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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    261

    Default How to inspect a copper roof?

    Will be inspecting a home with some additions, at least one of which apparetly has a copper roof. While no expert, but have seen my fair share of metal roofs, I have never inspected a copper roof. Sorry, no details, I have not yet seen the house, but wanted to do some homework ahead of time.

    Having watched a short TV segment about a copper smith installing a copper roof by hand, it looks like its more involved than the typical quality of workmanship I usually see around here.

    For example, are there concerns about di-electric effects like we see in plumbing? If they use fasteners, what type should be used? Any typical installation issues and problems?

    Thanks

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    2,797

    Default Re: How to inspect a copper roof?

    Might be copper roof shingles:

    Site Browser - Showroom411.com

    Very cool material, there's a house just down the street from me with one of these roofs, I'll shoot a pic tomorrow.

    Michael Thomas
    Paragon Property Services Inc., Chicago IL
    http://paragoninspects.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    1,828

    Default Re: How to inspect a copper roof?

    Man, you must have to wear welders glasses to install those babies.
    On the copper roofs you generally want to inspect the soldered joints for hairline cracks and general poor workmanship. You have to look closely.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: How to inspect a copper roof?

    Thanks guys, that helps..

    From surfing the net, I see there are traditional methods, the newer panels as in Michael's link, and rolled copper sheeting. All vary in installation. I sae only one brief mention on the Paradigm web site that all nails should be supplied by Paradigm Shingles, Inc. (probably not cheap either).

    Just for the fun comments, I like the site about rolled copper sheeting at Copper Roofing - Forming and Installing a Standing Seam Copper Roof - -
    "and if the price of copper keeps going up, your grandchildren may be able to sell it for scrap in the 22nd century", and "One of the hazards of working on copper roofs is you are essentially working above a giant mirror . . . you can get quite a burn if you aren't paying attention. Nor would I suggest putting bright copper on a parabolic shaped roof that happens to be pointed at a forest."

    I see most of the traditional methods want a layer of rosin paper on top of roofing felt, to prevent contact with galvanized nails or stapels, and to prevent contact with condensation. Flashing around plumbing vents etc could be tricky it looks like if not done right.

    I have seen a couple of nice homes with copper roofs around my area, but am afraid the house I will be inspecting will have been done on the cheap somehow, and copper roofing does not seem to be a roofing material that any do-it-yourselfer should be doing on the cheap. Will see.

    Thanks again, I was having trouble finding any installation manuals. Any other cautions or suggestions will also be appreciated.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: How to inspect a copper roof?

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Beck View Post
    Just for the fun comments, I like the site about rolled copper sheeting at Copper Roofing - Forming and Installing a Standing Seam Copper Roof - -

    The problem doing it as shown in that link is that metal expands, meaning that copper expands, and in long runs like they are talking about that expansion could be significant and cause bowing of the roofing.

    The reason most metal roofing comes in lengths is twofold: 1) easier handling of shorter links; 2) expansion is allowed of those shorter links by one overlapping the other.

    Some codes have, or at least had, a maximum length for metal roofing, specifically for the expansion reason - 35 feet as I recall.

    That expansion is also why it is recommended that valley metal not be run up a valley in one piece but be two or more pieces overlapped.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Southern Vancouver Island
    Posts
    4,549

    Default Re: How to inspect a copper roof?

    I found a magnet to be handy for checking mystery metal roofs. I've been surprised a few times to find what looks like steel is an alloy of something else and vice versa. If in doubt, it's "metal".


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: How to inspect a copper roof?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kogel View Post
    If in doubt, it's "metal".

    That's why they are called "metal roofs".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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