Residential home with copper roof that is showing patina shade of green and brown Las Vegas home

A beautiful copper roof will last many decades and should need only minimal care. Strong and durable, copper has a natural lifecycle that takes it from a shiny copper glow to a rich, distinctive patina, one that is recognizable worldwide as seen in many historic buildings, some hundreds of years old. To achieve that distinguished maturity, most homeowners look forward to or even accelerate the maturation of their copper roof to its ultimate patina. But no matter what stage your copper roof is in, there are still things you should know to help your roof look and perform its very best for a very long time to come.

Copper Roof Patina Formation

The patina color on a copper roof is a sign that the copper is maturing and actually strengthening as it ages. When a copper roof is exposed to moisture and air contaminants, the oxidation process begins. A thin layer begins to form, which is the patina, sometimes called verdigris. As the years go by, the patina will grow thicker and it will change color.  The color may vary, depending on the location of the roof. For example, urban copper roofs may have a bluish patina, due to the copper sulfate that forms from deposits from urban pollution. A copper roof on a building near the coast may have a greenish tint as the salt air forms copper chloride in the patina. It’s important to remember that this is a long, natural process. You can expect it to take even longer if you live in a dry climate that doesn’t get much rain or humidity. Plus, the patina will probably mature unevenly. Different parts of the roof may receive more or less sunlight, and other factors can also give it an uneven appearance. This is normal and eventually the entire roof will take on the same brilliant color. The process itself can be fascinating to follow over the years and can usually be allowed to progress naturally. That does not mean that the roof, like any other roof, should not be monitored for any problems, damage or debris.

Things to Avoid When You Have a Copper Roof

New copper roof and copper covered gazebo in Las Vegas with new copper shine

Normally, simple debris removal is all that’s needed to keep your roof in good condition. Some homeowners, however, may be tempted to manage the coloration of the roof and want to preserve the “shiny” phase of the copper. This is probably not the best route, as the thin layer of patina actually helps protect the copper beneath it and adds to the life of the copper roof. And, removing the patina can scar or damage the copper. It’s important to avoid harsh chemical cleaners as their use to remove the protective patina opens the possibility the roof will become pitted. Cleaning the roof with any type of soap is not recommended.

Another thing to avoid is using a chemical sealant on the roof. Use of a sealant creates a need for regular monitoring and maintenance and it has to be done meticulously to avoid damage. Missing a spot, uneven application or other mistakes can cause drastic unevenness in the patina and ruin the look of the roof for years until the sealant wears away. Remember, the patina itself is the only sealant that is required to have a beautiful, natural, long-lived copper roof.

If you live in Las Vegas, or any dry environment, you may wish to speed up the patina formation. This is usually best left to professionals as many of the chemicals and products marketed for this purpose can damage your roof. At Prestige we can treat the copper after installation with a safe and effective coating to help begin the aging process so your roof will more quickly form a natural, even patina pattern for the look you want. See below for a gentle, natural way to help the patina formation.

Proper Care for a Copper Roof

selection of roofer nails for installation or repair including copper and steel nails

If properly installed by professionals trained as copper roofing specialists, your copper roof will basically be maintenance free. It’s still important to remove debris that may accumulate over the winter or after a rainstorm, so at least an annual inspection or post-storm inspection is in order. Removing debris will assure there is no damage under the debris from falling branches or other objects and it also allows the patina formation process to proceed evenly across the roof.

Occasionally, if debris has been present for some time, or if the roofer did a poor job of installing your roof (such as using steel nails that may rust instead of copper nails), you may see streaks or stains on the roof and want to remove them. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, here is a simple method you can use to lightly clean your roof. This wash will also help speed up the oxidation process in our dry climate. Be sure to do this when there is no rain in the forecast:

  • Sweep any debris, dust, branches or leaves off the roof with a broom.
  • Create a mixture using equal parts salt and white vinegar. Stir it until the salt is completely dissolved.
  • Apply the mixture evenly over the roof, using a soft-bristled brush.
  • Rinse the salt and vinegar off with a garden hose. Never use a pressure washer on a copper roof, because it can damage the patina.

Remember, a well-designed and properly installed copper roof will not normally have problems. However, if you notice anything that worries you, have your roofer take a look. To preserve the beauty and value of your unique copper roof and avoid unintentional damage, be sure to consult with your roofer before applying any cleaning or other roof treatments.

