how to keep copper gutters from tarnishing

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

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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  • The gutter system is responsible for protecting your house from excessive damping. Since it faces heavy rains and winds, it can be easily filthy due to various debris, especially leaves. It is vital to clean the gutters to keep it unclogged. Because clogged gutters cause some costly repairs over time.

    If you plan to clean the gutters by yourself, one of the main questions might be, ‘how long does it take to clean gutters?’ apart from the time it takes, today we will discuss a bunch of different factors which are important to keep a clean and well-functioned gutter system.

    Is Cleaning Gutters Hard? 

    Absolutely not! Thankfully, there are some easy ways to clean gutters nowadays. Depending on the condition of your gutters, you can choose whatever tool is easy to work with. Some methods even do not require a ladder, so there is no danger to your safety. You can use a garden hose which comes with a long attachment.

    Another easy method is using a wet/dry vacuum. And there are different kinds of leaf blowers and power washers. If you like the traditional method, you can just climb the ladder and clean the gutters with your hands.

    How Often Should Gutters Be Emptied? 

    The minimum requirement for cleaning would be two times per year. Experts advise that you should observe the gutters one to two times per 12 months and take action to keep them clean.

    The reason why, you will get into trouble if you do not check it for years and years. Regular cleaning is the only way to prevent damages in the gutter system.

    If you live in an area where there are frequent rains and storms, you have to clean the gutters more than two times, especially if there are a lot of trees. And it is a must to clean the gutters before snowing; otherwise, they will be blocked by snow and ice.

     How Long Does It Take to Clean Gutters? 

    In short, it will normally take two to five hours to fully clean the gutter system. However, depending on some factors, this estimated time can increase or decrease.

    First of all, the size of your gutter system should be considered. Gutters of single-story houses do not take much time than 2 or 3-story houses. And if it has been a long time since the final cleaning, the time can exceed.

    Besides, the tools you use for the cleaning determine the time because there are some high-efficiency machines to clean gutters at present.

    If you go for such a machine, you can do it within a short time. If your property is an older one, there might not be implementations for this issue. Thus, you will need more time to clean it.

    The time takes to clean the gutters cannot be said exactly. However, it would be best to take your time to do this job since it is vital to avoid future repairs.

    What is the Easiest Method to Clean Gutters? 

    If you do not go for a professional service, here is the method to clean the gutters easily. First, you can use a leaf blower to get rid of dry leaves. It will instantly blow the leaves away. After that, use a power washer to wash the gutters thoroughly.

    Due to the high pressure it creates, all the debris will remove from the gutters within a short time and give a smooth polish to the gutters. When you do this task, make sure to wear protective clothes and eye goggles. In addition, learn how to operate these machines preciously before you do it for the first time.

    Easiness does not always depend on the tool or method. It is also determined by the weather condition when you do the task.

    Make sure to clean the gutters in spring or fall because there is a mild climate during those seasons than in other months of the year.

    How Do Professionals Clean Gutters?

    The process of professional cleaning includes a few steps. First, they remove the larger pieces of debris as much as possible using a machine or by hand.

    After that, a mechanical brush is used to scrub the gutters thoroughly. Then the rotten leaves and mold will be removed well. When they scrub, the gutters are washed with steam cleaners as well.

    Finally, the gutters will look polished because all the moss and dirty marks have disappeared. If they recommend doing some repairs, this procedure will be different.

    The above is the most common method that is followed by professionals. But there may be some differences and specialties from one company to another.

    How Much Do Most People Charge to Clean Gutters? 

    If you hope to get the service from a professional, it would be better to have an idea of the charges. If your house is a single-story one that is equipped with a 200 linear feet gutter system, the charge will lie between $70 to $100.

    If your house is a two-story one, you will have to spend $95 to $225. For a house of more than two stories, the charges lie between $170 to $450. These estimated charges can vary depending on the condition of your gutters. If the gutters are in need of a particular repair, the cost will be increased.

    What Happens If you Don’t Clean your Gutters

    What Happens If you Don’t Clean your Gutters? 

    Filthy gutter systems can carry devastating consequences. If you do not care about them, the end result will be costly repairs. Such major problems have been listed below.

    1. Leakage – if the downspout is clogged by debris, standing water has no way to flow. Then it will gradually gather and leak.
    2. Mold – the leaves in the gutters rot over time. As a result, mold can grow on the gutters. If they begin to enter the house, you may have some health issues as well. Apart from mold, when there are composed leaves, there is a chance for terrible bugs and pests to dwell there.
    3. Damages to the Roof – if the excessive rainwater is gathered in the gutters, they soak the shingles. Eventually, the entire roof will be damaged.
    4. Driveway Destruction – when there is no proper drainage system, the ground around the house can be damaged because water will pool up.


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