Copper Roofing: Benefits, Cost, and Installation Guide

Done browsing through Pinterest for ideas on how to spruce up your home’s exterior, but feel like you’re unsatisfied with the mundane or overused solutions? Look no further than copper roofing – an aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective, and relatively simple way to give your residential property a timeless and elegant style. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the benefits, cost, and installation guide for copper roofing. So, whether you’re a weekend warrior looking to do the job yourself or a homeowner hoping to find the most reliable roofer in your area, this post has you covered. Let’s jump right in and explore the benefits of copper roofing to find out if it’s the right choice for you!

Copper roofing is attractive, durable, and low-maintenance. It also has antimicrobial properties which can help protect against mildew and other types of damage.

The Benefits of Copper Roofs

Copper roofs offer several benefits that make them ideal for various structures. As one of the oldest materials used in roofing, copper’s unique properties provide long-term durability and can add aesthetic value to a structure. However, due to their cost, copper roofs may not be the best choice for all budgets.

The primary benefit of a copper roof is its longevity. Copper is naturally corrosion and rust-resistant and requires no additional coating or treatments to extend its lifespan. Copper roofs are also considered very lightweight, making them highly durable in stormy conditions such as hail and high winds. With proper maintenance and installation, a copper roof can last more than 100 years with minimal repairs.

Another major benefit of installing a copper roof is its aesthetic appeal. The subtle yet elegant greenish-blue color of weathering copper offers an eye-catching addition to any structure. For many homeowners and businesses, this visual quality provides immediate value to their property. Additionally, copper roofs can enhance the resale value of a home or building since they will not require any significant repairs or replacement during a buyer’s ownership period.

However, there are some drawbacks to installing a copper roof. One major concern is the high initial cost associated with copper roofs compared to many other types of roofing material such as asphalt, slate or ceramic tile. This cost difference often deters some potential buyers from investing in copper roofing despite the additional benefits it may provide over time. Additionally, copper roofing is considered by some architects to be too flashy and ostentatious – while attractive when first installed, it can quickly become outdated or out-of-place on certain buildings due to its distinct hue.

Overall, although costly at the outset, the long-term benefits of a copper roof make it an attractive option for homeowners who plan on staying in their homes for extended periods or those looking to add value to their property for resale purposes.

Having discussed the benefits of choosing a copper roof, let us now look into its durability in our next section: Durability.


The durability of copper roofing is one of its primary benefits. Copper roofs can outlast other types of materials by several decades, as these roofs have a lifespan that ranges from 50 to 70 years in most cases. While some materials such as asphalt shingles can last only 10-20 years, many copper roofs are passed down through generations without needing to be replaced. The long life-span of copper also means that over time the cost per year is lower than with other materials.

Proponents of copper roofs point to its unique properties that make it extremely durable and corrosion resistant, even after many years in a variety of climates and weather conditions. Copper has the potential to remain corrosion free for hundreds of years, which means its resilience and strength can outlast other types of roofing material that may wear down over time.

Critics argue that although copper typically lasts much longer than other roofing materials, it doesn’t always age gracefully when exposed to the elements over time. As copper ages, it will generally experience oxidization and patina which changes its color from shiny and new to green or brown depending on climate conditions. This change in color does not usually affect the structure of the roof, but may simply be a cosmetic concern for some homeowners.

Overall, copper roofing is widely recognized as a durable material that can provide significant value over a long period of time. Now let’s look at the weather resistance associated with copper roofing systems and how they stand up to extreme elements.

Weather Resistance

When considering roofing materials, weather resistance is a major factor. Copper roofing has several advantages in this area, thanks to its properties and construction qualities. Firstly, copper roofing panels are made from an alloy of copper and zinc that helps them to better resist weathering. As the two metals react differently to the elements, the combination provides superior durability against corrosion, fading, and wear-and-tear. Additionally, copper roofing stands up to extreme temperatures better than many other materials, retaining its strength even in hot climates.

However, it’s important to note that copper roofs are generally not recommended for areas with high concentrations of air pollutants or acid rain. These substances can cause oxidation over time, which affects the finish and overall durability of the roof material. Therefore, locations with a high environmental risk should consider alternative materials like fiberglass instead.

