The Properties of Copper Metal Shingles
When it comes to sheet metal fabrication and ornamental restoration, copper is one of the most sought after metals. Indeed, humans have making objects with copper for millennia. The list of the benefits of copper roof shingles are long, and include:
When it is first installed, a copper roof has an unmatched orange-gold brilliance. Copper is one of the few metals whose normal color isn't gray or silver, and the beauty of a new copper roof is so startling and unusual that it can't help but add to a building's overall curb appeal. This adds to the value of the home when it comes time to sell it. As time passes, this coppery brilliance turns into a green patina called verdigris. This patina is prized by many and can be seen on such structures as the roofs of the Château Frontenac and the dome of St. Joseph's Oratory. The verdigris can be removed, but who would want to?
Copper is among the lightest of metals. When used as metal shingles, it does not put as much weight or stress on the roof of a building as would a heavier material such as steel. This is important for Canada, where heavy snowfall is common in the winter and can cause a weak roof to cave in.
Despite its light weight, copper is a strong metal. A well-maintained copper roof can be expected to last for half a century or more. It's not at all unusual to find a building that dates back to the 18th century with its original copper roof. The copper roof of the aforementioned Château Frontenac, which opened in 1893, was replaced are recently as 2011.
Copper shingles are also tough and resist mildew. Copper is famous for killing pathogens that come into contact with it. It also bears up well against the sort of weather damage caused by hail, sleet and violent rainstorms. Copper, like other kinds of metal shingles, also resists fire. The melting point of the metal, after all, is 1984 degrees Fahrenheit.
Copper is also one of the most malleable of metals, which means it is easy for a metal worker to beat into thin sheets or shape into shingles. This malleability allows the shingles of copper roofs to be formed into interesting ornamental shapes and patterns.
Copper shingles share the trait with other metals of being able to reflect light away from a building. So, it keeps a building cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Even if the roof needs to be refurbished, it is not uncommon for a copper shingle to retain as much as 95 percent of the value it had when it was first smelted, and that could have been many years before. Because of this, homeowners find that even scrap copper is valuable.
Almost Maintenance Free
The verdigris that develops over a copper roof over time is not a sign of rust. It is a coating that protects the metal beneath it. Copper neither corrodes nor rusts and does not need to be sealed or painted. The one minor maintenance job for a roofer over the life of a copper roof is to make adjustments from time to time since copper, like all metals, shrinks in cold weather and expands in hot weather. This might make the fastenings on the shingles a bit looser than they should be.
Copper is an excellent choice for a roofing material, thanks to its good looks, durability, environmental friendliness and ease of care. Though it does cost a bit more than wood shingles, it will easily pay for itself over the long run.