want to install a copper metal roof on your home or commercial building? Copper is one of the most durable and long lasting roofing materials, and it has been used since ancient times. If you are thinking of installing a copper roof, keep in mind the initial investment is worth the long term benefits. Read this blog post for more extensive information about copper metal roofing and what you can expect if you choose to install it. 

An Introduction to Copper Metal Roofs

Copper has been used as a roofing material for centuries due to its exceptional durability and aesthetic appeal. It is a natural metal that is highly resistant to corrosion, making it an ideal choice for withstanding the elements. 

Copper roofs not only provide long lasting protection but also add a touch of elegance to any home or building. With their ability to develop a unique patina over time, copper roofs offer a timeless beauty that can enhance the overall curb appeal of a property. 

Copper roofs are often seen on historical buildings, upscale residences, and commercial structures, adding a touch of elegance and sophistication to any architectural design.

Popular Copper Metal Roof Styles

Copper metal roofs can be fabricated into various styles to suit different structural designs. Some popular copper roofing styles include:

1. Standing Seam

copper metal roof

Standing seam copper metal roofing panels feature raised seams that create a sleek, modern look. This style offers excellent water resistance and is often chosen for contemporary homes and commercial buildings.

2. Copper Shingles

copper metal roof

Copper shingles provide a classic, timeless appearance. They can be designed to mimic traditional asphalt shingles or create a unique pattern. Copper shingles add depth and texture to a roof, enhancing its overall aesthetic appeal.

3. Diamond Shingles

copper metal roof

Diamond shingles are a popular choice for homeowners looking to add a touch of elegance to their roofs. The diamond-shaped material creates a visually striking pattern that stands out. This style is often used on historical or upscale properties.

4. Custom Designs

Copper roofs can also be customized to create unique patterns and designs. From intricate motifs to custom shapes, copper offers endless possibilities for creating a truly one of a kind roof.

The Pros of Copper Metal Roofing Systems

Copper metal roofs offer a range of advantages that make them a popular choice among homeowners. Here are some of the key benefits of choosing a copper roof:

1. Durability

Copper is renowned for its exceptional durability, making it one of the longest-lasting roofing materials available. Unlike other metals, copper does not rust or corrode, ensuring that your roof will remain intact for decades. In fact, copper roofs can last up to 100 years or more, providing long term protection and peace of mind.

2. Aesthetic Appeal

One of the main attractions of copper roofs is their undeniable beauty. The natural golden hue of copper adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any home. Over time, copper roofs develop a unique patina, which changes the color to a beautiful greenish tone. This patina adds to the character and charm of the roof, making it the standout feature.

3. Environmentally Friendly

Copper is a highly sustainable and eco-friendly roofing material. It is 100% recyclable, which means that old copper roofs can be recycled rather than ending up in landfills. Additionally, copper roofs require minimal maintenance and do not contribute to harmful emissions, making them a greener choice for environmentally conscious homeowners.

4. Energy Efficiency

Copper roofs have excellent thermal properties, helping to regulate the temperature inside your home. The reflective nature of copper allows it to deflect sunlight, reducing heat absorption and keeping the interior cooler during hot summer months. This energy efficiency can lead to lower cooling costs and increased comfort for homeowners.

5. Long Term Cost Savings

While copper roofs may have a higher upfront cost compared to other roofing materials, their long lifespan and minimal maintenance requirements can result in significant savings over time. With proper installation and maintenance, a copper roof can last a lifetime, eliminating the need for frequent repairs or replacements.

The Cons of Copper Metal Roofs

While copper metal roofs offer numerous advantages, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Here are a few potential drawbacks of choosing a copper roof:

1. High Initial Cost

Copper metal roofs are known for their premium price tag. They are significantly more expensive than other roofing materials, which can make them a less accessible option for some homeowners. However, it’s important to consider the long term value and durability of copper roofs, which outweigh the initial investment.

2. Noise During Rainfall

One common misconception about copper roofs is that they are noisy during rainstorms. However, this is not entirely accurate. While metal roofs can amplify noise to some extent, copper is a softer metal that generates less noise. Additionally, modern metal roofing systems are typically installed with underlayment and substrates that help deaden sound, minimizing any potential noise issues.

