Lynn Street has over 20 years of industry experience, and after joining Midland Lead as sales and marketing manager in January, she is responsible for developing the company’s customer experience. Here she takes a look at the importance of lead as a weather-proofing material.
Unpredictable weather is part of daily life in the UK and it’s up to our roofs to hold out against the elements, even in the toughest of conditions. The start of 2018 has proven to be no different with some of the most extreme weather the UK has seen in years.
However, even the most durable of roofs can’t sustain all that the British weather has to throw at them, with water and wind damage being common issues. Now that the worst of the ‘Beast from the East’ appears to be over, it’s likely that home and business owners will be aware of any damage and that action needs to be taken.
It’s no surprise that lead is the only viable material for a number of key roof repairs. Its durable properties combined with timeless aesthetics make it the ideal solution for successful repairs and renovations.
Lead is not only well-known for its sustainability as a product – more than 95 percent of scrap lead sheet is collected and recycled in the UK, whereas lead alternatives have a recovery rate of less than 10 percent – but also its longevity. Lead has been proven to survive even the most adverse weather conditions. And, with claims of some lead roofs having had a lifespan of 500 years, it is a product that has demonstrated its worth.
At the same time, lead is incredibly easy to use. As well as being non-corrosive and flexible, lead sheet doesn’t lift in high winds and can withstand all weathers making it suitable to be fitted all year round.
But, in order for lead to perform at its best, it has to be applied correctly. Here are our top tips to ensure leadwork remains weatherproof:
- Only use clips on sheltered areas as they have been known to fail in high winds. Use additional fixings on exposed areas
- It’s important to allow for thermal movement so that joints are secure and watertight but still flexible
- Use lead sheet sealant for pointing, which provides a weatherproof seal between lead and brickwork and masonry
- Applying patination oil to the top and even the underside of leadwork helps to protect the lead as well as preventing staining
While there are many – and a growing number of – alternative lead products available on the market, they do not carry the same weighted history of survival or the robust and aesthetically-pleasing solution for roof repairs. Most non-lead manufacturers don’t know how long their products will last, therefore are not prepared to guarantee a lifespan of longer than 10 to 20 years.
By choosing lead sheet or flash fittings on a building you are investing in a long-term solution. Our machine cast lead sheet here at Midland Lead is approved by the British Board of Agrément (BAA) and comes with a 60-year guarantee. Our rolled (or milled) lead sheet confirms to BS EN 12588 and has a 50-year guarantee. But the working life expectancy of all types of lead sheet is much longer.
Make sure any roof repairs you undertake can withstand any future severe weather by using a robust lead sheet.