Best Copper Alloy for Roof

I’m building a mountain home that will have an old european look. I’ve decided to use copper roofing tiles because it is in keeping with the style. Also the home is located in a very high fire hazard area.

Being a metal worker, I immediately investigated the available copper alloys and tempers that roofers use. To my surprise, nearly all use unalloyed 110 copper. As far as copper goes, 110 is low strength and has relatively low resistance to corrosion. My guess is that its popularity is due to its availability and ease of soldering.

I want to know what roofers have to say about materials like copper clad stainless, copper clad aluminum and architectural bronze 220.

The golf ball hail stones that we get will probably dent the aluminum, but I think the 220 bronze will take it. I’m sure the copper clad stainless will.

Since your area is fire hazard. You made a good choice for choosing copper alloy for your roof.

I’m not familiar with the ‘110’ designation.
I use 16oz. cold-rolled for standing seam as a rule. 20 oz. for flat-lock and some standing seam.
For longevity, I much prefer the LLC 20 oz.
(20 oz. Leaded Copper). It stays gray and wears well.

I recently took these pix of one I did in the 80’s at Nags Head, N.C.
[attachment=2]Leaded Copper Roof (3).JPG[/attachment]

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[attachment=0]Leaded Copper Roof (15).JPG[/attachment]

I just found a couple of pix of it I took right after we finished before I headed back to Va.

[attachment=2]Leaded Copper Roof 16.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=1]Leaded Copper Roof 17.jpg[/attachment]

[attachment=0]Leaded Copper Roof 18.jpg[/attachment]

This roof gets several big storms every year, and a few named ones too.

Interesting question. Actually did some reading on Metallurgy to try and answer it… I don’t think tensile strength matters much for roofing applications as we add expansion joints where needed. Are you sure about the corrosion resistance being low? I was always under the impression that it was the opposite. In any case if your area is prone to damaging hail storms they will wreck a copper roof. Have you considered a fuax slate roof? Something like:


Fuax slate was originally designed for people that want the look of slate but their house isn’t framed to support the weight. Some look great, some look bad but the better ones look like real slate unless closely inspected. It is highly durable and I’ve actually seen roofs take a direct hit by a downed tree without taking damage; it’s like a kevlar roof. It should work with your European motif and work be extremely resilient to hail. You’d have to do your own reading on fire ratings though.