A Brief History of Copper Roof Cladding & Why it’s Still Used Today

Following on from our recent article in which we discussed the benefits of zinc roof cladding for industrial roofing, we wanted to explore other popular commercial and industrial roof cladding options – in particular, copper roof cladding.

Copper roof cladding was once found everywhere across the urban and domestic landscape of Britain, and we wanted to put together a brief history of this type of roof cladding, and why it’s still considered one of the the most popular cladding materials.

The roof cladding material of ancient times

The use of copper as a waterproof roof cladding material has been around for a very long time. In fact the material dates back at least ten thousand years, and was the first metal to be widely used by many ancient civilizations. Even one of the most pivotal historical stages of human history was named after a copper alloy, the Bronze Age.

Before the name was Anglicised into English, as copper, it was known as Cyprium and later shortened to Cuprum. This was due to the fact the metal was originally mined in Cyprus all the way back in the fourth millennium BC.

It’s proven to be an indispensable material throughout the centuries, with many craftsmen and designers taking advantage of its appearance and durability to build beautiful and long-lasting structures.

There’s an abundance of ancient medieval buildings that still manage to maintain their original copper roofing to this day.

Copper today

These days the versatile metal is mass produced all over the world, from open cast mines, smelted from vast quantities of ore, and refined by electrolysis in huge tank houses.

Numerous buildings still sport the distinct greenish roofs and domes, a coloring that’s caused when the air has reacted with copper over time, creating an additional protection against corrosion.

Copper is now readily available in sheets or strips, can be worked at any temperature, and is known for its longevity and the fact that it never becomes brittle in cold weather.

An effective roof cladding option

When it comes to copper as an effective roof cladding material, nothing’s really changed. Thanks to its reliable resistance to rainfall and temperature changes, along with its ability to deal with corrosive elements, it’s still one of the most popular choices for many commercial and industrial roofing projects.

The metal’s flexibility allows it to be used on uneven or irregular roof shapes, and it can also be cost saving thanks to its reflective properties. Copper has the ability to reflect heat and also retain interior heat depending on the season.

Copper roof cladding is not only very versatile, fireproof, and recyclable, it’s also a material that gets more aesthetically elegant with age.

At Roofing Consultants, we understand that choosing a roof cladding material that’s suitable for you is subject to a variety of factors, from the climate and the budget, to the aesthetic qualities you require for your commercial or industrial roofing system.

As well as copper, zinc, steel and other materials, we can also install a variety of popular metal roof cladding systems. And our specialists can guide you through which roof cladding material will be suitable for your particular needs.

You can check out one of our recent, successful roof cladding projects here.

Please fill out our contact form today, or give us a call on 0800 046 1500 – for more information.