Prestige Roofing for All Your Roof Maintenance Needs

luxury home with copper fixture over entryway with patina custom designed

A thing of uncommon beauty, a copper roof can last a century or longer. You will enjoy years of beauty and find that your roof requires little maintenance compared to other types of roofs. At Prestige Roofing we are copper roofing experts, so in addition to crafting and installing your roof, we’re ready to take care of any cleaning or maintenance issues that come up. We hope you will get in touch with us for all your roofing needs.

Prestige Roofing’s work ranges from service and repair work,  re-roofing  and new construction work, commercial and residential work. They have also done work for ultra-custom projects around the Las Vegas Valley.

Historic Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom) with copper domes copper roof and copper statues

Historic Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom)

Copper has been prized as a roofing material by architects for hundreds of years. Once copper changes color from brass to its prestigious green patina — think of the Statue of Liberty — it actually becomes more durable. The oxide-sulfate coating on the outer surface of copper makes it especially resistant to corrosion in most environments. Tests were conducted on 18th century copper roofs in Europe and the tests found that copper roofing can last approximately 1,000 years (at least in theory).

A dome-shaped roof is an architectural style that has been around for thousands of years. One of the most important Buddhist sites in India, the Great Stupa at Sanchi, was built in the 3rd century B.C.E. The dome structure is incredibly durable as well, as its shape lends itself to wind resistance. Dome homes are popping up along the Gulf and East coast in hurricane zones as a defense against the damage those storms can deliver.

In other words, dome-shaped roofs and copper domes are an enduring form of architecture sure to be around for a long time.  Here is a closer look at some old and new copper domes and roofs around the world.

Berlin Cathedral Church (Berliner Dom)

Berliner Dom showing bright patina copper domes and Fernsehturm in front of blue sky

While it is not a cathedral in the technical sense (a bishop has never been seated there), the Berlin Cathedral Church, or Berliner Dom, is one of the most majestic buildings in Germany. On a site continually occupied by a church since 1465, the current building was completed in 1905. Built in an ornate Renaissance style after St. Peter’s in Rome, it has five copper domes and several copper statues, all of which are a beautiful patina green. The Berlin Cathedral underwent extensive restoration after World War II. It can be visited on Museum Island in the Mitte borough.

Macon City Auditorium

The Macon City Auditorium in Macon, Georgia is actually the largest copper-domed roof in the world. It was completed in 1925 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The circular assembly hall is approximately the same size as the Pantheon in Rome, making it a truly incredible structure. A beautiful mural inside the auditorium captures four centuries of history of the Macon area. Today, it’s a busy cultural center, hosting music, theater and other events for local residents and tourists.

Wales Millenium Centre

The Millenium Centre Cardiff Bay in sun with copper roof reflecting light

The dome on the Wales Millenium Centre is actually constructed from steel. The architect wanted the dome to maintain its bronze color throughout its lifespan, so he went with steel that had been treated with copper oxide. The Millenium Centre is an arts center with a main concert hall and two smaller halls which house restaurants and shops. The entire Centre covers 4.7 acres in Cardiff, Wales.

The Rotunda at UVA

The Rotunda at the University of Virginia was designed by Thomas Jefferson. It has a 77-foot domed copper roof and Jefferson designed it to represent “the authority of nature and the power of reason.” The Rotunda’s construction began in 1822 but was not completed until shortly after Jefferson’s death in 1826. Jefferson toyed with the idea of designing the interior of the Rotunda dome as the first planetarium in the United States, but that idea was abandoned.

Temppeliaukio Kirkko, The Helsinki Rock Church

Temppeliaukio rock church famous modern architecture landmark interior in helsinki finland

It is difficult to even find words to describe the Temppeliaukio Church, also known as the Church of the Rock, located in Helsinki, Finland. The church was literally carved out of solid rock. A skylight framework holds up the massive copper dome roof. Due to the rock walls and the copper dome, the acoustics provided are incredible and the church is often used for musical performances. The Temppeliaukio Church is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Finland. Its construction had to be completed in stages over several decades due to the interruption of World War II. When you consider this unique building and its dome, think about this:  The design was actually scaled back to one-fourth of its original planned size!

Belvedere Palace, Vienna

Upper Belvedere Palace beautiful baroque palace with copper roofing Vienna Austria

The copper roof of the Belvedere Palace in Vienna has been in place for some 300 years now, which once again speaks to the durability of copper as a roofing material. It was built in the early 1700s as the palace for the ruling Habsburg Dynasty. The Belvedere Palace has a copper roof that includes four copper domes at each of the roof’s corners.

The Academic Building – Texas A&M University

The Main Building at Texas A&M, known as “Old Main,” burned down in 1912 and was replaced with the Academic Building which still stands today. Inside the building you’ll find a replica of the Liberty Bell. On the outside, the most noticeable feature is, of course, the patina-green dome. The dome of the Academic Building actually features in one of the most time-honored traditions at Texas A&M. A ceremony is held to pay tribute to a passing current student in which a variation of Taps, called Silver Taps, is played from the dome.

