Why We Love Copper Roofing

wind resistant copper roofing on a large luxury Las Vegas home

Beyond Copper Roofing

Copper is one of the most beautiful and versatile construction materials in the world. Long prized for its beauty, copper has been used for centuries to grace roofs and buildings, and with its useful properties, is also used in many applications, from plumbing and electrical to cooking utensils. One of its advantages is its malleability. Copper is a soft metal and can be bent and formed into artistic shapes, round, curved, wavy, and can be shaped into unique fixtures that may be functional, decorative or both. Copper’s long term durability and strength mean it is a great investment for buildings, whether they are private homes and businesses, or historic cathedrals and monuments. At Prestige, we love working with copper and take immense pride in our team’s skills with forming and finishing the custom roofs, building elements and decorative fixtures we create for our clients.

Copper’s Useful Properties

copper tubes and bars in warehouse copper fixtures plumbing and electrical parts

Copper is one of the noble metals. This means, like gold, it is commonly found in its raw form in nature. This elemental origin gives it some highly regarded properties, such as resistance to corrosion. Along with strength and malleability, it has excellent electrical and thermal conductivity, which is why it is commonly used in electrical and HVAC systems. As a brass alloy, it’s used in car parts like radiators. Copper nickel is used for valves, fittings and pipes in water and gas systems. One of its other elemental properties is that copper is antibacterial, so much so that the EPA has listed 280 copper alloys that can be sold as antibacterial materials for use in fixtures in schools, hospitals and other public buildings. As an essential element, it is also a necessary micronutrient for healthy metabolic function in people, plants, animals and most organisms.

With its high tensile strength, the soft metal can be stretched, and is easily formed and reformed to a desired shape, then it can be soldered or welded into place. And, when polished, copper shines and is beautiful to look at. Copper is truly one of our most useful metals.

Working with Copper

copper worker installing copper panels on the outer wall of a building

With so many great properties, copper is a prized material for everything from household items to building materials. Added to its corrosion and rust resistance, strength, longevity and malleability, copper is beautiful and a joy to work with. Because it is relatively soft, it can be bent, hammered and cut easily. This allows the coppersmith to envision and create just about anything from the copper material. As long as it is not creased, which may leave a mark on the metal, a copper sheet can be hammered and reformed, so that it can be used or repurposed in many ways. Coppersmiths enjoy producing one of a kind items by hand, like pots and kettles, jewelry and other objects, using a number of traditional tools, including hammer, chisel, vises, jeweler’s saw and bench buffer to polish the metal. Copper is prized in the kitchen for its durability, antimicrobial and heat conductive properties. It’s not only for pots and pans, but is great for backsplashes, plumbing fixtures, countertops and lighting, adding warmth and beauty to the room. Copper architecture is a long appreciated use of this versatile metal.

The Art of Copper Roofing

four layer copper portico on facade of luxury las vegas home

With such amazing properties, copper has many advantages as a roofing material. Beyond its beauty and artistry, copper is highly durable and can last a century or more when properly installed. Its resistance to corrosion and rust means it is highly reliable and retains its protective abilities as well as its beauty. It is resistant to damage from the elements. It is valuable in warm climates as it reflects the heat of the sun to keep the building interior cooler. While a copper roof is more costly up front than a tile or asphalt roof, it lasts longer, requires less maintenance and repair, and adds value to the home or business property.

residential home in Henderson Nevada view on top of copper roof under construction

Building a copper roof is an art in itself. Experienced artisans prepare and form the panels needed for the project. Copper roofing is usually constructed using 16 or 20 oz. rolled copper sheets. The rooftop is prepared and must be completely smooth, with no protruding nails or other impediments. An underlayment, which serves as a sort of cushion to protect the copper, is installed first on the roof, leaving a completely smooth surface. It is secured with copper nails. That is followed by a layer of waterproof building paper that will protect moisture from reaching the underlayment or the beams of the house and acts as a further heat shield. The copper is formed into identical “pans” using pan formers. These formed panels fit the roof requirements and interlock together, creating a smooth, watertight roof surface in the desired configuration and design. Sealant will be applied between the upper and lower interlocked panels. Power seamers help to finish the seam.

Because of its versatility, there are many ways a copper roof can be designed and formed, making it one of the best materials for custom roofing. Copper roof design styles include standing seam, batten seam, chevron, flat seam, mansard and long pan, among others. Roofs can also be curved for added beauty and utility, using curving equipment to gently roll the copper into a curve to create the distinct look. Roofs can be finished with unique custom copper fixtures like louvers, soffits and vents, even spires, turrets and cupolas.

Custom Copper Features that Beautify your Home

copper portico roof fixture on patio of luxury home

Copper isn’t confined to roofs of course. Prestige has over twenty five years experience with the art of custom copper design and installation. As a premier custom copper roofing specialist in Las Vegas, along with copper roofing, we have created beautiful custom copper roofs and other features, including walls (interior and exterior), doorways and door panels, gazebos, fireplaces and many more beautiful copper accent fixtures in homes and businesses around the Las Vegas Valley.

Find out more about how adding copper roofing or accents to your home or building can enhance and improve your property. We are happy to share ideas and examples and discuss options with you for a custom copper project to beautify your property. Just give us a call at 702-646-7536.