All About Roofers Gazette Digital

What is the life expectancy of a copper roof?

Aug 25

Copper's longevity is one of its many strengths as a roofing material. Copper roofs are among the most durable available. Properly selected and installed copper roofs will last for centuries. 


There are many examples of original copper roofs around the globe that were installed in 19th-century buildings and still protect them. People want to find out if this is true for the copper roofs that we have today. What is the life expectancy of a copper roof?


Copper roofing is no exception. All roofing eventually wears out. You can do some things to extend the life of your roof. A thicker copper roof will last for longer than one that is thinner. A steeper copper roof will be more durable than one that is flat. A simple roofline will give copper a longer life span than a more complex one. Copper roofs are far more durable than metal roofs.


Copper roofs are a popular choice for roofing materials. You'll see them on fine homes, churches, and government buildings. Copper roofs are not typical in every home due to their beauty and long life expectancy. You'll have to pay a lot more for copper roofing. Copper roofing is still a great value. Woodbridge Roofing Company is happy to help you if you are looking for copper roofing. 

Average Life Expectancy

Copper roofs last for up to 100 years and require little maintenance. Copper roofs can last many years if properly installed, and any damage caused by extreme weather or corrosive substances is addressed promptly.

Roof life extension

Copper forms a patina over time, a thin layer caused by corrosion in reaction to the environment. A patina does not cause any damage to copper. A patina is formed by oxidation. It provides a thin layer of protection that protects the copper from further corrosion. This coating protects your roof from corrosion, but alkalis, ammonia, masonry cleaners, and bacteria can cause it to corrode over time. 

Corrosion will be more likely if acidic moisture remains in contact with copper for more extended periods and at a lower pH. You can prevent corrosion and extend the life of your copper roof by regularly washing it with clean water. This is especially important for areas where rainwater does not remove dirt and bird droppings. These substances can cause localized corrosion because of their acidity. 


Avoid cleaning copper with alkaline soaps containing sodium hydroxide or detergents containing ammonia and pyrophosphates. They can damage and degrade copper.

Expansion and contraction

Copper roofs contract and expand with temperature changes, which loosens fasteners. Nails may not lift entirely from the decking and turn on their sides, preventing the roof seams from resting flat on top of the roof deck. These should be replaced with new cleats or nails. To soften copper, you may need a soldering Iron to remove or refasten nails.

Failure and Degradation

Copper is a soft metal. This makes it vulnerable to damage by abrasive forces like hail, foot traffic, and water. Roof failure can result from this. Copper can develop weak spots and faults if it is subject to repeated deformation by wind uplift, abrasive forces, or expansion and contraction. 


Star-shaped cracks or fractures can result, especially in corners and areas not protected by the roof. A  professional roofing contractor should inspect copper roofs showing signs of fatigue to determine if repair is possible. The roof might need to be replaced if the damage is severe.