Nevada Supreme Court Building Copper Dome, Las Vegas

View from below copper cupola spire and lady justice statue Nevada Supreme Court in Las Vegas

Prestige Roofing is proud to have built the new copper dome for the Nevada Supreme Court Building in 2016. To add dignity and grandeur to the copper dome atop this important seat of justice for Nevada, the shiny new dome was finished to a protective green patina with a treatment that accelerates the oxidation process that otherwise occurs naturally over time. Prestige is proud to think that Nevadans will be able to enjoy the classic beauty of this dome for many years to come.

Prestige Roofing specializes in quality copper roofing, as well as a range of quality new roof and roof restoration services. Contact us for help with your roofing needs.

 

Prestige Roofing’s work ranges from service and repair work,  re-roofing  and new construction work, commercial and residential work. They have also done work for ultra-custom projects around the Las Vegas Valley.

Decorative Archway on Copper Roof desplaying green copper patinaA well-designed copper roof adds a special beauty to any building. Copper roofing and fixtures represent one of the best investments you can make whether you’re looking to improve the resale value of your home, add more glamour to your place of business, or give any structure real eye catching appeal.

Beyond the copper roof’s beauty, style and function, the sheer durability of copper alone makes it a worthwhile addition to any building project. A copper roof will last 50 to 100 years, is low maintenance and weather-resistant, and at the end if its life the metal is recyclable, making it a smart investment in durability and sustainability.

Copper only gets better with age as its surface transforms into a rich patina, taking on the timeless, rich look of the classic roofing material used on many great buildings around the world. The glowing shimmer of new copper and the dignified allure of weathered copper will add grace and character to any building for decades to come.

Style and Function with Copper Roof Fixtures

Copper is a malleable metal and perfect for molding into curved designs and custom fixtures that make your copper roof project unique and the result a work of art. Each copper roof is a unique project and can be enhanced with functional and decorative fixtures that add even more beauty to the project.  Copper fixtures come in a variety of types and forms. Here are some that you might consider adding to your copper roof project:

View from below copper cupola spire and lady justice statue Nevada Supreme Court in Las VegasCrowning Copper Cupolas

The preeminent utilization of copper in roofing fixtures, cupolas deliver grace, elegance, and style to any building. They bring with them great cultural significance while adding immeasurable curb appeal to a home or office. Cupolas are naturally sturdy and will add significantly to the durability of the complex structures they adorn.

Decorative Copper Dormers

These distinctive copper roof fixtures are the products of serious craftsmen who labor for years to master their art. These handsomely crafted exterior components add immeasurable class and character to a building while protecting sensitive underlying structural components from the elements. Commercial dormers are less artistic but attractive and functional additions to the copper roof, adding height and visual interest.

Peak of a gazebo with a copper spireCopper Cornices

Add beautiful accents which enhance the architectural effect of a structure with copper cornices, or decorative roof edging. This prominent feature adds structural integrity and beauty to any building by protecting the most vulnerable parts of a roof, gracefully directing rain and snow away from the building. Cornices add visual heft and solidity to the roof, giving the building a stronger profile.

Copper Finials & Spires

Nothing spells distinction like a well-placed decorative spire or finial. These stylish finishing touches contribute a sense of culture and heritage to any building. They may come in a variety of metals depending on your design needs and can be even modified to function as a lightning rod.

Copper Rain Gutters

Replace ordinary and inferior drain gutters with a beautiful copper gutter system. Copper gutters are stronger, better able to direct water away from the perimeter.  Made of durable copper, they last longer copper rain gutter on tile roof homethan ordinary gutters and downspouts. They add an attractive look to the exterior walls and roof line of the home, offering the discriminating designer a way to adorn all the edges of the rooftop with a beautiful copper finishing touch.

Copper Louvers, Soffits, & Vents

These functional, practical, and handsome fixtures offer improved ventilation and admit natural light into areas that might be difficult to illuminate and vent naturally in other ways. These come in a range of styles and also offer valuable protection to a part of a building where vermin and moisture might otherwise do a great deal of damage.

