Copper Versus Slate Roofing

4 May 2016
 Categories: , Blog


If you are looking for a way to dress up your home, you should consider using a premium roofing material. In many cases, your roof will be highly visible from the ground. Thus, even if the facade of your home is gorgeous, a low-cost roofing material can cheapen the look of your home. Either slate or copper can be used to dress up a home, but in terms of cost-effectiveness, copper is the better choice. 


Both copper and slate are known as long-lasting materials, but whereas slate comes with a built-in expiration date, copper does not. There are two types of slate and choosing the most long-lasting slate will depend on knowing how long each type will last. Soft slate will last 50-125 years, and hard slate will last from 75-200 years. In either case, this is impressive durability, but not when compared to copper. While copper should look like a new penny when affixed to your roof, it will fade to a Statue-of-Liberty grey-green within a few years. The green color stems from a patina, which is a form of corrosion. While corrosion is bad, once the patina forms, it will protect the underlying metal so that no further corrosion occurs. As long as the patina stays intact, a copper roof can last indefinitely. Advantage: copper.


The frame of a roof is designed to handle only a certain amount of weight. Slate is one of the heaviest roofing materials on the market, weighing up to 26 pounds per square foot. If you are retrofitting an existing home with slate, you may have to reinforce your roof, which can add thousands of dollars to the installation cost. Even if you are roofing a new building, you will have to build a roofing frame which is strong enough to handle slate. On the other hand, copper should weight less than asphalt shingles, so you won't have to worry about its weight collapsing your roof. Advantage: Copper.

As long as you are going to spend thousands of dollars dressing up your roof, you should make sure that you are getting the best value for your money. While slate is a beautiful roofing material, it is not as practical as copper. What's more, when your copper roof reaches the end of its service life, you can still get some money back by recycling it. Better said, the future generation of owners for your house can recycle it since a copper roof should outlast you and maybe even your home. Simply put, copper roofing presents a better value than slate. To learn more about Cleroux & Sons Roofing pitched roofs and similar products, speak with your roofing professional.