The Australian Building Code states that 20kg lead should be used for all exterior roof flashing. In far too many instances, in Victoria in particular, we are seeing non-compliance in this area. In the continual pursuit to save costs in the short term our research shows us that some builders and roof plumbers are not complying with this building code requirement.
In fact some plumbing and hardware merchant stores don’t even hold an inventory of 20kg lead as there is not the demand for it. ‘15kg lead is what the builders and roof plumbers ask for’ they tell us! We sometime even get told by the builders and roof plumbers that they were not aware this was the code and have always used 15kg lead. So it’s a twofold issue of regulation and education.
One view is that the ‘standards’ fell away when Shires opted to outsource building inspections some years ago. Before then, Council and Shire Building Inspectors, employed directly by the shires/councils were ‘ever-pedantic’ and builders/plumbers could not possibly get away with what they do now.
It does beg the question what is the point of having a national building code with quality standards to protect home owners if there is non-compliance or lack of enforcement?
So how do you fix it? Once word gets around inspectors and surveyors are ‘clamping down’ on the use of 15kg lead (or less), the message will also go back up the line to the stockists to stock 20kg to assist industry compliance.
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