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Is lead best for Chimney Stacks?

Updated: May 23, 2023

Lead is put around the base of your chimney stack to keep it watertight. There are a few components of lead that make up the material on the chimney stack, as listed below:

  • Lead apron

  • Lead soakers

  • Lead flashing

  • Lead Gutter back

Each of the above is typically installed in phases, and each component may be repaired independently. For safety reasons, you should have a professional fit the lead since it might leak in the absence of specialist input.

There are several reasons why lead is used around chimney stacks. For instance, at Leeds & District Roofing LTD, we’ve encountered houses with chimney lead flashing that has been there for more than 90 years, so the lifespan is very substantial.

There are plenty of lead alternatives on the market today, but none will outperform genuine lead flashing around chimneys. The only advantage these substitutes could potentially have over lead is that lead is often stolen due to its high scrap price. In contrast, these new alternatives have no value when removed, so people tend to leave them where they are.


Should I use a lead alternatives on my chimney?

Here at Leeds & District Roofing LTD, we have tried and tested most lead alternative brands on the market. Despite this, when it comes to leading chimney stacks, the alternatives simply don’t boast the same benefits as lead itself does.

Alternatives can be used as flashings and soakers, but when it comes to the gutter back, they don’t handle the volume of water like lead. I have seen other roofers in Leeds use materials like alto for the gutter back; however, these have resulted in severe leaking.


What are lead alternatives?

Lead alternatives are, well, alternatives to lead. Instead of using lead flashing, these rolls of materials may be used to save money, time, and the need for a specialised lead worker. Roofers have used lead in the past to erect and preserve ancient or listed structures, but it's a costly and easily stolen substance!

Roofing contractors may still accomplish the desired appearance by using lead replacements, which are available in a variety of thicknesses.


What is the life expectancy of lead on roofs?

Lead flashing has a life expectancy of more than 100 years if allowed to expand and contract freely. That said, lead roofing repairs should only be performed by a skilled and experienced roofing firm like Leeds & District Roofing LTD to ensure that your house or business is protected for many years to come.


What code lead should I use on my roof

Code 3

Perfect for soakers

Code 4

Ideal for flashings, soakers, pitched valley gutters, dormers, and vertical cladding.

Code 5

Perfect for pitched and tapered valley gutters, dormers, flashings, vertical cladding, and flat roofs.

Code 6

Ideal for flashings, pitched and tapered valley gutters, dormers, and flat roofs.

Code 7

Perfect for pitched and tapered valley gutters, dormers, and flat roofs.

Code 8

Ideal for pitched and tapered valley gutters, dormers, and flat roofs.


When should I replace my lead?

It might take a few months or even a few years before any flaws in the lead flashing become apparent. Failure of lead flashings may result in several modes of deterioration, including dry and wet rot, insect infestation, and other types. The homeowner should be on the lookout for splits and cracks in the lead flashing to assess whether it needs to be changed. If these circumstances are not handled, the waterproofing protection will be rendered ineffective. If more investigation is conducted, it will be possible to determine whether the lead flashing has deteriorated because of heat expansion and contraction. The presence of mould or water leakage in the attic space of a property should be checked first, and then a roof inspection should be carried out. This is because problems with lead flashing are the most probable reason.


The chimney flashing repair cost in the UK may range anywhere from £450 to £900, depending on the chimney’s location, whether scaffolding is necessary, and the height of your property (one storey or two).


What should I do if I’m worried about my chimney’s lead?

If you’re concerned about the condition of your chimney’s lead, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a trusted lead specialist. Here at Leeds & District Roofing LTD, we’re well-equipped to handle all manner of roofing repairs and replacements, including those that involve lead.

You can book in for a free roof estimate with us, wherein we can provide you with an assessment of your roof’s condition and propose any necessary repairs or replacements. It can’t be denied that your roof is among the most important structures of your home, meaning potential problems can’t be ignored. So, take action with Leeds & District Roofing LTD.





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