The Pros and Cons of Copper Roofing

Copper roof on a store in Banff township, Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. Taken 7 August 2005.

Long before asphalt shingles became popular, other roofing materials dominated the industry. Dating back to Roman times, copper roofs have graced some of the most distinguished works of architecture around the world.  This metal has many positive qualities that (literally) outshine its competitors, making it a viable option for new and replacement roofs, even today! Before making the switch, though, we’ll highlight the pros and cons to help you decide:


The Pros


One of the most notable advantages to copper is its durability!  If installed properly, roofs made from this material can stand for 50 years or more with the proper maintenance.  Additionally, it’s naturally resistant to many weather-related issues, including those caused by excess moisture, hail, wind, etc.  This sturdiness, though, doesn’t mean it’s bulky. Copper is actually a lightweight metal, which wears less on the architectural integrity of your home.  It doesn’t weigh on the structure as much, leading to fewer problems, especially during heavy snowfalls.

From an aesthetic standpoint, copper roofs are a more attractive option that tends to bring more curb appeal to properties, along with a higher resale value.  It’s one of the rare materials that actually becomes more appealing as it ages, with natural copper forming a greenish patina when exposed to the elements.  However, its color offers more benefits than its appearance.  Many metal roofs, including those constructed from copper, reflect light and redirect heat outside of the home.  For homeowners, this means higher energy efficiency and lower utility costs in the long run.


The Cons


While this list is definitely smaller than the pros, there are some details worth noting before proceeding with a new copper roof.  Its status as a premium material makes it more expensive than other options, like shakes or shingles.  The installation is just as easy, but copper itself costs more to manufacture.

You’ll also want to be more cognizant of noise reduction should you choose this.  As a metal, it doesn’t buffer sound as well, so you may need to insulate your roof with additional plywood, sheathing, or existing shingles as a precaution.  Open architectural styles tend to amplify this problem, so you’ll want to take that into consideration as well.  Depending on the style, a copper roof might also be incongruous with the rest of the décor/color palette.  For example, few mid-century modern homes feature this material, but more traditional or internationally-inspired homes could benefit from the burnished finish.

As we mentioned, copper roofs are extremely durable and weather-resistant, but that doesn’t mean they’re maintenance-free.  Especially when temperatures fluctuate, you’ll want to attend to potential expansions or contractions that could lead to loose fasteners.  This can cause missing patches and/or leaks without timely repairs.


Ultimately, the decision to install a copper roof rests with you.  Consider your home, your budget, and your current roof before proceeding. If you have additional questions/concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced staff!  Not only can they provide accurate quotes, but they can also help you compare copper to our other materials before expertly handling any installation you may require.  Call us today!



Tags: , , , , , ,