It is essential to have a good understanding of the nature of lead and the uses of the material if leadwork is to be properly detailed and safely fitted. For these reasons, leadwork is best left to professionals with experience of the common causes of failure and an overview of the material's characteristic behaviour. Lead is one of the oldest and most durable roofing materials in existence and is capable of lasting over two hundred years. Today cast lead sheet is produced by specialist companies and most often used to replace old lead sheet on building where and authentic look is important. Modern milled lead sheet is made to British Standard 1178 for roofing purposes in the UK.
Your contractor must have good understanding of the use of lead in roofing, they should have the experience to identify the most likely faults and diagnose the causes of defects, thereby being able to make a recommendation on repairs and/or renewals. If the existing lead roofing, cladding or flashings are mostly in good condition with just a few minor splits, then generally any problems can be rectified by carrying out repairs.
However, more serious failures may require complete renewal of the leadwork. Before hiring a roofing contractor you should be advised of the condition of the lead and how long it is likely to last, any serious ripples or splits, inadequate or worn out fixings, unsuitable underlays and any signs of corrosion on the top or underside of the lead. The decision whether to repair or renew is a serious one as the price difference between local rep[airs and complete renewal can easily run into thousands of pounds! Repairs can be made by carefully welding small patches of lead sheet over any splits.
To get a quote for the repair or replacement of your roof using lead, please click the "post your job" button on this page to have local roofers get in touch to survey your roof and provide a free, no obligation written quote. You can easily gather 3 quotes just be entering brief details about the roofing work you are interested in along with your contact information. The costs vary tremendously depending on the size and shape of the roof, along with the specification of lead products used, so the only way to get a reliable price is to have a survey carried out by a professional.
If water is coming through your lead roof, you need to to find a local registered contractor. You can do this by asking for referrals from friends or family, or by contacting the National Federation of Roofing Contractors. Climbing onto lead roofs should always be left to the professionals, as the rafters may not bear your weight and a special roof ladder will be required to inspect the leadwork and check for defective or missing lead flashing. You can however check the inside of the roof for evidence of the leak such as the integrity of the main timbers and joints, evidence of rot or damage or damp patches on the ceilings. If you can see daylight though the roof from the inside this is also a good indication of a leak!