Q: What does Lead-Free Flashing mean?
A: Our flashing line-up includes WAKAFLEX, DAKAFLASH, SMARTFORM and FASTFIX, and we refer to all of these as Lead-Free flashings because they contain no lead which is the material traditionally used as a flashing on tiled roofs. Lead is a toxic substance posing potential hazards to people and the environment. All our flashings are non-toxic and inert so they pose no risks and do not corrode other roofing materials.
Q: Why is lead-free a good thing? And why should I choose a lead-free flashing for my home?
A: Lead-flashing has been used for many years because it was considered the best metal for the job (a few hundred years ago) because it’s a soft metal and considered malleable. That means it could be dressed (stretched) around the contours of the roof making it as watertight as possible. However time moves on, and we now know that lead is quite toxic to people and the environment. Lead poisoning, also known as plumbism is the build-up of heavy metal lead in the body which can lead to many problems affecting the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, reproductive and nervous systems. This is the reason lead has been removed from industrial coatings, as well as every-day items such as paints and toys. Lead flashing not only poses a risk to the installer who must use protective gear, but the presence of lead flashing means that the environment is continually exposed to contamination. Rainwater over time erodes lead flashings and washes the toxins into surrounding soil and ground water sources. These toxins can affect all forms of life in our environment not just humans. By choosing a lead-free flashing such as ours, you’re are ensuring there are no toxic contaminates exposed on your roof that could affect your families wellbeing. Our flashings aren’t just safer for the environment, they’re also safer for the installer. Because our range of flashings are all adhesive they are lightweight, 5kg and less compared to the same lead flashing roll which is over 20kg. Obviously there are more inherent dangers installing something so heavy on your roof.
Q: All Evo Building Products flashing labels state they should be built-in, chassed-in or over-flashed. What does this mean?
A: In general terms, flashings are installed to cover and protect the joins between roofs and walls. It is true that there are many different types of flashings but the principle is the same, the flashing protects that join to stop any water getting into the building. Built-in means the flashing must be built through the brickwork of the building during its construction and then dressed to the surface of the roof. Chassed-in is where the wall structure already exists, so a recess must be created using an angle grinder, the flashing is then fixed into this recess and dressed to the surface of the roof. Over-flashed is where another material such as fibro board or cladding must cover the top of the flashing. All these installation types mean the top of the flashing is not left exposed to water in wet conditions as the top of the flashing is the area at greatest risk of water ingress. By following these installation methods any water will hit the main body of the flashings and easily drain off its lowest edge.
Q: Can WAKAFLEX, SMARTFORM, DAKAFLASH & FASTFIX be used on metal or polycarbonate roofing? And are there any materials they cannot be used with?
A: Yes, all of our flashing products can be used on all roofing materials except bitumen. Unlike other metal flashings our range or products are completely inert and therefore have no reaction with materials such as: polycarbonate, PVC, copper, steel, Iron, tin, terracotta, concrete, slate and even glass. Our products cannot be used on bitumen based materials because the oils in bitumen may have an adverse effect on their performance.
Q: Are your flashing ranges available in colours, can they also be painted?
A: All four ranges are available in black, grey, and terracotta. Wakaflex 280mm is the only size available in brown, and the most popular colour for FASTFIX is the plain aluminium. Each product can be painted if required using an outdoor acrylic such as Wattyl Solaghard or Dulux Weathershield. For the best results we recommend an etch primer.
Q: Can your flashing products be used to repair existing lead flashings?
A: If you have damaged or cracked lead flashings there’s nothing that can be done to fix the lead itself. All you can do is use silicon’s or polyurethane filler to cover the cracks or gaps for a while. However these will eventually break down. Once lead it’s cracked it’s cracked. But what you can do is lift up the existing lead and install any of our lead-free flashings up underneath it. You can then dress the existing lead back down over our products as it will act as an over-flashing. If you wish to you can trim the lead back but you must leave at least a small section to act as an over-flashing.
Q: Is Wakaflex or Smartform installed any differently to traditional lead flashing?
A: Not in terms of the coverage dimensions stipulated in the Australian Building Codes. All the same BCA requirements exist no matter what material is used. Please check the specific requirements for applications within the BCA. Lead flashing must be installed in lengths no greater than 1.5m and over-laps must be a minimum of 150mm according to the BCA, however WAKAFLEX, SMARTFORM, DAKAFLASH & FASTFIX can all be installed in complete 5m lengths greatly reducing the material required to flash the same distance. WAKAFLEX also only required a 50mm overlap because it chemically bonds to itself.
Q: What’s are the main difference between WAKAFLEX, DAKAFLASH, SMARTFORM & FLASHTITE and when should each product be used?
A: WAKAFLEX: Rubber body with internal aluminium honeycomb mesh and two butyl sealing strips. It has 50% stretch in length and 15% in width. Designed to replace Lead in all flashing applications such as abutments, Step-flashing, chimneys & Dutch Gables. This is our premium flashing product.
DAKAFLASH: Creped Aluminum top-sheet with 100% butyl adhesive backing. Also has the same internal aluminium honeycomb mesh as WAKAFLEX. Has approximately 30% stretch in length only. Suitable for most of the same applications as WAKAFLEX but at a lower price point, a different aesthetic finish and less stretchability. Suited to more exposed areas and metal or Polycarbonate flashing due to its 100% adhesive backing. Also suitable for roof maintenance by going under existing flashing that’s prone to leakage.
SMARTFORM: Made from the same creped aluminium top-sheet and Butyl adhesive as DAKAFLASH but without the aluminium mesh. Has the most stretch in the range, up to 60% in length. This makes it suitable for ad-hoc and difficult to flash areas such as roof penetrations, ducts and sky lights as well as extreme roof profile shapes such as metal and polycarbonate.
FASTFIX: Aluminium top sheet with 100% butyl adhesive backing with no stretch capability. Fastfix is an economy flashing roll and the perfect solution for everyday flashing and waterproof maintenance repairs.
Q: If I want to use any additional sealant in a tricky ad-hoc installation what should I use?
A: If any additional sealant is required we would recommend our own Butyl tape. This is the same adhesive material on all our lead-free flashings. If you cannot obtain our butyl strip you can also use Sikaflex Pro Polyurethane. Normal silicon is not recommended.
Q: Is any preparation required before installing Evo Building Products lead-free flashings?
A: WAKAFLEX, DAKAFLASH, SMARTFORM & FASTFIX all have butyl adhesive backings. Therefore it’s imperative that the surface are they are to be installed on is clean and dry. Any moss or lichen must be removed along with any dust or debris. We would recommend the area is washed down with water to remove any fine dust particles. If a metal roof sheet has oil residue left from the manufacturer we recommend white spirit is used to clean the surface first.