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Soldering aluminum gutters/flashing?

BDV's picture

I have some aluminum gutters joints and aluminum flashing joints, which have failed and need to be fixed.  The joints have been caulked with Aluminum & Metal caulk and the caulk is not holding.  I have cleaned the areas and added additional GE Silicone II Aluminum & Metal caulk to no avail.  Have done some research and found out that aluminum can be soldered.  Can this be done successfully with gutters and flashing, what is the technique that should be used?  I have read that there can be a problem with galvanic corrosion, how would I stop this?  Thanks for the Help. BDV

(post #77841, reply #1 of 9)

bump

(post #77841, reply #8 of 9)

bdv... seeyou pretty much summed it up... but you have two problems


first the gutters.. use gutter sealant .. get rid of the silicone


as to the flashings...


 most are designed so they need no solder....


the "spring" of the bend keeps them in place... or a SS screw with finish washer


 


or a tab.. etc..


 sometimes you can caulk the back... but for the most part.. it is the bends, folds , and material they are used with ( brick, shingles, trim ) that keeps them in place and neat


soldering is usually only seen with copper, or galvanized,  or tin...... not aluminum


 


Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

Mike Smith Rhode Island : Design / Build / Repair / Restore

              www.mfsmithbuilder.com

(post #77841, reply #2 of 9)

Soldering aluminum is possible but tricky an probably not feasible in this situation.

Though someone posted the name, awhile back, of a solder that is sold for aluminum and which claims to be the cat's PJs.


So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable Creature, since it enables one to find or make a Reason for everything one has a mind to do. --Benjamin Franklin


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #77841, reply #3 of 9)

TIG unit...
why did the joints fail???

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming


WOW!!! What a Ride!
Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!

"Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints"

(post #77841, reply #4 of 9)

I think you're talking about welding - I don't believe aluminum can be soldered - and gutter and flashing stock is too thin to weld, IIRC. Also, to be welded or soldered, the aluminum would have to be raw aluminum - no paint.


Not familiar with with the caulk you're using, but you need to use gutter joint caulk (I prefer Geocel brand). Aluminum gutters experience a pretty high rate of expansion/contraction and the sealant needs to stay flexible.


 


(post #77841, reply #5 of 9)

(no need to shout)


So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable Creature, since it enables one to find or make a Reason for everything one has a mind to do. --Benjamin Franklin


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #77841, reply #6 of 9)

Figured the OP was deaf from the size of his font...........

(post #77841, reply #7 of 9)

Actually, aluminum can be soldered with aluminum solder.  Not easy, and the solder is very expensive.  A gutter would be nearly impossible to solder, even if it was new and clean.

(post #77841, reply #9 of 9)

Aluminum solders use a zinc alloy and have to be heated to around 550F, which is not much lower than the softening temperature of aluminum. Normal irons won't get hot enough, so that leaves a torch as your heat source. The chances of making it work on thin, dirty aluminum gutter stock are somewhere between slim and none IMO.

Find a better caulk - something like the butyl stuff that never really hardenes.