Copper Roof Panels

The workhorse of any copper roofing fixture arrangement, copper roof panels fully cover and seal the rooftop away from rain, snow, sleet, wind, falling debris and other natural threats to the integrity of your rooftop. They can be made to fit nearly any type of roof and come in a range of standard shapes and types. There is no other roofing system that will impart the same high degree of extremely long-lasting structural integrity and beauty as copper roof panels. Copper panels may be used to adorn and protect custom entryways and can be fitted to almost any corner, entryway or archway to create a portal of unique beauty and design.

copper fixture decorative custom copper overhang on luxury home front entryway

Copper Coil & Copper Sheeting

The basic component of most copper roofing fixtures, pre-production copper sheet and coil is a good choice for architects, designers, and contractors, experienced in working with this fine material to create custom fixtures to suit an unusual structural element or to create an entirely unique design that simply cannot be found prefabricated.

Copper Roofing Specialist

Prestige Roofing specializes in providing custom copper roofing for clients in Southern Nevada and nearby locations, including communities in Arizona and Utah. Our highly skilled copper artists prepare custom designed copper panels and fixtures in our advanced sheet metal facility.  Our most recent public project was fabricating and installing the decorative copper cupola on the new Nevada Supreme Court Building in Downtown Las Vegas in 2016. For more examples of our work with copper, visit our image gallery.

Let our expert copper roofing team craft, deliver and install your beautiful copper fixture or roof. Your copper roof will be energy-efficient and provide years of service and enjoyment. Contact Prestige Roofing for more information on copper roofing and fixtures today.

 

Prestige Roofing’s work ranges from service and repair work,  re-roofing  and new construction work, commercial and residential work. They have also done work for ultra-custom projects around the Las Vegas Valley.

copper rain gutter on wall of luxuyr home with new copper roofing

Add Beauty and Value with Copper Rain Gutters

Although we tend to think of gutters in purely functional terms—as a way to control rainwater and protect the areas directly under a roof’s dripline—gutters and other roofing fixtures, like trim, chimneys and ornamental accents, also add aesthetic touches.  Copper gutters and fixtures add distinctive highlights, adding not only their own color and beauty to the home, but also outlining roof lines and drawing out architectural details. As a result, gutters and fixtures can naturally enhance the exterior look of a home. When considering gutters and fixtures that are both functional and attractive, few materials enhance the beauty and aesthetics of a home like copper. Even more appreciated today for its many qualities, copper has long been a popular choice for homeowners and architects around the world looking for distinctive beauty, durability and energy efficiency.

Copper’s Rich History

antique copper utensils copper cups pots candlestick jugWhy copper?  Copper’s story goes back a long way as this versatile material was one of the first metals that humankind mastered. Humans have used copper for over 10,000 years. Its early use was mainly for jewelry, weapons, dishes and drinkware. Because copper is malleable, it is easily worked. It is also durable, retaining its integrity and strength over time. When combined with other metals, copper can forms other strong and valuable alloys, like bronze and brass. Copper resists rust; instead, newly worked copper begins with its shiny golden color and develops a natural patina over time, changing to a brilliant, beautiful green. Throughout the transformation, copper resists corrosion. It’s also reflective and so is highly energy efficient. These characteristics—color, malleability, durability, longevity and energy efficiency —make copper a natural choice for objects of beauty and utility. Because copper, brass, and bronze are durable, many elegant artifacts have survived from antiquity, including classic bronze statues from ancient Greece.  And we all know the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, that stands, beautifully green and timeless on Liberty Island in New York harbor.

Statue Of Liberty - Manhattan - Liberty Island - New York

Copper roofing is a long-standing use of copper. Copper protects homes and graces decorative domes on famous public, institutional and religious buildings from the Middle East to Europe, and in Asia and the Americas. This newest copper cupola or dome locally was just installed in downtown Las Vegas on the new Nevada Supreme Court building, another elegant representation of a people’s commitment to a long future of democracy and justice.

Copper Gutters and Fixtures: A Sensible Choice

Decorative Archway on Copper Roof desplaying green copper patinaIn addition to the rich history and diverse uses of copper, its many attributes make copper an excellent material for creating beautiful and durable roofs as well as rain gutters and roof fixtures. Because copper is lightweight, it is easy to transport, lift, and handle. Gutters and fixtures made of copper can last 100 years, and when they reach the end of their useful lifespan, the gutters and fixtures are 100% recyclable, making copper a sound environmental choice. Copper gutters and fixtures may include some recycled copper, providing the same quality as the newly mined metal, but with less environmental impact.

When properly installed, copper gutters and fixtures are structurally durable and need little maintenance. Installers solder gutter components together, ensuring a sturdy, metal system that is resistant to wind and storms. If copper gutters are not subject to falling leaf litter or pine needle debris from overhanging trees, the gutters may require little or no maintenance, particularly in the dry desert climate of Las Vegas. Copper does not rust or decay like aluminum or steel. Instead, the copper components will gracefully develop a mature patina, adding classic beauty and appeal to your home, while continuing to protect your building and grounds from water runoff.

