How To Clean A Copper Roof

If you have a copper roof, cleaning is essential to a long-lasting roof. Copper roofs are lovely and mainly corrosion resistant, but they often develop a protective patina, from getting exposed to elements. However, it doesn't stop the roof getting discolored from dirt. You should be able to clean a copper roof by following these tips.

Prepare to Clean the Roof

To clean a copper roof, gather:

  • work gloves
  • ladder
  • soft- bristle
  • push broom
  • 5-gallon buckets
  • lemon juice
  • distilled white vinegar
  • distilled water
  • white flour
  • coarse salt
  • cotton cloths
  • dull spatula
  • nylon bristle brush
  • polyurethane spray
  • patina solution (optional)

Wear non-slip shoes or boots, when working on roofs. Boots with a padding on the sole are available especially for working on roofs. Plan to work on a cool, sunny day, and never try to work on roofs right after a snow or rain.

Sweep Debris

If you have a moderately high roof, attach a safety harness to an opposite window or chimney, to keep you from falling. Otherwise, set a ladder on flat ground, and get someone to hold it for you and hand you tools.

Climb the ladder, and sweep debris from the roof, using the push broom. A soft bristle push broom should not scratch the copper. Clean bird droppings with a dull spatula, and use a clean damp, rag to wash the rest of the stains.  

Fill a five-gallon bucket with distilled, boiled water, and rinse the roof, working from one end to the other, so you won't be standing on wet spots. Repeat the rinsing, if necessary. Use a rag not cleaned in fabric softener, to prevent streaks, to dry the roof, and work in a circular motion. 

Clean With a Paste

For basic polishing, mix one part salt per three parts water in a bucket. For example, nine cups of water will require three cups of salt. Add some lemon juice for further cleaning power. 

Dip the brush into the solution; test the solution on a small area; and rinse. If there is no adverse reaction, scrub the roof, and then rinse. The lemon juice solution will polish the surface, but leave the patina.

If want to remove the patina, or the roof has serious buildup, mix five cups of flour and one and one-half tablespoons of salt in a bucket. Gradually pour thirty ounces of distilled white vinegar in the bucket, or keep adding vinegar until it is the thickness of toothpaste, and stir. 

Brush on the paste; let it stand fifteen minutes; wipe the mixture with a damp rag; and rinse. Add a polyurethane spray to protect the roof from dulling. To restore patina, coat it with a patina solution.

For more information, talk to companies like Berwald  Roofing Inc.