I was just reading online tonight and I have to admit that I was shocked and a bit taken aback when I came across a question from a homeowner who owned a copper roof. The question was, “I have a copper roof that is turning green, can I paint it?” My jaw hit the floor. Most people who own copper roofs either proudly maintain them or allow them to turn green with equal pride. Painting a copper roof would not only ruin the roof, it would be a waste of time. Copper is a metal, it gets very hot during the summer. Paint would blister and peel off, leaving behind a nasty mess.
DIY Cleaning and Maintenance
Most people never clean their copper roofing or guttering. The entire reason behind investing such a large amount of money into copper is the timeless beauty it provides. Homeowners who use copper love it during all stages of life. New copper shines like a new penny for lack of a better term, and old copper maintains a lovely patina (greening).
Cleaning your copper roof or guttering is actually quite simple. Use a cleaner that is designed for use on copper, and buff it out with a clean, soft cloth. This will help protect your copper roof or guttering, effectively lengthening the already-long lifespan. Many copper roofs are passed from generation to generation when the original homeowner passes away.
Some copper owners swear by a mixture of lemon juice and salt to clean copper. Simply spray the mixture on the roof, allow it to sit briefly, lightly rub any tough dirt, and then rinse away. Take time to buff the surface with a soft cloth until it shines. Add white vinegar to the mixture for particularly difficult stains.
One of the most effective cleaners is Brasso. If your roof has a black coating, caused by pollen and pollutants, apply a thin coat of Brasso and let it set for a few minutes. Use a scrubbing pad made for ceramic sinks and very lightly rub the surface to bring it back to the original lovely copper color.
Spray or roll a layer of clear lacquer, or spray a high quality top coat, to maintain the shiny copper look. Please keep in mind that lacquer will slightly darken the color of the copper. This application will likely have to be repeated year after year.
Cleaning your copper roof and guttering system to perfection isn’t an easy job. You can hire a professional or hire neighborhood teens looking for summertime work. Many teens look for lawn work, landscaping, and other home improvement type of work to occupy their summer days while earning some spending cash.
We take great pride in all copper metalwork here at GSB Services, LLC. Please feel free to call us any time to discuss any problems you may behaving with your copper roofing, guttering, or downspouts.