There are many different roofing types on the market, including traditional forms, such as asphalt shingles. Copper and aluminum, too, are historically popular materials. Mountaintop Metal Roofing offers both options. For the purposes of this piece, we’ll examine the question: is copper for roofing a good idea?
Copper roof coverings have been around for a long time. In fact, it dates to large-scale use as early as the 19th century. When copper sheets began being produced in the 20th century, installing copper roofing materials became more popular — especially for larger commercial buildings.
Is Copper for Roofing a Good Idea?
There are a lot of reasons why copper is used for roofing. The longevity of the material is one of a kind; it can last 70 years to 100 years. In fact, some copper roofing from the 1800s can still be found on some houses if you spend much time traveling the world. But why does it last so long?
It lasts a long time primarily due to its unique combination of physical and chemical properties, which contribute to its exceptional durability. Copper is highly resistant to corrosion–when exposed to the elements, copper develops a protective layer called a patina. This patina is a naturally occurring oxidation process that forms a stable and impermeable surface.
It acts as a barrier, preventing further corrosion and protecting the underlying copper from weather-related damage. Copper has a low reactivity to chemicals and environmental factors. It is not easily affected by acid rain, pollutants, or other corrosive substances that can deteriorate some other roofing materials.
Maintenance for copper roofing is relatively easy, too. Unlike asphalt shingles or cedar shake shingles, copper repels natural invaders like moss, fungi, and pests that might otherwise look for ways to burrow into the material. Copper releases copper ions, which halt the growth of the green, white, and black coverings that are so common on other roofs.
In most cases, rain or even occasionally hosing off a copper roof will take care of the maintenance of your roof. And, because they can stand up to moist environmental damage (hail, sleet, ice, etc.), there is very little repair needed for the roof. Of course, if a tree falls on your roof, no roofing material will be able to stand up to that!
Copper is a recyclable material, too, making it an environmentally friendly option for your roofing. The long lifespan means you won’t be replacing the roof two or three times during ownership, reducing the need for frequent replacements and fewer trips to the dump. Copper can also help regulate a building’s temperature, reflecting heat in hot climates and retaining warmth in cold weather.
It is also lightweight, water-resistant, and fire-resistant, making it a popular option for both residential and commercial buildings. This is one of those true “set it and forget it” products available for your home. And did we mention how great it looks, its beauty increasing the older it gets?
Is Copper for Roofing a Good Idea? Only if it’s Installed Correctly
Just like with any roofing material, a copper roof is only as good as its installation. To make sure you get all the benefits of copper roofing–including protecting your home from the elements–it’s essential to use experienced and qualified roofing professionals who are knowledgeable about copper roofing systems.
Their expertise in the installation process, attention to detail, and adherence to industry best practices will help you maximize the performance and longevity of your copper roof. Copper roof installation differs from many other roofing installations because of the way it reacts to heat and cold during the changing seasons.
Copper is a metal that expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations. If not installed correctly with expansion joints and other appropriate measures, this thermal movement can lead to structural problems, loosening fasteners, warping, or even damage to the roofing material itself.
Proper ventilation is also needed to prevent moisture buildup in the roofing system, which can lead to corrosion and damage over time. A poorly installed copper roof (or asphalt, composite, slate, and so on) will allow water to slip under the roofing and possibly into your home. This can lead to mold growth and structural damage, neither of which is very cheap to deal with.
Our team at Mountaintop Metal Roofing specializes in copper roofing installations–are you ready to learn more about copper roofing to find out if copper for roofing is right for you and your home? We can discuss the properties of sheet metal, standing seams, and other types of roofing systems. Contact us today to learn more.