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Copper and Zinc Roofing

As we all know that copper tends to form a protective green patina, thus with copper roofing, you will get a prominent visual accent in your built environments. This type of roofing is opposite to the occluded skies of our temperate climate. Though copper roofing in Edinburgh is quite expensive it will provide you several benefits. In history, copper was used in the manufacturing of high-profile buildings only. By the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the price of copper reduced and after this, it became available for use in a broader range of buildings types.


The benefits of copper sheets

The first benefit of using copper as a roofing material is that it forms a water-resistant covering with minimum joints between sheets.

Also, with this metal, roof slopes get covered at a lower pitch as it provides a smooth surface over curved architectural forms which are might not possible with any other roofing material. In this respect, copper is not the only metal used as a Edinburgh roofing material.

You have the option to use other alternatives including tin, steel, aluminum, and galvanized or stainless steels. However copper provides even more benefits over these alternative metals.

The copper is more tensile and thus helps in forming thinner and lighter sheets and so it requires less structure for support. The more tensile strength helps in reducing the chances for creep and thus making it more suitable for all steeply pitched roofs like domes and spires.

The melting point of copper is also high thus providing greater fire resistance. This is the reason why copper is considered suitable for use in all-important historic valuable structures.

Even the outer corrosive oxidized layer of copper provides a protective coating to the inner metal. This way prevents the oxidation of copper metal present beneath. This is the reason why the copper sheets stand for even more than 100 years. There is the production of patina by the oxidation of the copper which is green copper carbonate. This patination gives the distinctive green colors to the most historic roof covering. Also, the patination depends on the climatic condition and air pollution. The colder, less pollution, and dryer the environment, the more time will take to form the patination layer.


Installation of Copper Sheet roofing

Longer strips of copper are used while installing the copper sheet roofing. In this method, there is the use of long trays of the copper sheet around 520 mm wide and up to 8.5 m long. This type of Edinburgh roofing requires fewer clips and cross welts in comparison to conventional methods and they are seen to be long-standing and are often machine-made.

Common defects

Mechanical damage, deterioration, and corrosion of the supporting structure can affect copper roofing. In the case when the roof was laid in such a way that prevents it from responding to the prevailing environmental or climatic condition, then this will accelerate the rise of defects because of the stress that is applied to the sheets.

Coppers tend to harden at the point where it is exposed to maximum stress and this results in a star crack form at the intersection of the lines where the sheet has flexed.

There are chances of accidental cracks also where you can see the deformation of the sheets and this prevents the copper roof from performing correctly.

Corrosion of the copper sheet through any acid leads to the thinning of the sheet. An acid solution is known to remove the patination layer and thus exposing the inner metal to get oxidized and cause thinning of the sheet. With more and more thinning, the chances of perforation will increase.

In the case of improper ventilation, the chances for the deterioration of the structure and the underlying roofing can occur. This will lead to progressive failure of the roof.

Another common defect in copper roofing includes staining. Though it does not affect the weathering capability of the copper but reduces the visual appearance of the roof. The flow of any other metal over the copper sheet will result in the change of the color and thus the development of the stain.


Repair method

In most the repairing method, the sheets are held together using welted joints. Also, it is possible to reopen the joints and replace the deteriorated sheet with the new one. You can also change the size of the sheet in order to make it better suitable for the mechanical force.

Also, sometimes the copper can harden, and thus there will be more chances of cracks in it. In order to soften the copper again, simply heat it. This process is known as annealing. It is possible to patch the smaller damaged areas using soldering, brazing, and welding.

Considering replacement

In the case when the defect is due to the laying process or because of the specification of copper sheets, then the only method to address this situation is relaying. In order to conserve the historic building, there is a need for the replacement work in such a way that it matches the original details.

A well-laid and well-supported copper layer can last for more than 80 years. Also, it is possible to improve the sustainability of the copper using suitable repair instead of replacement.

Zinc as a roofing material

Zinc is another great alternative to be used as a roofing material.


Why should we choose zinc?

With zinc, you will get original and distinctive aspects. This luminous, warm, and highly expressive metal will respond freely according to the play of light. As this metal is aesthetically and mechanically flexible thus lends itself according to the creation of the original with other materials including brick, wood, glass, cement, etc.


The unlimited creativity of the architect can be expressed using this zinc material as it tends to adopt any shape you give to it. You can use this zinc metal to fit the curves as well as to form complex shapes which might be difficult to form using any other material.

Optimum investment

Zinc is more corrosion resistant. It has the tendency to protect itself by forming the layer of patina and thus stand for a really impressive long life span. There is a need for very little maintenance and no need to coat or varnish it. Zinc is known to develop a protective layer continuously and tends to self-repair the scratches and imperfections.

Easy to specify

Using zinc, you can construct complex shapes that might be impossible using any other roofing material. This metal has a tendency to get adapted according to the local professional particularities, to the comfort or regulation requirements that are specific to every building.

Natural and recyclable

It is possible to recycle zinc for an infinite time.

RHEINZINK is a type of alloy made by the addition of titanium and copper to zinc. It is manufactured in the form of continuous wide strip casting and rolling process. With more fabrication, there is the production of sheets, cladding systems, and rainwater goods.

This alloy namely RHEINZINK is best suited for all types of roofing shapes including conical, domes, concave, and convex shape.

You can also use the traditional roll cap joint when needed. Make sure that all the roofing applications are adequately ventilated.

VM ZINC is also becoming a popular choice for roofing as well as for facade projects as they are naturally corrosion-resistant, need less maintenance, and are extremely durable.

Are you looking for zinc roofing contractors in Edinburgh or copper roofing experts?

Ronald G Graham Roofing & Building Ltd is a no.1 copper and zinc roofing company in Edinburgh areas! Call now at 01315555121

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