Despite this potential drawback, copper roofing is still one of the most reliable materials when it comes to protecting homes from harsh weather conditions such as hail and heavy snow loads. Thanks to its malleability and thermal insulation properties, it does an excellent job of withstanding extreme temperatures and moisture changes for energy efficiency.

Leading into the next section about “Long-lasting”, copper roofing is one material that excels in terms of longevity when installed correctly. This metal has been used on homes for centuries due to its natural ability to last for generations without needing much maintenance or repairs. In the following section we will look at how long you can expect your copper roofing installation to last.


The durability of a copper roof is one of its primary draws. Over the years, copper roofs have been known to last for centuries without requiring any major repairs or replacements. On average, copper roofs can last anywhere between 70 to 100 years, compared to 15 to 20 years for most asphalt shingles. The reason copper roofs are long-lasting is because copper has anti-corrosive properties which slows down the rusting process. Additionally, copper is less vulnerable than other types of metal when it comes to high winds and extreme weather conditions like hail or snowfall.

The downside to copper roofs is that they come with a hefty initial cost. Many homeowners opt for cheaper roofing materials like asphalt shingles due to their affordability. However, while they may be inexpensive upfront, they require frequent repairs and replacements sooner than more durable materials like copper.

Overall, the longevity of a copper roof is worth the higher initial cost due to its low maintenance needs over its lifetime. Although it is more costly upfront, it will likely save you money in the long run when compared with other roofing materials.

In conclusion, the longevity of a copper roof makes it an ideal choice for those looking for a long-term solution for their roof. Now that we’ve discussed the advantages of having a copper roof, let’s move on to looking at the costs associated with installing one.

Essential Summary Points

Copper roofs are a durable and long-term solution for a roof, having anti-corrosive properties that help it to last for upwards of 70 to 100 years without major repairs or replacements. However, due to its high initial cost, many opt for cheaper materials like asphalt shingles that require much more maintenance and frequent repair/replacement. Overall, the longevity of a copper roof is worth the higher upfront cost as it will likely save money in the long run.

The Cost of Copper Roofs

The cost of copper roofs can vary greatly depending on the size and type of roofing installation. A flat-seam copper roof, for instance, costs approximately $15 to $20 per square foot, while standing seam copper roofs can range from $17 to $25 per square foot. While the upfront cost of a copper roof may be more than other metal roofing options such as steel or aluminum, the long-term value provided by metal roofing can make it an attractive option for some homeowners.

The longevity and superior performance inherent in copper rooftops are hard to beat. On average, a copper roof can last over 100 years but is usually backed by a 50-year warranty by most reputable manufacturers and installers, making them a reliable investment over time. Maintenance needs may also be less than other metal roofs due to copper’s natural ability to resist corrosion, damage from hail, and accumulation of dirt or mold. This combination of affordability and performance helps explain why copper roofs are growing increasingly popular compared to other options.

On the other hand, some homeowners may be worried about the higher upfront costs associated with taking on a major home improvement project like installing a new roof. Higher-end rooftop materials such as slate or terracotta shingle can often be even more expensive than copper roofs, so some homeowners may prefer to invest in a material that offers fewer long-term benefits. For these individuals, other affordable metal roofing materials like aluminum might be the better choice if they’re looking to save money upfront or do not plan on living in their home past 15-25 years.

Despite both sides of the debate, investing in a long-lasting and aesthetically appealing rooftop like copper often adds value to an existing property as well as its curb appeal — providing both immediate and long-term benefits. In order to learn more about the pros and cons of using Copper Roofs specifically in your situation you should consult with experienced professionals who will advise you on the right materials for your project. With that said, let’s now explore some of the benefits of investing in a Copper Roof installation for your home.

Pros and Cons of Copper Roofs

Copper roofing has long been a popular choice for its impressive longevity and natural beauty. Copper also offers some additional advantages as well as some potential drawbacks that should be considered before making a decision. This section explores the pros and cons of copper roofs so you can decide if it will be a good fit for your home.

Main benefits of a copper roof include: superior durability; resistence to heat, wind and moisture; and virtually no maintenance due to Copper’s natural patina that forms over time. Copper roofs are also an eco-friendly option since they can be recycled and they last much longer than slates or tiles made from asphalt or fiberglass which must frequently be replaced. On top of this, copper roofs are aesthetically pleasing and are available in various styles, colors, and sizes.

