A Brief Overview on Copper Work and Copper Roofing


Copper is one of the most commonly used metals in the roofing industry, behind steel and aluminum roofing. The copper used in roofing installations is 99.9% pure copper.

Copper is not only beautiful in appearance, but it’s also durable.  A properly installed copper roof will likely be the last roof ever installed on the building. Copper holds up well to weathering, UV exposure, humid and dry climates, rainfall, wind, and hail.

In addition, one of the most appealing aspects of copper roofing is its weathering properties. It turns from the traditional shiny copper color to a blue-green tint referred to as “patina.” It can take more than 25 years in some geographic locations for the patina to fully develop. Patina is a thin layer of copper sulfate that forms over the roofing material when exposed to weather and air pollutants. A perfect example of how this process works is the Statue of Liberty.


Copper is used in the roofing industry for ornamental work and as a complete roofing solution. It’s an exceptionally malleable metal that bends and molds to various shapes with relative ease.

Copper used in roofing applications is available in several levels of hardness. Soft copper is ideal for ornamental work, while much harder cold-rolled copper is used for roofing panels and shingles.

Copper roofing is an ideal choice for highlighting a decorative focal point of the roof. Roofing contractors can pre-fabricate the ornamental copper piece in-house or on-site. The roofer can pound the copper into virtually any shape.

Copper Roofing Panels

Roofing panels composed of metal materials, such as copper, are often referred to as standing seam roofing. These are primarily pre-formed or field formed pans, typically between 14 – 18 inches wide. However, dimensions vary based on the size and angle of your roof.

An experienced metal roofing contractor should be familiar with these standard practices. They should be knowledgeable and happy to explain the process and details regarding your panels and roof.

Copper Roofing Flashing

Copper flashing is sold in coils ranging from .001 to .0216 inch. The thinnest copper flashing won’t serve as waterproofing for your property, as it’s primarily used in crafting. Thicker gauges require tin snips to cut, but are commonly used for roofing applications.

In addition to its durability, copper flashing is popular because over time, the color will change from bright and shiny to a darkish green. This patina gives your property a sign of character.

Copper Roofing Installation

Standing seam copper roofs are a popular choice for steep and low-slope roofs because they offer superior water shedding properties. The copper panels are soldered together at the seams, making them strong and watertight.

Copper roofing installation is a skilled trade best left to roofing professionals with experience installing copper roofing. This is especially true for ornamental installs, such as domes or irregularly shaped roof structures.

Copper is an architectural roofing material rather than structural, meaning there must be solid decking or closely-spaced battens installed to support the copper panels or shingles. Since typical fasteners and flashing are susceptible to corrosion and discoloration, roofers use copper fasteners and flashing when working with copper roofing.

Finding an Experienced Copper Roofing Contractor

Hiring a qualified and experienced copper roofing contractor isn’t always easy considering it’s such a skilled trade. If your home needs immediate attention for a project involving copper, Hazlett Roofing & Restoration is a trusted Northeast Ohio family owned business that has been in business for 100+ years. Contact us today at (216) 246-8004 or (330) 773-1018.