What materials were used in the construction of your home? You may be surprised to hear that lead may be sitting on your roof, even though lead is toxic and can be harmful to your health. Lead may be used in the flashing fitted into the crevices of your roof.
So, is lead flashing sage to use? Here are the main pros and cons for you to consider.
Why Is Lead Used on Roofs?
Lead is a material that has been used on roofs for centuries, offering durable, weatherproof properties for your home. Typically, lead was formed into lead sheeting and covered the joists of buildings. It also offered a flexible way to cover joins and difficult structures on the roof.
Today, you will see lead flashing used in modern homes, exploiting the flexibility and durability of the material. It is a malleable material that will not crack easily as it contracts in cold climates and experiences further expansion in hot climates. When a material’s expansion and contraction cannot occur fairly freely, cracks will appear.
What Is Lead Flashing?
Lead roof flashing is used to cover the gaps and joins in your roof. This provides sealant qualities to make sure your home is watertight.
Lead flashing is durable and long-lasting. In fact, your lead flashing could last up to three times as long as other materials. Lead flashing also offers homeowners fireproof qualities and can be easily recyclable.
Is Lead Flashing Made From Lead?
Lead roof flashing is usually made from code 4 milled lead, providing the right set of properties required for roof flashing. This code of lead will offer you a 1.8mm thickness of lead flashing, as well as a weight of 20.41kg per square metre.
The code refers to the copperised lead sheet and will also affect lead’s characteristic softness.
What Are the Pros of Using Lead Flashing?
Lead flashing has a long history of use on the roofs of homes across the world. But, is lead flashing safe to use? Here are the main pros of using lead flashing on your roof.
1. Lead Flashing Is Safe on Your Roof
Whilst lead is a dangerous material, positioning the lead on the roof of your home is completely safe. You are not able to breathe in the lead fumes or touch the lead flashing at all. Lead flashing is therefore not a dangerous material to install on your home.
2. Durable Material
Lead roof flashings are durable and last for many, many years. The material expands in the heat and contracts when it is cool, reducing the chance that the lead flashings will crack.
3. Flexible Moulding
Lead flashings are flexible and can be moulded to meet any shape you need. For this reason, you may find lead roof flashings are used around chimneys and in corners. Lead flashing will closely fit roof contours, keeping out the rain.
It will also accommodate thermal movement and can withstand thermal expansion.
Being resistant to corrosion, lead flashing is the perfect material for waterproofing your home. You can be sure that no rainwater will enter your home and cause leaks and water damage.
Lead flashings are also great at insulating, preventing heat from entering your home and regulating the temperature.
What Are the Cons of Using Lead Flashing?
What are the disadvantages of using lead roof flashings in your home? Here are the main cons of using lead flashing on your roof.
1. Toxic Lead
Lead is significantly toxic and can be extremely harmful to your health if you breathe in the fumes. In addition, lead can irritate your eyes and your skin.
2. Water Poisoning
Water that runs down the lead flashing may become contaminated with lead, polluting the water. There must be no water run-off that could be consumed by humans or animals as poisoning may occur. Instead, ensure water run-off from lead flashing is diverted straight to the drains.
3. Weight Issues
Lead flashing for roofs is considered a heavy material. You may need to check that any tiles and gutters that the lead flashing will be resting on are secure and can take the flashing weight. It is also important to note that exposed lead flashing may look unsightly.
4. Supply Problems
Due to lead being used for many years, there is a low supply. Therefore lead flashing is a material that you may need to pay extra for when in demand.
5. High Price to Pay
As a result of the low supply of lead available, lead flashing roll prices are higher than ever before in the building industry. When considering high quality lead concerns, length is a factor. You may have a higher price to pay than you estimated for roofing lead flashing.
Is There an Alternative to Lead Flashing?
Evo Build stocks a wide range of lead-free alternatives to lead roof flashing that still offers a flexible and durable material for your roof! You will find lead-free flashing that will waterproof your home and make it watertight.
Furthermore, these lead-free flashing alternatives are lightweight and are completely safe to use. Take a look at the roof flashing materials provided by Evo Build now!
Check Out Your Options at Evo Build!
As well as some great lead-free flashing options at Evo Build, you will also find the Rapid Ridge Dry fixed roofing system. The Rapid Ridge offers a roofing installation that ventilates your home and provides a natural cooling airflow under your roof. You could save up to 43% on your cool energy costs each year!
Connect with Evo Build and see what roofing solutions are available to you and your home today!