Roofing Material: 7 Benefits of Copper Roofs

American homes built in the 18th century have been preserved through multiple renovations. While their exterior and interior has had multiple repairs and replacement, their original copper roofs remain intact. The reason being that properly installed copper roofs by expert roofing contractors are virtually indestructible.

Copper has become a mainstream building material, particularly on the roofs. These roofs aren’t just gorgeous to behold, they are also incredibly practical. As copper unique’s beauty lies in the aging process, a copper roof life expectancy is hundreds of years. Copper has played a role in architecture for thousands of years.

Different Types of Copper Roofs:

Copper roofs are part of every architectural style and building type. Copper roofing material are of the following types;

  • Continuous Copper Roofing:

Continuous copper roofing is a special application generally designed for an exact job. It involves laying out sheets of copper on a roofing substrate. Then, it assembles in one piece without joints or junctions. Although a roof with continuous structure looks elegant, continuous copper roofing costs more than other options.

  • Copper Panels:

Panels are less expensive than continuous sheets. As they are sectional copper sheets that arrive in standard widths, they are hand installed with noticeable seams. Some seams are crimped, in a process called standing seam copper roofing, while other seams are brazed or welded onsite.

  • Copper Roofing Shingles:

These are commonly used because of their relatively low cost. Shingles are hand-applied, much like any other type of shingle roofing product, but you need to be careful in preventing damage to copper’s soft surface. It requires copper fasteners to prevent metallurgical reactions.

Copper Roof Benefits:

Here are the main benefits of copper roofing;

  1. Architectural appeal is a primary benefit. Copper roofs are elegant. There is no other way to complement architectural styles. 
  2. Durability is another benefit as copper is the only roofing material that improves with age. Copper builds up its protective film that works as a barrier or shield against severe weather. A copper roof will withstand all forms of natural abuse. 
  3. Cost-effectiveness is a proven, long-term benefit. Although they have long term cost efficiency due to extremely long service life. Its raw cost fluctuates according to world pricing. Copper last centuries.
  4. Low maintenance is a prime benefit. Copper roofs do not require any maintenance. Some owners choose to occasionally freshen them up.
  5. Fire-proofing is highly important where there is a risk of fires. Copper roofs are excellent insurance against catching fire. It takes a tremendous amount of heat to distort copper, let alone destroy it.
  6. High-value retention is a clear benefit of installing a copper roof. The visual impact alone supports a higher real estate value. Considering the durability, high-end purchasers realize the value of copper.
  7. Natural and recyclable copper roofs will outlast virtually every other building product. There is an extremely high demand for recycled copper.

Why Copper Roofs Change Color?

Copper undergoes a chemical change where it actually coats itself with a preservative. This coat preserves the underlying metal and prevents it from corroding. Atmospheric oxidation is responsible for copper’s color change. Water, light and atmospheric pollutants contribute to a molecular process that builds copper carbonate on the exposed side. 

The aged green color is what people find most attractive about copper roofs. How long does it take for copper to turn green? Roofs location is the main contributor to how to age copper green. All the building locations have different local humidity levels. Humidity and direct water exposure are the factors responsible for color changing.

How Copper Reacts to the Moisture?

Copper changes color much faster in damp and humid climates. Areas with pH less than 5.5 will age copper much faster than alkaline climates. So will areas with heavy industrial pollutants. 

Copper roofs oxidize far faster in marine environments. Salt air is famous for aging copper in a hurry. But once it builds its healthy atmosphere, copper will withstand all types of nature’s abuse. The Statue of Liberty in New York is an excellent example of how copper stands up to weather exposures. It shows less than 0.005 of an inch of wear over a hundred years of being blasted by the sun, wind, rain and much more.


There is no question about copper roofs being expensive. The initial cost of a copper roof is much higher than a standard roof. However, the long-term benefits and payback have no equal. Copper roofs last many human lifetimes, if they are professional installation.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of copper roofing is its elegance and attractiveness. Copper perfectly complements and adds character to any style of building. The striking architectural beauty of copper roofing will not only increase the resale value but will also make it stand amongst others. 

King Builders and Services is a pioneer Chicago roofing service. We have expert contractors to deal with roof replacement and roof maintenance jobs. Contact us for a free consultation on your roofing problems.

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