A recent Q & A session:
I am interested in finding out if the following techniques are
acceptable practices in the rebuilding and installation of copper box gutters.
Think I got a bad gutter company.
1. Should seams be overlapped with an "S" seam, crimping them together, or can they be butted up to the next piece?
Standard 'flat-;ock, seams sweated together
2. Should you use nails and screws to attach the copper to the wood box gutters, or should they "float" and move as one solid piece?
No Cleats only, and loose locking strip on edges.
3. Do you need an "apron" or a lip to go under the shingles?
Depends. I prefer to go uner the slates or shingles about 6"-10". Depends on several factors. Outer edge of gutter is always lower than roof eave.
4. Can you lift shingles to place an "apron" under them, or should you replace the shingles?
I remove them to properly solder the pans where they go under.
5. Would you solder the joints, or use a Sealant product alone, like "Ruscoe" or any other kind of sealant to attach the joints without crimping or soldering?
Solder is the omly thing that works.
6. Is Rosin paper required?
I use it. Doubt it's required. If the gutter is on wood, it floats nicely.
7. Is an ice and water membrane required?
By code maybe. I use it, but I'm also happy with rosin paper, plain wood, or whatever. Done correctly, underlay isn't required. Done incorectly, underlay will serve no useful purpose and it will leak anyway.
8. Would you rebuild the slope into the box gutters before installing the copper if the slope was not correct, or the house had settled?
Of course. It seems that factoring all that into a proposal always makes the higher initial bidder. After the others finish their change orders, they're usually higher in the end.
9. Should you have seams that run horizontally and vertically in the copper gutters?
They run across the gutter at about 18" intervals when done correctly.
10. Pertaining to copper gutter installation, do you believe that there is an industry standard way to install them?
11. If so would you provide any specific practices that would be considered industry standard practices.
Small panels, cleats, loose laid so the system floats, expansion joins every 30'-40' at the high points between outlets.
Just a few pictures showing some Built-in Gutter work, with a view of the scaffolding difficulties that are sometimes "the nature of the beast". Some times, the jobs are so involved that I get a local company to set up for me. Sometimes, the only access is by crane.
These gutters have been soldered and will last many years when done correctly, as described on my Soldering Details page.
Albert's Specialty Roofing