Maintenance tips for your leadwork

When specified and fitted professionally, lead work can provide an effective weatherproof barrier for well over 100 years.

Together with its flexibility, that’s why lead sheet is the most popular material for flashing and roof work in Britain.

Maintenance tips

Lead is a hardy material that if specified and fitted correctly, should not require any maintenance whatsoever. Having said that, it’s still a good idea to check the lead sheeting once a year, and after any bad weather, to ensure it is still affixed to the roof correctly. This is especially true if you have heard something on the roof when it is windy, such as a scraping sound, or a sound that’s akin to something falling.

To maintain your leadwork, it’s important to understand what is and what isn’t normal with leadwork, so you can identity any potential issues.

What’s normal?

Fresh leadwork has a matte, desirable dark grey finish. Over time, however, the dissolvable carbon dioxide in rainwater corrodes the top layer of lead and causes a layer of lead carbonate to form on the surface. This creates a unique patina. It’s important to remember that this is normal, and that the layer of lead carbonate on the surface protects the fresh lead underneath from further corrosion. So, if your lead looks old, that’s only because of the lead carbonate on the surface — which you should leave alone.

What isn’t normal?

Lead sheet is a flexible material, and it should hug whatever it is attached to. If your leadwork is rippling away from the surface, or ‘bubbling’, it will have come away from the roof and will need reattaching. Another thing that is abnormal, is powder falling out at the laps. This powder is lead carbonate, but an excessive amount. It can indicate that corrosion is taking place underneath the lead sheet. The good news is that adequate ventilation saves most lead from an early death, and won’t need replacing.

Leadwork in Leeds

At Roundhay Roofing, we serve the Leeds area with over 30 years’ experience. To find out more about our roofing and lead work services, please call us on 0113 293 4038. We provide free quotes on all work and all our work is guaranteed.

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