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Copper Roofing – What You Should Know

Copper Roofing – What You Should Know

If you live in an area with many historic or older buildings, you may find that several of them are making use of copper roofing. What you may be surprised to hear is that those roofs may be hundreds of years old – and that they can probably last another hundred more before needing to be replaced.

The Longest Lasting Roofs

Copper roofs are amongst the longest lasting known to man. It is not uncommon for a copper roof – also known as a penny-metal lid – to last for hundreds of years. With the average asphalt roof lasting only around 20 years or so, this can sound almost too good to be true.

Difficult and Expensive to Obtain

So if copper roofing lasts so long, why doesn’t everyone use it? The answer is in the availability. Copper is in high demand and the cost is at an all time high with jumps of 20 to 30% in pricing every few years. It’s also difficult to obtain quantities large enough to cover a roof, so if you wanted to get a roof made of copper you would be paying two to three times what it would cost to get another roof – somewhere in the neighborhood of about $15 a square foot.

Advantages to Using Copper

If you can swing the cost, copper has quite a few advantages to offer homeowners in addition to the fact that it will probably outlast your home. They don’t burn and they are actually extremely lightweight. They are available in a wide range of tiles, as well as in sheets so you can customize the style and appearance of your home.

Copper is said to have what is called a living finish, which means that the color of your roof will change over time to reflect its environment. So while your roof will start out bright and shiny, it will eventually deepen and darken in color and possibly also verdigris or oxidize to a blue green depending on the conditions of where you live.

Copper is also virtually maintenance free, so getting a copper roof means that you can pretty much ignore that whole area of your home for as long as you own it.

Disadvantages to Using Copper

The biggest drawback to using copper is the expense and the fact that it can be difficult to find large enough quantities to cover large roofs. Because not a lot of people opt for copper nowadays, it can be equally difficult to find roofers who can work with it. Usually artisans who make the tiles also install them, although it is possible to find roofers who do have experience with copper and who can install it in a variety of different ways. Getting a roofer who can work with it can also add to the expense of the roof, because their services are often at a premium.

And while many people feel that a living finish is an advantage to getting a copper roof, it isn’t for everyone. Copper doesn’t oxidize evenly, so for the first several years your roof may appear streaky and uneven in color, which can detract from the curb appeal for some homeowners.

Consider Copper

With its exceptional durability and longevity, copper is the material to use if you want a roof you can hand down to your descendents. Combined with its unique beauty and coloring, copper is one roofing material that is well worth its cost.


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We were very impressed with Dave Will who responded quickly to our roof leak and did a thorough repair job. You are fortunate to have him on your team. Thumbs up with the work! 🙂

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