Resoldering existing flat seam copper... Log Out | Topics | Search
Moderators | Register | Edit Profile

Slate Roof Central Message Board » Traditional Roofing Magazine » Resoldering existing flat seam copper roof « Previous Next »

Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Dennis_m_crookshanks (Dennis_m_crookshanks)
New member
Username: Dennis_m_crookshanks

Post Number: 3
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 17, 2009 - 09:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The rivet suggestion would be your best bet, if the seam is soldered and holding.

Depending on where you are in Cleveland, I may be able to stop by and take a look. Although I would be inclined to replace the roof with new copper.
You can contact me through my web site; dmcroof.com
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Slate_man (Slate_man)
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 479
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, September 17, 2009 - 06:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The one thing you could try before you give up on it, is to get ride of all nails and install copper rivets.

Are all seam installed this way?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Slate_man (Slate_man)
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 478
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Thursday, September 17, 2009 - 06:21 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wouldn't even both fixing the roof. You will see the nail come back through no matter what you do. As I stated before the installtion of the copper is incorrect. A block copper roof should have folds with clips that get nailed, that are not viable. I would also suggest look here on the message board for more info on block copper, and I know that there is a article in Traditional Roofing which there is a link to the left.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Plaughlin1 (Plaughlin1)
Intermediate Member
Username: Plaughlin1

Post Number: 39
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 08:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Cleveland,in my opinion the whole roof is in bad shape, if it was mine i would tear it all off and start from scratch using a contracter who is fimiliar with the proper installation of copper flat roofing, or if you do it yourself get a sheetmetal handbook such as Revere's "Copper and Common Sensce" or Smacnas Architectural sheetmetal manual.
You may be able to clean the cracked seams off with a brass wire brush and resolder with a soldering iron and some agressive flux such as MA Stainless Steel flux.
If you resolder it you may get 1 month or a couple of years out of it,but it will be an ongoing issue.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Cleveland42 (Cleveland42)
New member
Username: Cleveland42

Post Number: 2
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 01:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Here are two pix of the problem. Each 12" sq. copper tile is individually attached to the base with 1" copper nails spaced at 2 1/2" intervals. As you can see from the macro shot, the nails are working through the solder joint. I have replaced most of the loose nails with 1 1/2" copper roofing nails, and need to protect the "repairs" from leaking. If the installation is complete c---, what is the best way to make it waterproof, again. Can the copper be painted? Would it be best to cover the whole mess with a membrane of some kind? I am trying to make the deck usable again, but don't want to have to keep resurfacing it every few years. If you need better resolution for these (2) pix, I can send them directly to you, since there is a 100K file size limit for uploads. Deck PixDeck Pix (2)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Slate_man (Slate_man)
Senior Member
Username: Slate_man

Post Number: 476
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 - 06:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It sounds to me that the whole installation is incorrect and may not be fixiable, please post some pic like Plaughlin said.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Plaughlin1 (Plaughlin1)
Intermediate Member
Username: Plaughlin1

Post Number: 38
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 06:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

HI Cleveland, it sounds like you may be dealing with multiple deficiancys here...any chance you could post some pics so we can get a visual of your problems?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Cleveland42 (Cleveland42)
New member
Username: Cleveland42

Post Number: 1
Registered: 09-2009
Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 08:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I have an older (15-20? yrs.) copper deck roof over a porch from which the nails are coming up through the solder joints. How can I resolder the well-weathered joints after the copper nails have been replaced? I need a method of cleaning the old solder so that it will accept new solder. I cannot afford to replace the whole deck, and I am not averse to using strong chemical cleaners (acids, etc.), if necessary. A young local roofer has tried, but was not satisfied with his results. Evidently, he had problems getting good wetting of the old surface with new solder. He had been told be some oldtimers that his chances were, maybe, 50-50. I would like to have him do the repairs if you can come up with a way to clean the old solder. My guess is that the deck was not properly installed. There are no lap joints--each copper "tile" (approx. 1 ft. square) was copper nailed to the underlayment (many nails per tile), and the butt joints between the copper plates covered with a 1+ inch wide solder joint. HELP!!!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Joe Jenkins
Senior Member
Username: Joe

Post Number: 269
Registered: 07-2006


Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2008 - 09:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is the existing flat seam copper roof folded over a copper drip edge around the edges or is it nailed along the edges? If it's folded and the pans are cleated to the roof deck, it should have been able to expand and contract. Flat-lock soldered roofs don't need expansion *joints*, if built properly (i.e. folded and cleated), and if not too big.

