Guest User
5/21/2002
Hello All, I have a flat-seamed, lead-coated copper porch roof that has developed cracks that extend 1-2" up from the bottom of the vertical seams. The cracking started very soon after the installation, and so far, attempts to resolder the cracks have mostly failed. Any suggestions other than scrapping the whole thing and starting over? (Help!) Thanks for any tips! Best regards, -Eric
Guest User
5/21/2002
I assume that it is a flat-lock design. Lead coated copper is a little harder to solder. If the soldering wasn't done right to begin with it will be practicly impossible to re-solder. You can try using a silver solder which is a little harder or a 60tin40lead solder. Are the cracks just on the bottom course, or all over? I am a coppersmith from Nh. There are other options.
Guest User
5/21/2002
Another idea would be to clean the copper good and solder patches over the cracked areas.
Guest User
5/22/2002
Hello Brenden, Many thanks for your reply. Yes, it's a flat-lock system. The ~1 inch cracks are all over, but only at the bottom of vertical joints, or occasionally horizontal. It seems logical that they seem to be associated with the longest pan dimensions where thermal stress would be greatest. This roof was fabricated over a very long period of time, during which flattened seams were left unsoldered and exposed to the elements. My theory is that oxidation inside the seams was not adequately eliminated by subsequent fluxing resulting in weak joints even after 60/40 solder was used (Although the cracking is definitely worse where 50/50 was used in the beginning.). Maybe silver is worth a shot, but I'm also afraid of burning up the underlayment which may be our only protection from water infiltration if the cracking can't be stopped. What a disaster. After long touting this to family and friends as the most worry-free, long-lasting, and beautiful roof in spite of the steep initial cost, how ironic and embarrassing it is that I end up in this predicament. Sadly, it's all too typical of my experiences in the old house restoration business. Ah well, at least it still looks okay from the street. Thanks again for your help! -Eric
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