copper roof

Pros and Cons of Copper Roofs

One of the most attractive metal roofing options, copper is increasingly popular among residential and commercial property owners. The beautiful sheen of new copper settles into an attractive blue-green patina over time. Both colors can complement a structure by giving it a unique, classic appearance. But the benefits don’t stop there. Read on to learn the advantages and disadvantages of this durable roofing option.

The Advantages

Copper has several traits that make it a desirable roofing option, including:

It’s Recyclable

A fully sustainable material, copper is one of the most commonly recycled substances on earth. The characteristic translates to slow exploitation of existing reserves. That ultimately means less waste and less damage to the environment.

Despite its use in a variety of industries, natural copper reserves remain incredibly full. Only around 10% of the planet’s copper reserves have been mined to date. About three-quarters of all copper ever mined is still in use today thanks to its high recycling rate. For homeowners who are concerned about sustainability and the natural environment, copper is an excellent roofing option.

It’s Durable

A highly durable material, copper roofing has been known to last hundreds of years. This makes it one of the most durable options in the entire industry. Very few roofing materials can compare to copper in terms of endurance and longevity. Once installed, copper roofing will almost always last a lifetime and well beyond.

Many other roofing materials have shorter life spans, which lead to ongoing maintenance and replacement costs. Not so with copper roofing. Many historic structures have copper roofs dating back well over 100 years.

It Resists Corrosion

Whatever the weather, whatever your region, copper enjoys a very high resistance to corrosion. Many other roofing materials often experience underside corrosion. Copper, on the other hand, has an innate ability to protect itself. Over time, the metal undergoes a chemical process commonly called patination. This causes the roofing’s copper oxide film to change color from reddish-brown to an attractive pale green color.

The patina allows copper roofing to withstand corrosion in any type of weather. This adds to the impressive durability of the roofing material. Unlike various types of steel roofing, copper will never corrode or rust. It will also never require any re-painting or additional coating throughout its lifetime.

copper roof panels

It’s Eco-Friendly

Increasing concerns about climate change have made some homeowners leery about certain types of roofing products. This is yet another selling point of copper roofing, which emits minimal amounts of carbon dioxide compared to other roofing materials. If you decide to install a copper roof, you will be reducing your carbon footprint while making a favorable impact on the overall ecological balance by promoting a healthier atmosphere and natural environment.

It’s Energy-Efficient.

Copper absorbs and radiates less heat compared to many other roofing materials. Its reflective properties allow the metal to deflect sunlight, keeping homes cooler during the summer months This translates to more affordable gas and electric bills. Reduced energy consumption also minimizes environmental impact.

The Drawbacks

As with any roofing material, copper isn’t perfect. Among the chief drawbacks include:

It’s Costly

Copper is one of the priciest materials used to roof commercial or residential structures. While it offers many major benefits, you won’t find it available at discount rates.

It Can Be Noisy

Many people complain that copper roofing can amplify weather noise. While this can be true, copper does tend to be softer than most metal roofs. This makes them less likely to generate clanging noises during rainstorms. If you choose the right roofer, you can be sure that your modern metal roofing system will be installed over underlayments and substrates which will help deaden sound.

It Reacts to Temperature Changes

Copper roofing tends to contract and expand in response to cold and hot weather. This is a drawback because it can cause fasteners to become loose over time, resulting in ongoing maintenance and repairs. With that said, an experienced roofing contractor can take steps during the installation process to prevent or minimize this effect. This is why it’s so important to work with a reputable roofer with years of experience installing many different types of roofing materials.

The Bottom Line

Copper roofing is durable, light and offers unsurpassed beauty. For homeowners living in areas prone to severe weather, it holds up great to rain, sleet and snow. That said, it does have some drawbacks that might make it a less than ideal choice for certain homeowners and businesses.

If you’re weighing the pros and cons of a copper roof, the experts at A to Z Roofing can help you make an informed decision. For decades, A to Z Roofing has specialized in residential roofing, restoration and repair. A locally owned Colorado business, we’ve operated continuously throughout the Denver metro area and the entire Front Range for nearly a quarter of a century. During this time, we’ve served the needs of homeowners and local businesses, providing expert service using top-quality products. Contact our team of attentive professionals to learn how we can restore, repair or replace your damaged or aging roof.

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