There are many factors to consider when choosing what flashing solution you wish to install on your home to keep it watertight and looking it’s best. For generations lead flashing has been used simply because there wasn’t the materials technology available to create anything better. Luckily with the advent of Polymer Engineering amazing new materials such as Polyisobutylene or Butyl rubber were developed to be used in a wide range of commercial applications. One of those applications was to take over the mantle as the ‘flashing of choice’ for residential construction in the form of Wakaflex.
Wakaflex is the next generation roof flashing designed for all roof types and profiles. Six years of research and design by highly skilled engineers sought to replace lead without losing any of its functional benefits but to eradicate all the horrible issues associated with lead flashings. For years lead has been known to be a highly toxic substance to humans and the environment in general. Lead flashings on homes are responsible for more than 50% of lead emissions into watercourses, even in extremely low levels. Lead is a known carcinogen. These are just some of the reasons countries like Denmark & Norway have led the way by banning lead in construction.
Obviously having Wakaflex on the roof is great if you have or want to get a water tank as you’ll have no pollutants entering your water system. But the benefits of using a next generation flashing like Wakaflex instead of lead are not just for the environment but just as importantly for the tradesmen who install it. Just 1m of lead can weigh 10kg whereas Wakaflex weighs just 4.5kg for a whole 5m roll, making it much easier to move to site, install, trim to size and dress down. It also has integrated butyl adhesive strips on the back so no wind or water driven rain can get underneath it like it can with lead. But it is advances in material technology that really make Wakaflex easy to install. It has a unique aluminium honeycomb insert that easily stretches around tiles that ensures Wakaflex hugs the contours of the roof and keeps it watertight. The main Polyisobutylene body is the only flashing on the market that chemically bonds to itself when it’s overlapped, meaning no additional adhesives are required and because it can be installed in 5m lengths unlike lead it also means less material is used to flash the same area. In an industry striving towards sustainability Wakaflex leaves lead for dead.