Copper Gutters and Fixtures: A Beautiful Choice

copper rain gutter on tile roof home

Using copper for your gutters and fixtures yields a benefit that you will enjoy every day. The aesthetic appeal of copper gutters and fixtures is stunning—a feature that contributes to long-term appreciation in your home’s value. Whether applied to homes with roofs made of slate, tile, copper, or some other metal, copper gutters offer a visual accent that highlights and enhances your home’s roof line, while visually connecting the roof to the ground. When you add copper fixtures to window or door trim, or to the roofs and trim of a nearby structure like a gazebo or deck, the visual tie between roof line, gutter system, and fixtures produces unity and harmony, tying the architectural elements of your home together. This feature will immediately strike visitors—and potential buyers—as a point of interest, and copper’s natural progression from a golden sheen to a sublime green patina ensures that year after year your fixtures and gutters will remain attractive and compelling.

If you would like to explore how copper gutters and fixtures can enhance the beauty of your home and contribute to its long-term value, please contact us or call us at 702-646-7536 for more information.

 

Prestige Roofing’s work ranges from service and repair work,  re-roofing  and new construction work, commercial and residential work. They have also done work for ultra-custom projects around the Las Vegas Valley.

See the Cupola Installation as it Happened

three roofers completing work on top of a copper cupola dome on the roof of a new buildingPrestige Roofing has delivered and mounted the new cupola, an inspired copper dome design, commissioned to grace the roof of the new Nevada Supreme Court building in downtown Las Vegas. The classic design of this new state building that will serve the people of Nevada’s as its highest court is perfectly complemented by the cupola whose classic look recreates the dignity of famous buildings worldwide. The Prestige team is proud to have participated in building and delivering the dome. We’d like to share some of the images as it happened.

The Copper Dome Project Beginnings

The dome project began with building the underlying structure and cutting, shaping and installing the copper on the dome’s steel frame. The dome was designed and built so that it could be dismantled in sections for transport to the installation site.

As a final step in the construction process, the brilliant new copper was aged to give it the classic patina that beautifies copper domes and copper roofs atop structures around the world. The classic green Copper dome preparing the bottom of the copper cupolapatina was achieved with an acid mixture that accelerates the normal oxidation process that results in the changing coloration. Left to itself in the dry desert air, the dome would have turned a “dirty penny” brown patina, while the more attractive and recognized aged copper green patina, which needs moisture from the surrounding air to form, happens most quickly in coastal areas. With a little help from us, the dome was able to achieve that natural effect and present itself from the start in its most beautiful colors.

Copper Cupola’s Smooth Delivery to its new Home

A quarter piece of copper cupola dome being installedOnce the dome, or cupola, was complete and ready to go, it was disassembled in quarters for easy transport. Fully complete, the dome itself weighs about 7,200 lbs and is 14 ft tall with a diameter of 20 ft. The circumference is 63 ft, so transporting it across town was made easier by sectioning the large structure. The sections were loaded and transported from our facility in North Las Vegas to the downtown Las Vegas construction site of the now nearly complete Nevada State Supreme Court building.

crane basket lift allowing worker to access roof dome spire atop Nevada Supreme Court building in Las VegasPrestige had already completed the flat membrane roof on top of the building where the cupola would be installed. Each quarter of the copper dome was separately hoisted by crane onto the lantern, or elevated section of the roof, which serves to raise up the decorative cupola and spire for better visibility from below.

The four sections of the cupola were then reconnected to reform the entire structure in its new home. Once the cupola was in place and secured, we were ready to install the decorative spire and statue of Lady Justice to cap off the beautiful structure. Using a crane and lift, we secured those finishing touches place.

A Special Roofing Project for Nevadans to Enjoy

View from above copper cupola and spire newly added to the Nevadas Supreme Court building in Las VegasThe entire copper cupola project took several months and put our sheet metal talents, experience with roof dome structures, and our copper roofing expertise to the test for a one-of-a-kind project. We’re very pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in helping to write a new chapter in Nevada history.

For more pictures from the installation and to see a photo of the entire finished cupola, visit our Nevada Supreme Court Cupola Dome project page. If you have any questions about the cupola project, a monument that now belongs to all Nevadans, contact us and we’ll be happy to answer them.

 

Prestige Roofing’s work ranges from service and repair work,  re-roofing  and new construction work, commercial and residential work. They have also done work for ultra-custom projects around the Las Vegas Valley.