3. Expansion and Contraction

Copper has a natural tendency to expand and contract with temperature changes. This can lead to the fasteners becoming loose, requiring periodic inspections and maintenance. However, proper design and installation techniques, along with hiring experienced professionals, can mitigate these effects and ensure the stability of the roof.

Comparing Copper and Zinc Roofs

Zinc is another popular metal roofing material that shares some similarities with copper. Let’s explore how copper and zinc roofs compare in terms of durability, aesthetic appeal, and cost:

1. Durability

Both copper and zinc roofs are highly durable and can last for several decades. However, copper is known to have a longer lifespan, with some roofs lasting over 100 years. Zinc roofs typically have a lifespan of 60-100 years, making them a durable choice as well.

2. Aesthetic Appeal

Copper and zinc offer distinct aesthetic qualities. Copper roofs develop a beautiful patina that changes over time, while zinc roofs have a more uniform appearance. The choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference and the desired aesthetic for the property.

3. Cost

Copper roofs are generally more expensive than zinc roofs. The price difference can be significant, with copper costing almost double the price of zinc. However, it’s important to consider the long term value and durability of copper roofs when comparing costs.

The Cost of Copper Roofs

Copper metal roofs come with a premium price tag due to the cost of materials and the expertise required for installation. The exact cost of a copper roof can vary depending on factors such as roof size, complexity, location, and the chosen roofing contractor. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $20 to $30 per square foot for a professionally installed copper roof. Keep in mind that these costs can increase for larger roofs or roofs with complex designs.

The Installation Process of Copper Metal Roofs

Installing a copper metal roof requires the skills and expertise of experienced roofing professionals. The process typically involves the following steps:

1. Roof Inspection and Measurements

A thorough inspection of the existing roof is conducted to assess its condition and determine if any repairs or modifications are needed before the installation of the copper roof. Accurate measurements are taken to ensure proper fit and minimize waste.

2. Roof Preparation

The existing roof may need to be stripped of old materials and prepared for the installation of the copper roof. This may involve the removal of old shingles or other roofing components.

3. Underlayment Installation

A high quality underlayment is installed to provide an additional layer of protection against moisture and to enhance the roof’s overall durability.

4. Copper Roof Installation

Copper shingles or panels are carefully installed, ensuring proper alignment and fastening. The installation process may involve soldering, or other specialized techniques to create a watertight seal.

5. Finishing Touches and Cleanup

Once the copper roof is installed, any necessary finishing touches are completed, such as flashing installation and gutter attachment. The work area is thoroughly cleaned to remove any debris or materials.

Maintaining and Cleaning Copper Metal Roofs

Copper metal roofs require minimal maintenance to retain their beauty and functionality. Here are some tips for maintaining and cleaning your copper roof:

1. Regular Inspections

Perform regular inspections of your copper roof to identify any signs of damage or wear. Look for loose or damaged panels, cracked seams, or any areas that may require attention.

2. Clearing Debris

Regularly remove leaves, branches, and other debris from your roof to prevent clogs and potential water damage. Use caution to avoid scratching or damaging the copper surface.

3. Gutter Maintenance

Keep your gutters clean and free from debris to ensure proper water drainage. Clogged gutters can lead to water buildup, which can damage your roof and compromise its integrity.

4. Cleaning

Occasionally, you may need to clean your copper roof to maintain its appearance. Use a mild detergent and a soft brush or cloth to gently remove any dirt or stains. Avoid abrasive materials that can scratch the copper surface.

Faux Copper Metal Roofs

For homeowners who desire the look of a copper roof but have budget constraints, faux copper metal roofs offer a cost effective alternative. Faux copper roofs are typically made from steel or aluminum and are coated with a copper colored finish. These roofs mimic the appearance of real copper but are available at a fraction of the cost. Faux copper roofs provide a similar aesthetic appeal, making them a popular choice for those seeking an affordable yet durable alternative.

Choose The Best Metal Roofing Contractor In Tulsa, OK

If you want to install a metal roof on your home or commercial building in Tulsa, OK, consult a skilled and professional metal roof installer. A. Fricker Roofing & Waterproofing in Tulsa has gained a reputation in the area for our credibility and professional roofing services. The roofers at our company are proficient at completing any type of roofing project, including metal roof installation, replacement, and repair. Contact us today at (918) 402-7167 to consult with one of our roofing professionals.