Metal roofing examples (C) Daniel Friedman Copper Roofing Types, Product Sources, Installation, Defects, Repairs

  • COPPER ROOFING - CONTENTS: Copper roof types, installation, inspection, troubleshooting, repair, replacement. Photographs of styles of copper roofs on buildings. Types of Metal Roofing Materials, Products. Copper Roof Supply Sources & Manufacturers List. Copper roof inspection, leak diagnosis, repair, maintenance
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This article describes types of copper roofing materials, choices, installations, inspection, defects, roofing repairs, and product sources. The standing seam copper roof shown at the top of this page protects Ely Hall, originally the Alumnae Gymnasium, William M. Tubby, architect, 1889, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie NY.

Copper metal roofing systems involve copper sheets of varying thickness and alloy, soldered or mechanically crimped seams, used on steep, standard, low-slope, and some flat building roofs. Life expectancy of a properly-installed copper roof is 50+ years.

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Guide to Installing, Inspecting, Repairing Copper Roofs

Copper roof standing seam (C) Daniel Friedman

Copper as a durable roofing material has been in use for hundreds of years, in both hot and cold climates and on a wide range of building types. Our copper roof photograph just above shows a brand new copper standing seam metal roof (left) and an older standing seam copper metal roof (right) on a Vassar College building in Poughkeepsie, NY. The new copper ridge atop the right-hand slope was installed during re-roofing of the opposing slope that is not visible in this photograph.

At left in our photo you'll also notice a custom-constructed copper-clad skylight over an area intended for use by art students and artists. More about skylights is found

at SLOPED GLAZING DETAILS. You will also notice that both the older copper roof and the new copper roof installation included continuous snow guards along the building eaves.

Copper dome, Oxford, U.K. (C) Daniel Friedman

Shown above is ... well I'm not sure. This roof looks like a copper dome and it's certainly been painted with something - click to enlarge and see the peeling. This building is located across the street from the Saxon Tower in Oxford in the U.K. Fasteners were mostly hidden except at the spire and roof edges.

The mechanically fastened steep-slope copper roof shown in our photograph (below left) is on a building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, while the steep sloped copper roof in our second photograph (below right) is on a building in Oslo, Norway. (Photographs by DF). Examples of fastening details for the installation of copper roofs to the building roof deck or structure are discussed under metal and standing seam roofing below.

Copper Metal roofing examples (C) Daniel Friedman Copper Metal roofing examples (C) Daniel Friedman

As our photograph of this tower roof on a building on the Vassar College Campus, Poughkeepsie, NY USA, copper roofing is used for

Copper Metal roofing examples (C) Daniel Friedman

  1. Aesthetic reasons, beauty, color of the weathered verdigris green copper
  2. Durability
  3. Weatherproofing complex surfaces where metal flashing is needed
  4. Weatherproofing building components that are difficult and thus expensive to access for maintenance or re-roofing.

Soldered Flat Shingle and Flat Copper Metal Roofs

Metal roofing examples (C) Daniel Friedman

Flat metal shingles with interlocking edges were produced in both steel and copper, then soldered when in place. Usually we find these installed on flat or low-slope roofs such as at dormer insets on homes constructed in the U.S. before 1920.

Carson Dunlop's standing seam metal roof sketch (below) includes a sketch of soldering used to connect flat metal roofing panels.

Watch out: large expanses of metal roofing with soldered connections may flex and break open the soldered joints due to thermal movement.

Modern Copper Shingled Roofs

Zappone Manufacturing is a current producer of copper roof shingles, including copper scallop shingles and snap-together copper roof shingles. In appearance these contemporary copper roof shingle products resemble older soldered-copper shingles (shown in our photo above) and also older steel roof shingle products that we show at Metal Shingle Roofs.

The producer cites the long life of copper roof materials and higher-speed installation that using non-copper roofing shingles as compensating for the higher installed-cost than other more conventional roof coverings (such as asphalt roof shingles).

[Photos of modern copper shingles wanted: CONTACT us]

For examples of Zappone-produced copper roof shingles see that company's two marketing articles:

Metal Roofing Sources, Products, & Manufacturers

Below we have adapted and added to the Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction list of producers and sources of metal roofing, metal roof fastening systems, and related metal roofing products

-- Adapted with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.

Metal Roof Articles


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