Metal & Copper Roofing Blog

Is There a Substitute for Real Copper Roofing?

 Someone reached out recently to inquire about a "copper look" option. Copper roofing is a premium choice for many reasons, and there are many people who want the aesthetics of copper without its price tag - understandably! It's true that you can find a lot "fake copper" paint finishes on the market these days. Still, when people ask if there's a substitute for real copper roofing, the truth is - not really.

Copper look without the copper price?

 I must get multiple email every week from metal and metal finish vendors who send photos of their latest attempt to replicate the look of an aging copper roof. It’s a very trendy and highly-requested option in metal roofing. However, I can tell you from experience that not a single one of the two-tone or “print” patterns that are supposed to emulate the look of copper can achieve that goal. The reason is quite simple:  The makers of these copper imitators work extremely hard to make their paint finishes durable and long-lasting. In order to achieve this goal, the finishes have to be regular and extremely resistant to UV and other environmental conditions. They make them so that they will not react with their environment. That’s the opposite of actual bare copper, which does react to its environment!

the nature of real copper

A real copper roof will never be a regular color after a few years of performing its job. That’s how you know it’s the real thing!  Part of it might be gray, part black, some streaks of green here, a flash of turquoise there - all the colors and tones that signal a copper roof reacting with the conditions of its exposure. The imitators are clearly imitators because they just don’t change.  
Unless you don’t really care, or never get close enough to notice, I’m afraid anyone who has ever seen an actual copper roof (and copper has been used as a roof all over the world for more than a thousands of years, so that’s a pretty big group of people!), can usually spot a fake in just a few moments of observation.
All of that to say, that if you want a finish that looks like copper but isn’t - the multi-tone prints are not a very convincing alternative to most people’s eyes. If you truly want something that suggests it could be a copper roof, but just don’t have the budget, then I usually point my clients toward one of the finished steel or aluminum options with a darker bronze color. Once a little dust accumulates, it will look a lot like a copper roof that has begun to “turn” but hasn’t reached an advanced degree of patina.
If you'd like to learn more about this option or true copper, we invite you to contact us today. Copper is our specialty, and we're happy to answer all of your questions

Topics: copper roofing Reno