Comparing Copper And Steel Roofing

Posted on: 6 April 2015

Metal is an increasingly popular roofing material that provides a number of benefits over traditional asphalt shingles, such as durability, insulation, and longevity. However, not all metals are the same, and different types of metal roofs will provide different benefits to your home. Copper and steel roofing are two of the most common types of metal roofing available, but they provide vastly different benefits to your home. Understanding the differences between these two types of metals can help you choose which one best fits your home.

Steel Roofing

Steel roofing is more common than copper roofing, because it is fairly inexpensive. Steel roofing can either be coated in a zinc layer, which protects it from corrosion but that wears away over time, or in aluminum, which provides a permanent rust barrier to your roof. Zinc-coated steel roofs are cheaper than their aluminum-coated counterparts but have a shorter lifespan, as after the zinc wears away, the entire roof will very quickly succumb to rust, especially if you live near saltwater. However, aluminum-coated steel is still susceptible to rust due to scratches, which will expose the steel underneath and allow the steel to oxidize. It should also be noted that steel roofing is extraordinarily heavy, which can be a concern in areas with heavy rain or snowfall, as if your roof is not properly supported, it can collapse.

Copper Roofing

Copper roofing is an extremely expensive roofing option, but provides a rust-proof roof that can last upwards of fifty years. Over time, copper will slowly turn green, which can provide an attractive, distinguished aesthetic to your home. However, once it turns green, water can run off of the roof and stain the house or surrounding structures, which can be extremely unsightly. It should also be noted that copper roofing is extremely lightweight when compared to steel, though it is just as durable. This puts much less stress on your home's roof, reducing the likelihood of a collapse in the event of heavy snow buildup on your roof. Additionally, the light weight of copper means that installing a copper roof is extremely quick; depending on the size of your roof, installation can be completed in just a day or two, which can help mitigate the high cost of the material itself.

Which One is Best?

Choosing the right material depends heavily on your needs. Both copper and steel insulate your home extremely well from sunlight, which can help cut down your energy bills in the summer, and provide a durable barrier against both weather exposure and blunt trauma. However, steel is much better suited for those who are unable to meet the high initial investment of copper, and who have the supports necessary for a heavy roof. Copper is ideal for homes that are going to stay in the family for a long period of time or for those looking for a status symbol for their home.

For more advice, speak with experts like Advanced Seamless Gutter & Roofing Inc.


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