Alternatives to Lead Flashing: Pro’s and Con’s

Did you know that Lead has been used as a waterproofing material for millennia? The reasons why are self-explanatory when you look at its physical properties; soft, malleable, ductile, doesn’t corrode in the atmosphere, water resistant, stable from UV (ultra violet sunlight) the list goes on. Its elemental symbol in the periodic table is Pb standing for Plumbum which is Latin for Lead and why we call our water and heating engineers’ plumbers. In the old days before it was known to be poisonous, Lead was used for water pipes.Pros and Cons of Lead versus Artifical or synthetic Flashing

It’s also used by roofers extensively to seal any kind of cavity or area of roof or brickwork which might collect water and cause problems down the line. Areas such as chimney and roof joins will need apron flashings where as roof tile corner joins will need step flashing. Either way the flashing helps keep water away from joins or places susceptible to leaks and carries it off to the tiles and towards the guttering system.

In the twenty first century though we have materials that can match or replace many of the physical properties of Lead flashing but each material has its own set of ups and downs and here’s some of them:

Using Lead for Flashing Pros

  • Easy to work with
  • Well established and available
  • Many structures already use it
  • Will last for a very long time
  • Can be purchased in roles to suit

Using Lead for Flashing Cons

  • Expensive
  • Prone to scrap theft
  • Heavy — 11 times more dense than water
  • Poisonous to handle
  • Large carbon footprint

Using Synthetic Materials Pros

  • Cheaper than Lead counterpart
  • Less susceptible to theft as of no scrap value once installed
  • More common on contemporary structures
  • Will last for a significant amount of time
  • Is not as heavy or poisonous as Lead to handle

Using Synthetic/Artificial Flashing Cons

  • May not fit the style or be used on older or registered buildings
  • Still has a large carbon footprint
  • Will not last as long as Lead though might have a guarantee
  • Availability depends on the type being sought
  • Does not offer the same malleability

These are some of the pros and cons of using lead flashing and its alternate synthetic flashing counterparts. If you feel the need for some friendly professional advice on this topic then feel free to contact us using the form on the right or call us on 07412 628 536. Aspect Roofing Services offer well known Wrexham building and roofing services and we strive to beat all of our competitors on prices. Gutter repairs or whether you’re in need of roofers Wrexham — we’re the guys to talk to.

Comments are closed.