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How to preserve shiny copper roof appearance?

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Q. Is there a way to keep a copper roof from oxidizing at all? I.e., is there any way to keep it in it's shiny copper-metallic appearance instead of turning green over time?

James Hurst
- Monroeville, New Jersey


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A. A clear coat should do the job.

Simon Dupay
- Roseville, Minnesota


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A. Just any "clear coat" will not do the job, as most of the darkening of copper (in its initial stages) occurs due to exposure to UV rays in sunlight. At a minimum, the clear coat should contain a UV inhibitor and an under-film corrosion inhibitor. There are a few that are made (and have been tested) specifically for use on copper (and brass), but due to having to be non-commercial in my reply, I cannot mention the brand names. Regardless of which brand used, keeping the copper shiny will eventually become a maintenance issue, especially if it is an outdoor item. There truly is no "permanent" solution to this problem - but only having to deal with it every 8-12 years is better than year-in, year-out.

John Steins
- Brevard, North Carolina

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Ed. note: letter 25188 has additional info/specs on clear coats for copper.

Brass lacquer


(2006)

Q. I am putting in a bar in and I'm going to put down a pure copper sheet below a thick piece of glass but there are finger prints on it and I can't figure out how to clean it.

Genevieve Evans
confused and in need of help - Eagle Point, Oregon


(2006)

Q. I have a copper roof over a bay window (almost 5 years old). I would like to restore it back to its original color and shine. Is there a product that will do this? I've tried Brasso [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] and twinkle, neither works well. Also, after it is back to the original copper finish, is there a clear coating that I should use? Thank you.

Denise Thomas
consumer - Spotsylvania, Virginia

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