How to Solder Copper Gutters
Copper gutters can make the exterior of your house look more attractive. Copper gutters can also last much longer than aluminum or galvanized gutters. Copper is preferred by many due to its distinctive appearance, which blends well with other materials used on the exterior of the house. Another great advantage of copper gutters is that they do not need to be maintained regularly. In fact, they could last for many years even, if you don’t maintain paint them due to copper’s amazing durability. Of course, you still have to check it from time to time and remove debris to avoid clogging. But you can solder the seams to create a permanent seal. This is a great way to create gutter strainers that can keep objects out, such as tennis balls.
Copper gutters are half circle channels found below the roof line. These gutters are attached to the fascia board using fascia brackets. When it comes to installing copper gutters, you will have to solder them together, including the drop outlets and end caps on site. It takes a bit of skill when soldering copper gutters. It is advisable to practice on some scrap pieces first.
Keep in mind, though, that soldering copper gutters is not an easy thing to do, especially for beginners. Do not expect to master the proper way of soldering copper gutters right away. It takes time to learn to do it right. It could take quite a while soldering in the beginning, but the process will become faster once you get the hang of it. Moreover, if you are going to do it yourself as a onetime project, you will have to buy special irons, which can be quite expensive. Nonetheless, soldering copper gutters yourself can be a satisfying learning experience.
Step 1 - Get the Right Equipment
If you decide to solder your copper gutters yourself, make sure that you bring the right equipment on site. Going back and forth to the house to get the tools can be a hassle. First, you will need a soldering iron. You can buy one at your nearest home improvement shop. There are several types of soldering irons, but the most effective one is the acetylene powered soldering iron. You may also want to use gloves for protective purposes. You will also need at least two ladders in order to reach the roof line.
Step 2 -Clean the Surface to be Soldered
The surfaces to be soldered should be cleaned first before applying iron on one side of the copper gutter. When the copper is hot enough, expect the solder to flow easily. It is also important to be attentive when soldering copper gutters in high rooflines.
Step 3 - Observe Complete Caution
When soldering copper gutters, you must observe complete caution. Keep in mind that you are handling dangerous equipment that can burn your skin. Use protective equipment, such as eye goggles and protective clothing, a heavy duty work apron and work gloves that still allow dexterity. Copper usually soaks up heat easily and a very high powered soldering iron will get the job done fast.
Step 4 - Stay Alert
Be aware of your position all the time to avoid falling to the ground. Make sure that your extension ladder is not overextended and that it is adequately braced. It is advisable to have an assistant for passing equipment and gutter handling. A work apron will also allow you to keep small tools safely accessible.