As with any material, there are also some potential drawbacks associated with copper roofs. The main one being cost – copper is certainly one of the more expensive roofing options out there. Additionally, installation requires specialized skill sets as welding is required, making it necessary to hire (and pay for) experienced roofer who knows how to successfully install metal roofing.

Finally, another factor to consider when installing a metal roof is the weight – depending on the type or style of metal roof you select, weight may be an issue – especially with older homes and buildings not prepared to handle heavier materials like standing seam or corrugated metal roofs. In this case it is generally necessary to reinforce the rafters/joists before installing them to ensure adequate support.

Wrapping up our discussion on the pros and cons of copper roofs, it’s clear that while they bring many advantages – they also carry some possible disadvantages that must be carefully weighed before embarking on this particular roofing project. Now we’ll take a closer look at what maintenance requirements come with owning a copper roof within the next section.

Maintenance Requirements

The amount of maintenance required for a copper roof largely depends on its aging process. If the copper remains untreated, oxidation will slowly cause it to darken over time and eventually turn green. This color change creates a particular aesthetic that some may find desirable, while others may feel different. However, most importantly, this coloring can also lead to an increase in the risk of leaks. To prevent damage to your copper roof, regular inspections are recommended every 2-3 years.

During those inspections, repairs should be made to legs, valleys and other areas where the copper is exposed. Additionally, you may wish to inspect the attic area underneath the roof and ensure proper ventilation exists throughout all areas of the structure to prevent moisture-related problems as well.

Moreover, periodic cleaning and washing with water can help preserve your copper roof by removing debris from its surface. Especially if the roof was coated with a clear sealant to help slow down the oxidation process (which is discussed in greater detail in the Cost section below), it’s important to examine for any wear or damage that could point to material fatigue or corrosion.

While these recommendations are standard for any type of roofing material, it is not difficult or expensive to maintain a copper roofing system — provided due diligence is taken during installation and inspection periods along the way. Satisfying these small upkeep steps will help ensure your copper roof stands up against time and weather patterns alike.

In the following section we will discuss alternatives to copper roofs and explore their benefits as well as drawbacks.

Alternatives to Copper Roofs

When deciding on a roofing material, copper may not always be the most suitable choice. Depending on the desired look of your home or building and budget, there are many alternatives to copper roofs that emulate the same aesthetically appealing and durable finish.

One popular alternative to copper roofs is steel with a galvanized, zinc coating. Steel offers similar durability as copper at a more cost-effective price, with only slightly reduced reliability in inclement weather. For those looking for a more budget friendly option that still looks fairly similar to copper, steel could be an ideal choice.

Another application from the same family of metals is aluminum roofing, which comes pre-painted in various colors to replicate more traditional copper shades. Although aluminum does not always have the same durability and longevity as copper, it is a long lasting material that will be resistant against rust and corrosion. This makes aluminum an attractive choice for areas with a lot of humidity or rainfall, although its susceptibility to dents can reduce its overall lifespan in comparison to copper.

Alternatively, if none of these metals are preferred or within budget reach, synthetic materials such as asphalt shingles or tiles offer good aesthetic options while providing years of protection from the elements. Arguably less visually appealing than metal roofing materials such as copper or steel, asphalt shingles remain one of the most common forms of roofing material due to their affordability and ease of installation.

This concludes our discussion about Alternatives to Copper Roofs. Now let’s take a closer look into whether Copper Roofs are Worth the Investment?

Copper Roofs: Worth the Investment?

Copper roofs are renowned for their aesthetics and longevity, but not everyone is convinced these features alone make it worth the expense. When considering whether a copper roof is worth the investment, there are a few primary factors to consider: cost, installation process, and expected lifespan.


The initial cost of copper roofing is staggering; on average, copper roofs can cost up to three times as much as other materials such as asphalt shingle or steel. The cost of labor is also higher than that of other materials because of its complicated installation processes. For those on a budget, copper roofing likely isn’t an option; however, because this material increases the lifespan of your roof significantly, you may see value in the long term investment due to decreased repair/replacement costs over time.

