Publications by New England Metal Roof

Copper Roofing Tips for the Homeowners

If you mention metal roofing, most people will think of corrugated iron that became ubiquitous as a roofing material following its invention in the early 19th century. The problem with corrugated iron, which actually became corrugated mild steel as early as the late 19th century, although the common name never changed, is that it inevitably rusts and starts to degrade after just a few years, even if galvanized. By contrast, today`s sophisticated metal roofing products are tough, durable and with proper care and maintenance can easily last 50 years or more. Copper is also, of course, 100% recyclable and environmentally friendly roofing material.

standing-seam-copper-roofThese facts have been reflected by a dramatic increase in the popularity of metal roofing products in the past 20 years, or so. Longevity is just one benefit of modern metal roofing products. Metals such as aluminum, steel, copper and alloys are surprisingly lightweight and are quick and easy to install. Indeed, although more expensive than some other materials, copper has been used as a roof for hundreds of years. Copper roofing sheet is sold by weight, with the thickness measured in ounces (oz) per square foot; 16 oz cooper sheet is typically used for residential roofing applications, while 20 oz copper sheet is used for commercial applications. Copper sheet for other purposes may be sold by gauge, where the higher the gauge the thinner the material.

The Copper Roof

Most DIY questions relating to copper roofing are about cleaning, repair and maintenance. Cleaning is the most important of the three, because careful periodic cleaning of a copper roof can extend its lifespan by 30% or 40% and, in so doing, negate the need for the other two. Dirt and grime allowed to accumulate on a copper roof will accelerate the rate of deterioration, but so too will harsh, oxidizing cleaning agents. A certain amount of care and research is therefore required when choosing a cleaning agent. Ketchup, vinegar or a combination of lemon and salt can all be used to clean copper very effectively.

Properly looked after, however, a copper roof should last for many tens, or even hundreds of years. Copper actually improves with age; the green coating of copper carbonate, or copper chloride, otherwise known as verdigris, that builds up on the surface actually protects the underlying metal from further oxidation. Sealing a copper roof with polyurethane spray, annually, can also prevent air from getting to the copper and slow down the rate of oxidation in exposed areas.

copper-roof-on-Victorian-houseConsider, a new copper roof, as a metal roofing alternative for your re-roofing project. Although, copper is rather pricey, its initial cost of investment can be justified by improved aesthetics of your home, and a sharp looking new copper roof, which will provide ageless beauty and protection. Copper roof, would probably be a good option to define the beauty of your home, in rural area. Talk to your builder, and architect to see if copper roof, can be a good option for your home.

8 thoughts on “Copper Roofing Tips for the Homeowners

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  5. Roofing Wizard Post author

    Copper roofing materials run about $11 per square foot. With Installation and warranty you are looking at $16 to $19 per square foot of copper roofing.

  6. Scott

    Do copper roofs retain solar heat and make the structure any hotter if there is no venting?

  7. Roofing Wizard Post author

    Hello Scott,

    Any slopped roof will transfer heat into the attic, and inside the building. Venting is absolutely necessary no matter what type of roofing system is being installed.


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