Copper Metal Roofing Shingles

April 7, 2013 | Filed under: Articles

Copper roofing has been the stalwart during my time in this industry. Over the years, I have seen many advancements as well as trends in residential metal roofing. I have seen increased market share as well as the development of more products specifically for homes. The thing that has been consistent, though, is that copper roofing offers a great product and that, each year, a number of homeowners choose it.

Is copper roofing more costly than other metal roofs? Yes, it is. But it’s also very long lasting and it adds more value to homes than other roofing materials do. It has a distinctive look which creates great curb appeal and can turn any home from a house into an estate.

While it is bright and shiny when it’s new, it immediately starts a process of color change as it develops its characteristic verdigris patina. The length of time required for this process depends a lot upon the environment. Areas prone to more salt or other chemicals in the air will cause the copper to change color more quickly. The copper will go through several shades of red and brown before ever reaching the verdigris green color. The entire process may require from 3 to 20 years depending upon the exact conditions.

Many folks will ask me if there is a way to keep the metal bright and shiny. Yes, there are treatments that can be done but they are failure prone and I really do not suggest chasing them. You will be disappointed.

Are there ways, though, to bring the patina up more quickly than letting nature take its course? Yes, there are chemicals you can spray or roll on the roof and, with these, I suggest several light coats rather than one or two heavy coats. This will help to bring the patina up more evenly. Also, you can buy copper roofing made from copper that has been pre-patinated.

One special consideration with copper is the run-off water from the roof. Over time, it will carry the colorization of the patina with it as the copper ions go into solution. This will streak anything it runs down. Additionally, if the run-off water is being caught in gutters, those should be copper gutters.

There are many choices available in copper roofing from standing seam roofs that have been factory-formed or field-formed to copper shingles. Interlocking copper shingles with hidden fasteners can result in a very traditional looking roof but yet one that has the extra punch of being copper.

If you’d like more information on copper roofing or the products available, please contact me at 1-800-543-8938 ext 201 or

todd Miller

has spent his entire career in the metal building products manufacturing industry. He is president of Isaiah Industries, an organization recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers. Todd is currently Vice President of the MRA (Metal Roofing Association) and a Past Chair of MCA (Metal Construction Association). Through his website, he strives to raise the bar on standards and practices to provide property owners with the best possible products for successful roofing projects.

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2 responses to “Copper Metal Roofing Shingles”

  1. Judy Hathcoat says:

    Hi Todd – we have a 2 story flat roof house with a mansard facade covered in aged shake shingle. As we live near a national forest that has suffered wildfires the last 2 years in a row, we are very interested in replacing those shingles. Can the shingles on that facade be replaced with sheets of sopper or metal that appears copper?

    Thanks for your help. Interesting articles.

    Judy Hathcoat
    Ruidoso, NM

    • toddmiller says:

      Thanks Judy … I think there are several good options for you and copper would be one. There are several looks you could achieve from flat metal to standing seam to metal facsimile shakes, even in copper. I will drop you an email to further discuss options …. I hope that is okay.

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