Installation Process

Copper’s malleability makes it difficult to install compared to other materials like asphalt or steel. A professional experienced in copper roofing installations must be chosen to ensure proper technique and prevent any accidental damage. Copper is also heavy so extra reinforcements may be needed for some structures to accommodate this weight. This adds additional costs that must be taken into consideration when deciding the return-on-investment of a copper roof.

Expected Lifespan

When properly installed and maintained, copper roofs can last over 100 years—substantially more than nearly every other type of roofing on the market today. Because of this longevity, you’re unlikely to need repairs or replacements nearly as often as traditional asphalt shingles or steel roofs; plus, expensive tear offs are unlikely which saves money throughout the life of the roof. That said, costly repairs may arise suddenly if the weather conditions deteriorated faster than expected or if unexpected events occurred (e.g., storm damage or animal infestations).

Overall, while copper roofs do come with substantial upfront costs, they have many benefits such as increased resale value as well as long-term savings due to decreased replacement and repair expenses over time. Weighing both sides carefully can help you decide if a copper roof is right for your home and worth the investment.

Responses to Common Questions

Are there any downsides to having a copper roof?

Yes, there are some downsides to having a copper roof. The most notable drawback is its high cost; copper roofs tend to be much more expensive than shingle or other metal roofing materials. Additionally, the highly-reflective nature of copper roofs can lead to higher energy bills in hot climates, as the material can cause increased heat transfer into the home. Finally, due to the materials required for installation and the lack of flexibility in its design, larger repairs or replacements can be difficult.

What are the maintenance requirements of a copper roof?

The maintenance requirements for a copper roof are fairly minimal compared to other roofing materials. Because copper is naturally corrosion resistant, it will not require periodic sealing or painting like other metals. Copper roofs should be inspected periodically for moss or dirt build-up, and any debris should be removed. Otherwise, moss and mildew growth can cause discoloration and accelerated weathering of the metal. If a green patina develops due to oxidation, it can be left as-is if desired, as this occurs naturally and adds to the aesthetic appeal of the metal. Additionally, flashing, sealants, gutters, and fasteners should be checked and replaced as needed over time.

What is the cost of a copper roof compared to other roofing materials?

The cost of a copper roof compared to other roofing materials will depend on several factors, including the size and type of roof, location, regional labor costs, and more. Generally speaking, the cost of a copper roof can be higher than the cost of asphalt shingle or metal roofing due to the higher material cost and additional labor time and skill required for installation. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $10-15 per square foot for a copper roof install with occasional outliers as high as $20-30 per square foot depending on the complexity of the roof design. While there is certainly an initial investment in cost that comes with a copper roof installation, there are many long-term benefits such as increased durability and energy savings that make it worthwhile for many homeowners.

How is a copper roof installed?

A copper roof is installed in several steps. First, the roofing surface must be properly prepared to ensure a strong bond between the copper and the underlying substrate. This includes removing old shingles and inspecting the decking or other surfaces beneath them to make sure they are structurally sound. Once the surface is ready, any needed repairs should be made.

Next, an underlayment is applied over the decking, usually consisting of a layer of tar paper or felt paper topped with asphalt flashings around any vents, pipes, walls and other projections. This helps keep moisture out and protect the underlying wood from corrosion. The slope and pitch of the roof also need to be taken into consideration when installing a copper roof. Finally, the actual installation of the copper materials begins.

Sheets or panels of full depth pre-formed solid copper can be used for flat roofs or shallow pitched roof sections, while half round shingles or tiles that come in variable sizes are most commonly used on steep sloped roofs. The pieces are fastened with galvanized nails or ring shanked nails coated with a corrosion resistant sealant such as silicone sealant and soldered together at any seams to create watertight connections between panels. Proper ventilation must also be considered during installation in order to prevent condensation build up under the roof covering which can cause premature fading, damage and deterioration of the copper.

How long can a copper roof be expected to last?

A copper roof can be expected to last anywhere from 50-125 years when properly installed and maintained. Copper is an incredibly durable metal and is resistant to corrosion and weathering, making it a great choice for roofs. The lifespan of copper roofs also often exceed that of other metal roofs, as copper won’t rust or degrade over time. In addition, copper’s antimicrobial properties prevent the accumulation of algal growths which may speed up the wear of other metal roofs. With regular maintenance and a good installation, your copper roof should last you decades with no need for replacement.






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