You have to grind the copper to bare, shiny metal. Theoretically, the inside of the solder joint is still clean, hence, when you heat it with the iron and melt the existing solder inside the joint, you will be able to draw additional solder into the joint when you resolder. Plenty of flux helps and you may want to flux and solder, then flux again while the solder is solid but still hot and solder again to make sure you're getting a good sweated joint.

We had to deal with a 2 story hip roof, box gutter all around on all four sides, with no expansion joints in the gutter system at all. The joints had been poorly soldered and, with no expansion joints, many were leaking. It had been built by a roofer ten years prior who could no longer be contacted.We resoldered all of the joints - at least 100 lineal feet of solder joint, in the manner I described above.

I warned the owner that we would probably have to add expansion joints to the system too in order to make a permanent fix. She was concerned about cost, so we just resoldered and left it like that. She had a leak the next year - one corner solder joint cracked again and the copper itself had split apart from the stress where there was no solder joint at all - a six inch long split. So we went and installed expansion joints, which involved some new drop outlets, some conductor heads, downspouts, etc. We soldered a patch over the split. That was probably five years ago. Haven't heard from her since.

The roof was fake slate too. We normally wouldn't have touched a job like that, but the owner, a nice old lady, was practically in tears about the leaking gutters. I put her off for a few years, but she was persistent, and could *not* find anyone else capable of dealig with the problem. There may actually be a milligram of compassion in this hardened old heart of mine, because I agreed to help her. Now she's happy and I have this experience to share.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Rick Irons
New member
Username: Rick_irons

Post Number: 2
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - 02:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Joe,
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly, your time is greatly appreciated. To answer your question "nothing". I should have been more clear; that was one of my points: that I needed to make some sort of a modification to prevent it from happening again. The other point was: due to the oxidation how aggressive should my "cleaning" be and what type of action(s) (such as lots of flux or other technique) should I take and would I have success at all? I had considered cutting in and adding additional panels, but did not know at what intevals were appropriate. I read the article and saw that copper expands 1/8" in approx. 8' and that expansion joints are recommended every 17'-20'. I am guessing that the clamped caps are not soldered.?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Joe Jenkins
Senior Member
Username: Joe

Post Number: 268
Registered: 07-2006


Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - 12:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you resoldered, what would prevent the joints from breaking again? We have resoldered 10 year old copper joints, grinding them clean with a brass wire wheel and a grinding tool, then soldering with lots of flux to help the solder sweat into the joint. We had to add expansion joints, however. There is an article about expansion joints here: http://www.traditionalroofing.com/TR6_expansion_joints.html
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Rick Irons
New member
Username: Rick_irons

Post Number: 1
Registered: 04-2008
Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 - 08:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is my first post. Although I am well versed in building restoration, I have very little expertise in the area of slate or copper roofs. I am looking at a brick building with a parapet wall. At the base of the parapet is a narrow flat seamed copper roof. The panels are approx. 2'x8' with the joint running along the 2' with the (slight)roof pitch. The copper is very sound (but oxidized), however the soldered joints are opening (due to expansion and contraction I assume). I would like to repair these joints and restore this existing roof. Thank you for any information that you might think is helpful.

Add Your Message Here
Post:
Username: Posting Information:
This is a private posting area. Only registered users and moderators may post messages here.
Password:
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message
Action:

Topics | Last Day | Last Week | Tree View | Search | User List | Help/Instructions | Program Credits Administration