If you love the look of half-round copper gutters and have decided to install them yourself on your house, then it is important that you use the proper soldering tools and supplies to obtain a professionally installed appearance. Rather than the silicon caulking used with other types of metal rain gutters, copper gutters require that their elbows, end caps, and joints be soldered. To this end, follow these tips to ensure that your copper gutter's soldering is completed correctly and that the finished project looks wonderful and will last for decades to come:
Use a Professional-Quality Soldering Iron
If you try to solder your new half-round copper gutters using the wrong tools, then you will end up becoming frustrated and the end result will not be the quality of soldering necessary to hold the gutters in place and seal them to prevent leaks. For this reason, you should either purchase a soldering iron that is designed for use on copper gutters, or you should rent one at your local contractor's tool supply store.
Methodically Clean the Parts Prior to Soldering
In order for the flux and soldering materials to adhere properly to the half-round copper gutter parts, any areas that will be soldered need to be methodically cleaned first. To clean the copper, rub it with a stainless steel pad until the metal shines. Once the metal has been well cleaned of surface oxidation, then you should rub it down with a tacky cloth to remove any metal flakes.
Apply the Proper Flux for Use with Copper Metal
Once the parts you want to solder have been cleaned, then you need to apply a layer of flux material to each piece. The best flux options for use with half-round copper gutters is either ruby flux or plumber's flux. Both products are available at your local hardware or plumbing supply store.
Always Tin the Copper Parts Before Soldering Them Together
After you have applied the flux to each piece to be soldered together, then you should tin them. Tinning is a process where you apply solder individually to each of the gutter system's parts before soldering them together. By tinning your copper pieces, you are creating a stronger and more water-tight soldered joint. Once each part has been tinned, then you can solder them together.
Seek Professional Assistance if Necessary
If you find that soldering your own half-round copper gutters is not going as you had planned, then you can contact a rain gutter installation company like D & M Exteriors to come out and finish the job for you.