– By Mark Mullins, Fabral
Applications Engineer | Product Training Manager –
There are many copper products out there such as dormers, louvers, spires, finials, chimney pots, cupolas and gutter. Many of these products may look very complex or difficult to install. I understand. We all want to stay within our “comfort zone.” I’m here to tell you that many of these products are extremely easy to install. For instance, did you know that many of the copper dormers available are custom built to fit your project, meaning that the manufacturer may be doing most of the heavy lifting? They are built to fit certain pitches, customized to receive many different types of roofing including metal, and they are designed to be easily installed.
The same is true for the other products mentioned. It’s extremely rare that a project would require soldering pieces in the field, with the exception of copper gutter which is typically soldered in the field due to the number of fittings. Even so, copper gutter is very easy to solder. I have taught many installers regarding this technique in as little as two hours. It is very much like many of the tasks we perform in the construction world. The first time is awkward, but after you solder just a few joints you become more comfortable and begin to get a feel for it.
Think back to the first time you used a nail gun. You may have shot two, or the gun jumped and you put a nail where you didn’t want to. Now after practice, a nail gun feels perfectly comfortable in your hand. The same is true with soldering. It just takes a little practice and you can consider yourself an “experienced installer of copper soldered gutter.” That has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
One more point regarding copper installation: try to limit fingerprints and staining by always wearing gloves and the proper protective gear. It’s difficult to avoid drops of sweat hitting the copper on those hot days, so always keep a handkerchief handy. This can ensure the copper looks great when you leave the project. Also, partner with a manufacturer who has the ability to train and offer installation assistance regarding their products. They will do most of the heavy lifting, making your job on site that much easier.