AN INTRODUCTION TO COPPER ROOFING
Our family has two generations in the roofing industry and we believe so strongly in the superiority of copper materials that we have dedicated our business to specializing in its installation. This gives our customers confidence that our crews are highly trained and deeply experienced. You always receive top workmanship backed by our business integrity. We can show you examples of our work in your area!
SOME FACTS ABOUT COPPER ROOFING
- Unlike asphalt shingles and other types of metal roofing, copper roofing requires very little maintenance once it is installed because it does not rust or corrode.
- It also does not require an additional coating and does not need to be repainted.
- Copper is a long lasting material that can remain intact for centuries. If homeowners install copper roofing materials on their home, it is likely that they will not have to replace the roof in their lifetime.
- Copper roofing is also much safer than other roofing materials. For example, it is much less likely to become damaged during severe thunderstorms, snowfall or excessive sun exposure.
- Because copper is a lightweight material, it is less likely to sag or become damaged due to snow accumulation.
- Additionally, copper is fire resistant and may even stop a fire from spreading.
When it comes to metal roofing, there are a number of different materials available that can be used. For example, Galvalume, which is made of steel coated in an alloy metal, is also resistant to rust, corrosion and fire and may be more affordable. Like copper, Galvalume is not necessarily suitable for every home or homeowner, and a professional contractor should be consulted before homeowners make their final decision on a new roofing material.
MORE FACTS ABOUT COPPER ROOFING
One of the biggest downsides of copper roofing is that it is considered to be a premium material.
As such, installing a copper roof can be costly for the homeowner. Because of the cost, it is rare to find a home that has a full copper roof; in some cases, only low slope sections, towers and bay windows may have copper roofing. Copper materials are still often used in the roof valleys or as flashing.
The other main drawback to copper roofing is that it can be noisy. The metal does not buffer noise as well as other materials, so major weather storms may be louder. Additionally, copper cannot be used with some other metals including aluminum and steel as the copper will cause the other metals to deteriorate.
LEAD COATED COPPER ROOFING
If you are looking for an ideal material to use on your architectural or heritage roofing project, lead coated copper is one of the most popular roofing materials.
SOME FACTS ABOUT LEAD COATED COPPER ROOFING
There are many benefits to using lead coated copper on your roof.
We already mentioned durability and flexibility above, but there are other benefits as well, including:
Lead-copper panels, properly installed, are extremely watertight. To form seams, lead edges are bent up and a cap placed over the top. A small tab will then be soldered on to keep the cap in position, while also allowing for movement to prevent buckling.
Lead coated copper can be used on steep or low pitched roofs. It can be painted with far better results than other roof metals or it can left with its natural patina, which is very “visually compatible” with older buildings and new construction alike.
Lead coated pieces of copper are lighter than lead-only panels, which reduces the roof load—this is often very important on aged structures. It is also heavy enough, however, to avoid serious risk of wind damage or blow-off.
Not only does lead coated copper avoid corrosion, but it does not easily stain nor cause staining on other parts of the building. The lead coating creates a grayish patina that is non-water-soluble. This means the lead will help shed water faster than plain copper and not dissolve into the run-off and get deposited elsewhere. It will not stain your stone, brick, or other masonry.
Some fear that, because lead paint can be harmful to humans and pollute nearby groundwater, lead roofing will do the same. This simply is not true. The lack of solubility that prevents staining also prevents there being a health hazard or contamination of the surrounding environment.
WHAT IS LEAD COATED COPPER ROOFING
Lead coated copper sheeting and flashing combine the positive aspects of both copper and lead, yielding a finished product that is superior to other metal roof options in many situations.
Copper has been used as a roofing material since Medieval Times and is still very popular today. This is for good reason, as it is lightweight, flexible, resistant to weather and corrosion, and extremely durable—the typical minimum lifespan is 75 years. When installed correctly so that copper edges are lined and not touching other materials, the lifespan can easily reach to 100 years.
Lead, coated on one or both sides of copper sheeting, helps to further shield the roofing from weathering. Lead is also very malleable, allowing it to be formed into complex shapes at relatively low temperatures. Even on the job site, lead can be easily manipulated by skilled workers using only simple hand tools.
The lead-copper combination creates a material that is highly durable and easy to work with. It is ideal for wrapping complicated facades, flashing around chimneys, and for protecting a roof from the elements for more than a lifetime.
Contractors and homeowners looking for the best possible roofing material to use on restoration projects in particular, or on construction projects in general, should consider the benefits that lead coated copper brings. It has the ability to conform to intricate patterns, does not harm your stonework nor the environment, and endures for as long as a century.
Its silvery grey patina is highly attractive, and yet able to “blend in,” in a wide range of situations, and its cost is justified by its performance and longevity.