Everything You Need To Know About Copper Rain Gutters And Verdigris

Installing copper rain gutters is an excellent way to upgrade the style and look of the exterior of your home. If you are getting ready to have your home's roof replaced and have considered getting a new rain gutter system installed at the same time, then it's a great idea to consider upgrading to copper. 

If you love the look of copper rain gutters but aren't sure how to keep them shiny or promote the formation of their natural green verdigris oxidation, then the following information will help clear it up for you:

Copper Metal and the Oxidation Process

When copper rain gutters are first installed, they will be bright and shiny. However, once the copper metal is exposed to the elements it oxidizes and forms a brown tarnish coating. As the tarnish coating further ages, it turns green. This green oxidation layer is referred to as verdigris.

Some homeowners prefer the shiny copper metal present on the day of installation and want to keep it. Other homeowners prefer their rain gutters develop a nice thick green verdigris layer. While there is no right or wrong option, all of them do require some human intervention.

Preserving the Shiny Copper Metal 

If you don't want your newly installed copper rain gutters to tarnish or form verdigris, then you need to proactively have your roofing contractor seal them.

Wearing a pair of gloves to keep the oils from their hands from contaminating the copper, the roofer will apply a clear coat layer similar to the clear coat paint layer on your car. The coating prevents the copper from oxidizing because it prevents it from coming into contact with any oxygen.

Prematurely Promoting Verdigris

If you want your new rain gutters to have verdigris and don't want to wait for a few years while it naturally forms, then they can be chemically oxidized. Acetic acid will prematurely oxidize copper and make it form an outer verdigris layer. While there are some subtle differences between the look of naturally vs/ chemically oxidized copper most people won't notice the difference. 

Naturally Aging Copper Rain Gutters

Lastly, if you would like to let your home's new copper rain gutters age naturally, then that's completely acceptable. In fact, many homeowners enjoy watching their new gutter system as it changes from bright shiny copper metal to deep verdigris green. If you opt to go this route, make sure you take some photographs during each stage for posterity.  

Speak with local roofing services for more information.