|What are the benefits of using copper guttering?
Copper can be traced back for use in roofing and guttering to 27BC when the roof of the Pantheon in Rome was covered in copper. It is a pure, natural material with the added attraction of unique changing visual characteristics. Offering an effectively indefinite design life, it is extremely durable and resistant to corrosion in any atmosphere, requiring no decoration, cleaning and virtually no maintenance other than the removal of debris that may fall into the guttering. Copper is environmentally friendly, fully recyclable, safe to use and can be worked at all temperatures.
Besides its high corrosion resistance and attractive appearance it also acts as an algaecide and fungicide, keeping growths such as moss and lichens to a minimum. This is important as these growths can cause blockages and additional maintenance in all other types of gutter systems. Tried and tested fixing details and techniques make copper the most trouble-free material for roofing, cladding, flashing, gutters and down pipes.
When copper is exposed to the elements, it protects itself by developing a patina over time which reforms if damaged, ensuring durability and resistance to corrosion in virtually any atmosphere. Unlike other materials copper does not suffer from underside corrosion.
Over the life cycle of a building copper generally is one of the most competitive building materials available.
Expansion and Contraction
Copper has a low thermal co-efficient of expansion (0.0168mm/m/deg C) being approximately 40% less than zinc and lead. This means that copper guttering can be fitted without the need for expansion joints on continuous straight runs of less than 100 metres. When guttering is secured to the copper brackets, the ductility and malleability is so good that slight movements due to thermal expansion and contraction are easily accommodated and do not cause problems such as buckling or cracking that can occur with other types of guttering material.
Copper is compatible with cedar shingles, lead, and cast iron. Copper gutter can be used for rainwater run-off from fresh or old concrete. It cannot be used on flat bitumen sealed roofs where ponding can cause high concentrations of acid build up or with zinc and alluminium as the copper will cause the other metal to corrode.
With growing awareness of environmental issues and increasing concern for the health and safety of those constructing and maintaining buildings, copper is more than ever the most cost effective, adaptable roofing and guttering material of the future.