copper roofing buyers guide homeowners

Copper Roofing – Buyer’s Guide for Homeowners

Copper has been used as a roofing material for thousands of years. Copper is a green building material offering durability, longevity, and sustainability expected in green building, and sustainable development. Copper roofs, when properly installed, can last for as long as 100 years. That is 100 years of a leak free roof service, with little to no maintenance, accompanied by traditional beauty and aesthetics. Copper is also, 100% recyclable and environmentally friendly roofing material. What more could you ask for!? :)

Granted, copper is an expensive alloy, and roofing materials made out of copper are very costly. But, despite the high initial cost of copper, its long lifespan and other benefits can outweigh the initial cost, in the long run. Copper roof is likely to outlast the building itself, which means that there will be no future roof replacements necessary. Copper gets better with age, and so will your roof. As the copper ages, the effects of aging will add the traditional look of patina to your copper roof. Truly, the beauty of a copper roof is ageless.

aged-copper-roof New England is no stranger to copper roofing. First copper roof was installed on the statehouse in Massachusetts by Revere Copper incorporated. In New England, copper roofing is sometimes installed on high-end homes in suburban and rural areas.

Buying Materials for Residential Applications
West Coast

On the West Coast, Zappone manufacturing offers copper roofing shingles for residential roofs. The company sells its products directly to contractors and building owners in the United States.

East Coast

On the East Coast, in the state of Vermont, Paradigm Shingles manufactures and sells residential copper roofing shingles to New England contractors. Both companies offer high quality copper roofing systems for residential uses.


In Canada, Future Roof sells high quality interlocking copper shingles two contractors in United States and Canada.

As you can see, there are quite a few manufacturers and suppliers of fine quality residential copper roofing materials. If you consider a new copper roof for your home, then be sure to request material samples, so you can pick the one you like the most.

Standing Seam Copper Roofing

Revere manufacturing and many other roofing supply warehouses with sheet metal shops on premisses, offer copper sheet roofing panels or pans for residential and commercial applications. Copper sheet roofing panels are generally available in 12 inches wide profiles with the thickness of 16 oz and 20 oz. The 16 oz copper sheet roofing panels are used for residential applications, and light commercial projects where length of the panel is not too long. For longer length panels, a higher thickness copper panels with 20 oz thickness are used. The flashing material is also made out of 20 oz copper sheet.

Where do I get Cooper Roofing Panels from?

Copper roofing sheet is sold by weight, with the thickness measured in ounces (oz) per square foot; 16 oz. cooper sheet is typically used for residential roofing applications, while 20 oz copper sheet is used for commercial applications. Copper sheet for other purposes may be sold by gauge, where the higher the gauge the thinner the material.

The easiest way to get copper roof panels is through your local roofing supply warehouse. I recommend ABC Supply and Beacon Supply. These places feature sheet metal fabrication shops that can custom fabricate copper sheet roofing panels for your building. Of course, you’ll have to provide accurate dimensions of your roof before you can order the panels. Double check your numbers because with copper panels, errors can be costly.

Before installing a copper roof, we need to make sure that the roofing deck is solid and free of waste and objects. There also needs to be a separation barrier that also acts as a water barrier. Most manufacturers specify a minimum of 30 pounds roofing felt. Of course, the bare minimum is not always your best option. A copper roof can last for as long as 100 years. Therefore, I would recommend that you use a roofing felt that can match the durability of copper. – I recommend a breathable roofing felt by Deck armor, which acts as a water barrier and allows your roof deck to breeze. This is essential for waterproofing and water-shedding protection, and helps ensure a long lasting roof deck that will not rot underneath your copper roof. Believe me, this happens to many metal roofs that were poorly planned.

Copper Shingles

Copper shingles installation process is very similar to the installation of steel and aluminum shingles.

Copper pans installation for Standing-seam

1. Fold lower end of each pan under 3/4 inch (19 mm). Slit fold 1-inch (25-mm) away from corner to form tab where pan turns up to make standing seam. Fold upper end of each pan over 2-inches (50 mm). Hook fold on lower end of upper pan into fold on upper end of underlying pan.

2. Apply pans beginning at eaves. Loose lock pans to valley flashing and edge strips at eaves and gable rakes.

3. Finish standing seams one inch (25-mm) 1 ½-inch (38mm) high. Bend up one side edge 1 ½-inch (38-mm) [2-inch (50-mm)] and other 1-3/4 inch (44 mm) [2-1/4 (66mm)]. Make first fold ¼-inch (6-mm) wide single fold and second fold ½-inch (13-mm) wide, providing locked portion of standing seam with 5 plies in thickness. Fold lower ends of seams at eaves over at 45 degree angle. Terminate standing seams at ridge and hips by turning down in tapered fold.

4. Form valleys of sheets not exceeding 10 ‘-0″ (3000-mm) in length. Lap joints 8-nches (200 mm) in direction of drainage. Extend valley sheet minimum 6-inches (150-mm) under roofing sheets. At valley, double fold valley and roofing sheets and secure with cleats spaced 12-inch (300-mm) centers.

Copper cleaning

Most DIY questions relating to copper roofing are about cleaning, repair and maintenance. Cleaning is the most important of the three, because careful periodic cleaning of a copper roof can extend its lifespan by 30% or 40% and, in so doing, negate the need for the other two. Dirt and grime allowed to accumulate on a copper roof will accelerate the rate of deterioration, but so too will harsh, oxidizing cleaning agents. A certain amount of care and research is therefore required when choosing a cleaning agent. Ketchup, vinegar, or a combination of lemon and salt can all be used to clean copper very effectively.

However, a properly looked after copper roof should last for many tens, or even hundreds of years. Copper actually improves with age; the green coating of copper carbonate, or copper chloride, otherwise known as verdigris that builds up on the surface actually protects the underlying metal from further oxidation. Annually sealing a copper roof with polyurethane spray can also prevent air from getting to the copper, and will slow down the rate of oxidation in exposed areas.

1. Remove protective film (if any) from exposed surfaces of copper roofing promptly upon installation. Strip with care to avoid damage to finishes.
2. Upon completion of each area of soldering, carefully remove flux and other residue from surfaces. Neutralize acid flux by washing with baking soda solution, and then flushing clear water rinse. Use special care to neutralize and clean crevices.
3. Clean exposed metal surfaces of substances that would interfere with uniform oxidation and weathering.


Written by Metal Roofing Pro

June 20th, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Posted in Copper,Residential Metal Roofing Ideas

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