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How to Restore a Copper Roof – A Complete Guide to Roof Maintenance

how to restore copper roof

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Copper roofs are durable and usually do not need much effort to maintain. However, their low-maintenance nature doesn’t allow complete neglect. Restoring copper roofing is easy and can be done with homemade chemicals like vinegar and baking soda.

Like any other material, copper cannot remain new for its lifespan and needs some revamps. As a result, regular cleaning and coating are necessary to maintain your roof’s good look.

Here, we’ll share simple tips on how to restore a copper roof, when to do so, and the home remedies and chemicals to use. Read on!

What Can I Use to Restore a Copper Roof?

Here is a list of accessible cleaning agents for your copper roof: 


cleaning with vinegar

White vinegar effectively removes dirt, moss, and tarnishes from your copper roof. When mixed with lemon, it cleans the copper, leaving an attractive shine.

Baking Soda

baking soda

Baking soda works best for very tarnished copper. Although it is not the most effective when used alone, you can pair it with lemon juice for the best results.



Salt is an effective agent you can use to revamp the looks of your roof. Salt is usually mixed with lemon juice and white vinegar for effective cleaning. It’s also the cheapest, and you can easily throw it up from your kitchen.



Ammonia has to be used carefully and sparingly on your copper roof. The crystal form of ammonium carbonate, mixed with plenty of water, will help brighten and clean your copper roof.



Not necessarily a cleaning agent, but it makes scrubbing easier and is used alongside stronger buffers like lemon juice and coarse salt to restore the copper shine.

How to Restore a Copper Roof Using Homemade Ingredients

Step one

Sweep away leaves, dust, dirt, and debris off the roof, focusing on the corners and edges that may harbor them.

Step two

Mix lemon juice and baking soda, vinegar, and coarse salt, or vinegar and salt plus flour. Ensure that the consistency is in paste form, then apply evenly to the roof’s surface and allow it to sit for a while.

Step three

Get a scrubbing brush or wet sponge, and scrub it in a circular motion to clean the entire roof effectively. Then use distilled water to rinse off the mixture of dirt and scum. For faster and better results, rinse with a pipe or garden hose.

Step four

Allow to dry for about an hour, and spray with a clear coating to maintain its shine and luster. If your clear coating does not come in a spray can, you can use a paintbrush to apply it over the roof and let it dry.

How to Revive a Copper Roof With Chemical Cleaners

This method is required because you shouldn’t inhale or ingest these chemical compounds. It’s best to wear clothes covering most of your body parts, especially gloves and a nose mask. Let’s dive right in!

Step one

Sweep and clean off dirt and dust from the top of the roof with a soft, bristled brush.

Step two

Carefully mix a quarter kilogram of ammonium carbonate with one liter of water, and apply it to the roof surface. Depending on your roof size, you may have to mix more but ensure it is in the exact measurements.

Alternatively, use 1-2% sulfuric acid, specifically if you also want to get rid of the green patina.

Step three

Scrub carefully with a sponge or brush, then rinse off with distilled water using a bucket or garden hose. Allow to dry, or use a clean cotton cloth to mop most of the moisture, and spray with a protective coating.

When Do I Need To Restore My Copper Roof?

Here are three vital signs indicating a need to restore your copper roof:

Accumulation of Dirt and Grime

The dirty look of dust on your roof can ruin the house’s aesthetic, making it look under-maintained and unattractive. This is your cue to get your copper shiny and new again with the steps previously mentioned. 

You cannot prevent dirt from coming onto your roof or even anywhere else on the exterior. But you can take extra measures, like trimming tree branches that stretch out to the roof, causing their leaves to fall off and deface the surface.


Do you prefer the coppery brown look to the bluish-green patches you are seeing? Cleaning agents like white vinegar and ammonia can fix that for you – however, frequent restoration, for this reason, may weaken your roof.

Loose Corners and Bolts 

Copper is very malleable and easy to fix. If you notice some weakness in the screws or nailings, your roofing contractor can fix that by soldering the copper to remove the screws and replace them with new ones.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Ammonia Damage My Copper Roof?

Ammonia is a good cleaning agent but can cause copper to corrode faster. Avoid using ammonia to restore or clean your roof if you want to keep the original hue.

How Often Should I Restore My Copper Roof?

Depending on how fast it corrodes, you can restore your copper roof every three to five years. Those who live in humid, wet areas will have to revive the copper more frequently than those in drier, sunny locations.

Can I Use Dish Soap to Wash My Roof?

Using regular dish soap or detergents to clean your roof is not recommended, as it may dull the color and leave it worse than it already was. Stick to the recommended cleaning agents listed in this article.


If you read to this point, you should know how to restore a copper roof. Copper lasts very long and should be kept attractive in most cases. Taking a day off in three to five years to renew your roof is worth it and easy to do. 

The best time to do the restoration process is during summer because it is less wet, and the weather is friendly enough to let the moisture dry up. However, avoid doing this when the weather is too hot, as copper conducts heat and could be too hot for you.

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