What is a Copper Roof?
When it comes to metal roofing, copper is top-of-the-line. It’s durability and aesthetic appeal is unmatched. A natural metal product, copper is neither coated nor painted because it weathers without corroding. Copper roofs are installed unfinished and acquire a protective green patina with age. The most famous example of this is the Statue of Liberty, which is primarily made of copper, but has patinaed over the years because of its exposure to the elements.
Because copper can be cost prohibitive, it is sometimes reserved for special features, such as the roof of a prominent window. Whether you install copper roofing on your entire roof, or just a portion, it’s appearance will compliment any style of building from traditional to modern. Additionally, the malleability of copper makes it an easy material to form over irregular roof structures like domes.
Popular among homeowners for its striking beauty and durability, copper roofing is also one of the most effective means of protecting your home from the elements. Resistant to cracking, shrinking and eroding, copper roofing systems can also withstand extreme weather conditions including heavy snow, hail, and wildfires.
Cost of Copper Roofs
When properly designed and installed, a copper roof provides an economical, long-term roofing solution. Its low life cycle costs are attributable to the low maintenance, long life, and salvage value of copper. In recent years, new tools and installation methods have been introduced that aid in the quick, proper, and economical installation of copper roofs. Any higher initial costs–plan for 2-3 times more expensive than traditional metal roofing– for copper roofing are typically offset by low-to-no maintenance costs over the life of your home.
Additionally, investing in copper roofing will increase the resale value of your home. Across the country, homeowners who invest in metal roofing get an average ROI of 85.9%. Metal roofing can also lower your insurance rates because of its fire resistance, especially in states like Texas and California that are vulnerable to wildfires.
You can significantly decrease the environmental impact of your home by investing in a copper roof. Lasting a century or more, copper roofs do not have to be replaced. Traditional roofing products contribute an estimated 20 billion pounds of waste to U.S. landfills on an annual basis. Investing in a copper roof eliminates the need to ever demolish or purchase other roofing materials that would just end up in a landfill. Throughout its life cycle–from extraction to recycling–copper has minimal impact on energy consumption and natural resources. Additionally, copper’s benefits do not end once construction is completed. Copper is completely recyclable, so even after demolition it can be used again in its entirety with no decrease in the characteristics that make it such a desirable material.
Maintenance of Copper Roofs
Unlike many other metal roofing materials, copper requires no painting or finishing. Copper roofs have the potential to expand and contract during weather changes which can cause the fasteners to become loose and require repair but this isn’t a major concern and is an easy fix even when it comes up.
Common Concerns with Copper Roofs
If you are unfamiliar with metal roofing, you may have concerns about the potential for noise from rain and wind. Proper attic insulation, which is a best practice no matter what type of roof you have, will keep your home quiet, even during storms. Additionally, copper roofing will not increase your likelihood of a lightning strike. While copper does conduct electricity, electricity is not drawn to it. In fact, because copper roofing is fire resistant, if your home is struck by lightening, your risk of fire is actually decreased, so your copper roof just might keep you safer, too.