All About Roofers Gazette Digital

Do copper roofs rust?

Aug 25

A roof is not the first thing you think of when you think about luxury. Copper roofing proves that luxury does not only come in the form of a car or jewelry. Copper roofing is a premium product with superior quality. Copper is a highly sought-after roofing material. It also offers a unique value that no other materials can match.

Copper roofs have many benefits, but they also have their drawbacks. We'll discuss the top three problems associated with copper roofs and how to fix them.

First, let's look at the benefits of copper roofing.

The Most Common Problems with a Copper Roof

  1. Copper Roofing Is Expensive
  2. Copper Takes A Long Time To Patina
  3. Copper Is Not Suitable for Use with Other Metals

Copper Roofing Is Expensive

Copper is the most costly type of roofing material. Although copper's cost fluctuates, the average cost for a roof is $9 to $14 /square foot for materials and $5-$12 per square foot for labor. For a single-story, 2,000-square-foot home, a complete replacement copper roof with a 6-pitch roof will run $33,000 to $59,000.

Copper can take a long time to patina.

Copper undergoes a chemical transformation where it coats itself with a preservative known as patina. Copper is made durable and resistant to corrosion by this protective layer.

Patina is highly sought after for its beauty. Copper will change colors during the process but eventually become a bright-green color after applying the coating. Patina is a natural phenomenon that forms when the material is exposed to the right conditions. The timing of the formation is unpredictable and will depend on several factors.

  • Moisture Exposure: Copper's color will change faster in humid or damp areas.
  • Salt Air Exposure: The calcium in salt air aids in the chemical change of copper. Copper roofs located near the sea will provide patina faster than other environments. Usually, it takes less than 10 years.
  • Acid Rain Copper exposed to acid will age quicker than copper in an alkaline environment.

Copper is not allowed to be around other metals.

Copper cannot perform well when it comes in contact with certain other metals.

Galvanic Corrosion

Galvanic corrosion, also known as "electrolytic corrosive," is when two different materials come into contact with one another and then with an electrolyte such as water. The less active metal is called the "cathode," and the other becomes the "anode." The cathode corrodes more quickly than the anode, while it corrodes less fast than the anode. The presence of another material means that one of them is compromised.

Preventing Corrosion

Copper is one of the most active metals. It will act as an anode, and its surface will not be affected by corrosion. If the metals come in contact, however, copper can cause corrosion.

Galvanic corrosion reactions occur when copper is in contact with aluminum, steel, or zinc. It is best to avoid copper coming into contact with other metals. An electrolyte does not have to contact with copper to cause corrosion directly. Rainwater that runs off a copper roof onto steel surfaces could be an example of an electrolyte.

It is possible to replace the dissimilar metal with one that is copper-related. Copper is perfect when it comes in contact with stainless steel or lead. A barrier must be created to prevent dissimilar metals from being used together. As a barrier, a non-absorbent sealant or gasketing product can be used.

Woodbridge Roofers knows that the options can seem overwhelming when it comes to roofing. That's why we are happy to answer your questions. We offer a free estimate for both types of roofs, so you can compare their costs and help you choose the suitable material for your project.