Will Copper Gutters Turn Green?

September 22, 2021

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Copper Gutter System Turning into Green Color
Copper gutters are very reliable if you're looking for a longstanding solution to keep moisture away from your home. Their durability is one of their biggest perks, but they also bring a unique touch to your home's esthetic appeal, especially when it comes to seamless rain gutters. The patina they gain through the years is a topic of discussion, though, and some people don't feel comfortable with not knowing how their gutters' appearance will change over the year. Let's take a closer look.

Copper gutters can go for 50+ years without repairs, so they represent a fruitful investment in the long run. They can be tailored to match your house layout and rule out potential leaks, since their material is nearly unbreakable but still a viable option for custom-made gutters. Of course, when discussing copper gutters, the topic of oxidation will always come forth. For some people, this is just a bonus that makes copper even more unique, for others it turns copper gutters into an acquired taste.

The Oxidation of Copper Gutters

Apart from their durability, copper gutters are known for being resistant to corrosion: a copper gutter won't be weighed down by humidity and the chances of fungi, mold, and mildew are reduced considerably. While gradual deterioration is not a problem for copper gutters (as long as you're responsible with your maintenance responsibilities), oxidation is an entirely different matter. As suggested by the name, oxidation is kickstarted by oxygen, namely through electromagnetic reactions when in contact with other materials of substances.

Copper Patina on The Statue of LibertyWhile oxidation manifests itself in many ways according to the substances involved, it's mostly talked about when in relation to different metals. When it comes to copper gutters, their constant exposure to the outdoors makes oxidation a certainty, particularly in areas with high levels of pollution and extreme temperatures. As oxygen molecules start gaining space on metal surfaces, the effects of oxidation will become more evident.

Will Copper Gutters Turn Green After a Few Years?

Oxidation will indeed make your copper take a green patina in the future. After about 5 years, the coppers will start taking an intense green hue that will become milder in the following years. This is also preceded by briefer stages in which their color goes from a darker brown to blue. At the 30-year mark, they coppers will finally settle into a lighter green/blue shade. You've probably seen this shade in historic/traditional architecture since copper is a common element in many of these buildings' fašade.

For a clearer reference, think of the Statue of Liberty. Around 20 years after its unveiling in 1886, the initial brown/gold shade had been fully replaced by the green patina that's so familiar to us nowadays.

For many people, this trait is another point in favor of copper gutters. The gutter's patina doesn't take away the elegance of copper and adds a certain level of distinction to the property. Still, it's important to know what you're getting into if you have a special gutter design in mind. Any contractor worth their salt will advise you against painting copper gutters, so you must evaluate your options to make sure that your gutter's color won't clash with your house's esthetics after the oxidation sets in.

Can I Stop Copper Gutters from Turning Green?

High-grade copper might keep its natural color for longer when compared to regular copper, but it will likely entail more expenses, and the price range for copper gutters is already beyond some people's budget. You can also have your gutters covered with antioxidant coating to slow down the process, preferably adding an UV protectant into the mix to better preserve the copper's natural color.

Copper Gutter SystemA more general recommendation involves cleaning your gutters with copper-safe solutions. This will remove the tarnish that might dull your copper's color after continued exposure to the elements and UV rays.

Even then, proper care sometimes allows copper gutters to last up to 90 years. If you're set on preventing your gutters from going green, you need to consider all the time and money that would be added to regular maintenance efforts. The best recommendation would be to look for other examples of copper gutters in your area so that you can get a first-hand reference. You can also ask the advice of your gutter installer if you're undecided. Still, copper is a safe way to secure durability, so if your priority lies in making sure your gutters do their part under all circumstances, ruling out copper as your material of choice would be a loss.

Rain Gutters Solution has everything you need when it comes to gutter installation and maintenance. Our team is well versed in all the traits that differentiate each gutter profile, and our methods are always tailored to fit those criteria. To save yourself headaches and get the best professional service, call (305) 270-7779 or fill out the contact form. We're ready to do our part in helping you increase the value of your property.

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