How to Keep Copper Gutters from Tarnishing? [Causes Fixes]

how to keep copper gutters from tarnishing

Copper gutters are top-notch and undoubtedly provide unparalleled performance and outlook. However, they turn pale and green over time, spoiling the vibes. How to keep copper gutters from tarnishing? How to maintain them shiny forever? 

Are you concerned about it? You are in the right corner! 

Stick around to learn about everything in the context, from why copper gutters tarnish to how you can keep them dazzling. Plus many more facts you would want to know on the go. 

Let us get right in and unleash the discussion. 

Do All Copper Gutters Turn Green? 

Yes, all copper gutters will turn green over time. 

Although copper gutters are renowned for their chic outlook and top-tier functionality, tarnishing with usage is almost unavoidable due to chemical reactions in the atmosphere. 

Over time (depending on your location’s environmental factors), your copper gutters will go from their shiny hue to a pale, green, and bluish green. 

This tarnishing is called “patina,” to put it out in layman’s terms.

Surprisingly, many people love patina formation on copper gutters as it provides a rich appearance and escalated aesthetics. 

We understand you do not share the same thoughts. So we’ve got you! 

As we move further, we’ll walk you through how to keep your gutters shiny and prevent a patina from forming. 

Is It Difficult to Maintain Copper Gutters? 

No, it is not. Copper gutters are not challenging when it comes down to maintenance. It is easy, and you can do it yourself if you have some hand-person skills up your sleeves. 

Copper gutters have excellent functionalities. They perform well and even last upto several years. 

Depending on your environmental conditions, you will only need to clean them once or twice per year. 

Why Do Copper Gutters Tarnish? 

When copper is left unprotected in the atmosphere, it will react with any reactants it comes in contact with. 

Copper and oxygen are born rivals. They do not get along at all. 

So what happens when Mr. oxygen gets touchy with Mr. copper? BATTLE (oxidation reaction). 

Many other environmental factors, such as temperature, moisture, pollution, etc., also contribute to oxidation reactions in the atmosphere. 

As a result, the shiny appearance of the copper diminishes gradually and finally ends in a patina. 

So the reason why copper gutters tarnish is chemistry! It is unavoidable, and you can’t stop it unless you apply a coating over the copper gutters. 

How Long Does It Take for Copper Gutters to Tarnish?

There is no ballpark number to it. 

How long it will take for copper gutters to tarnish entirely depends on the environmental conditions of your location. 

If the factors contributing to oxidation are highly present in your place, the gutters will tarnish quickly. 

If the intensity of such factors is less in your area, the tarnishing will take time. 

In general terms, it can take from months to years. It all depends on climatic factors and environmental conditions. 

How to Keep Copper Gutters from Tarnishing? 

How do you keep your copper gutters from losing their shine? What are the solutions? 

A few available ways can help you prolong the shiny outlook of copper gutters and maintain them for long periods. 

Let us discuss them in detail down below. 

  • Go for High-quality Copper Gutters

When installing copper gutters, do NOT settle for anything less than high-grade copper material. Refined quality copper will give a peek performance with an excellent outlook for long periods. 

Poor-quality copper will let oxidation speed up and tarnish much faster, and you can’t blame it for that – it is bound to happen, given its quality. 

Pay attention to what grade of copper you are choosing for the installation.

  • Apply a Coating 

Another brilliant idea to implement to maintain the sparkle of your gutters is to settle for a suitable coating.

Coat the copper gutters with an anti-oxidant paint that will not discolor over time. (it might low-key cost you a handful)

Since several such anti-oxidant paint options are in the market, be careful of your choice. Ensure what you settle for will remain consistent over time.

In addition to the anti-oxidant coating, apply a UV protectant on the top to prevent discoloration to the gutter.

 If the sun throws swords, we put on armor: no more battles, no more bloodshed.

  • Use Copper Cleaning Gels/ Pastes

This solution is not to keep your copper gutters shiny. But if your gutters have already begun to diminish in hue and worry you – this is the solution.

Let us teach you how to bring back the original shine of copper. Once you regain the shine, you can work on maintaining it for a long time using the ways we explained above.

So what must you do to erase the tarnished look on the copper gutters and make them shiny?

Nothing complicated and dramatic. It is straightforward.

Note down the ingredients you need to DIY the cooper cleaning paste,

  • Flour
  • Vinegar
  • Salt

Everything is available in your kitchen.

How long it will take for copper gutters to tarnish

Mix all three ingredients (which are mentioned above) in equal quantities and make a thick paste. Once done, take a soft brush and head to the roof. Be careful not to trip and fall.

Dip the brush in the paste and gently brush it in a circular motion on the tarnished areas of the gutter for a few seconds to minutes (until the shine returns).

Wipe off the paste with a dampened cloth to finish off. As simple as that.

If this method doesn’t work, you will have to go for commercial cooper cleaning gels in the market that are relatively harsh but will get the job done.

Refer to the label on the gels to learn how to use them. Stick to the instruction, and you will be good to go.

Once you take the dull look from the copper gutters, apply a good anti-oxidant layer with a UV protectant on the gutter to keep it shining for extensive periods.

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