Lead Free Roofing Advice

Lead has been used as the leading flashing material on roofs for hundreds of years. Its use has been prolific due to the flexible and durable properties that enable installers to create complex and intricate waterproof seals around roof junctions.
A long running disadvantage of lead is that it can targeted by thieves attracted by its scrap value, although this generally affects schools and churches more than private houses.  


 An aluminium roll with a butyl adhesive backing as shown above, is an ideal replacement for lead
More recent concerns relating to the environment have meant that some European countries have banned the use of lead in construction.  In response, the industry has developed a number of lead alternatives that have the same flexible properties and appearance but are potentially less harmful, and cannot be removed by thieves. 
Denmark banned lead in 2000, and although some local authorities are now discouraging its use in roofing, the UK does not yet appear to be moving to a complete ban. If you are interested in a lead free roof ask your roofer to consider an alternative.
Lead replacement flashing systems are similar in price to lead, however as lead prices are quite volatile you will need to ask your roofer for an up to date price comparison.
Jargon Buster

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