Damaged, ageing or loose roof flashing isn't just unsightly, it's also a glaring indicator that it needs to be fixed or replaced. Lead flashing is vital in shielding the most vulnerable areas of your roof from water ingress and weather damage; creating a protective barrier around the most susceptible areas including chimneys, vents, skylights and pipe or cable penetrations. Therefore, in order for your roof to be properly protected, your flashing needs to be correctly installed and inspected now and again for signs of wear and tear.
From through-wall and drip edge to step and counter flashing - roof flashing comes in many different forms. At Roof Giant we offer a wide range of durable and long-lasting lead flashing rolls as well as lead work fixings and accessories to install your flashing in a multitude of different applications. Whether you're installing flashing in the valley of two intersecting roof planes, above doors and windows, at the edges of your roof - or more generally in and around any seams, joints, runoff areas and places of protrusion in your roof surface - we've got exactly what you need for your latest fixing or replacement job.
Lead usually boasts an impressive life-expectancy and can even outlast the building structure itself. Our Lead Roofing Lead Flashing Roll from Midland boasts impressive longevity of well over 100 years and will rarely need to be maintained over the course of its lifespan. However, if you're a homeowner, it can be difficult to determine how old your current roof flashing is and how well it was installed in the first place. Your existing roof flashing may also begin to show signs of weathering during your tenure, so it's important that you familiarise yourself with the most vital signs that your roof flashing needs to be replaced...
So, what do I need to look out for?
In our latest blog, we'll lay out the most common and significant indicators that flashing repair or replacement is needed, along with some underlying causes that will reveal that your lead flashing has reached the end of its life. From weathering to water staining, rust to rising energy bills, find out what your roof and home is trying to tell you with a little help from Roof Giant.
#1. Observable Signs Of Damage
A lead flashing inspection should always begin with a thorough lookout for the more obvious indicators of wear and tear including cracks, splits, dents and any other gaps or holes. Visual damage is usually the result of natural ageing, weathering and the continuous expansion and contraction of lead that occurs as a result of the British weather and seasonal changes in temperature. If you come across any of these clear and obvious signs of damage, your flashing needs to be repaired or replaced.
#2. Ageing & Weathering
Adjoining the visual indicators of wear and tear are the telltale signs of ageing and weathering; occurring over time and due to the natural exposure of your lead roof flashing to the outdoor elements. These signs may be ever so slightly less obvious to identify than visual damage to your flashing, so keep an eye on any colour changes to the lead surface including a dull, cloudy or blotchy appearance, general discolouration or a powdery film that covers the surface of your flashing. All of these key signs reveal that your flashing has spent a long time under the exposure of the sun, wind, rain and frost - and everything else that the pounding weather and the passing of time tends to bring.
#3. Water Staining
Noticing water stains around your home? If you're not sure what's causing the brown, dirty or damp stains on your ceilings and walls, it's time to inspect your flashing - particularly if water staining is occurring directly under your flashing. Check your lead flashing for any signs of damage such as splits or flaws that require immediate fixing or extensive replacement. Common culprits include compromised flashings around chimneys as well as damaged roof valleys and intersections that are causing the ingress of water.
#4. Evidence Of Rust Or Corrosion
Rusty flashing is a strong and very unsightly indicator that your flashing can no longer provide a reliable seal against water penetration. You'll be familiar with the notorious red-brown surface colour and rough texture of rust whereas corrosion will cause those easily visible splits and cracks. Severe rust and corrosion requires replacement of your lead flashing, whereas more mild rusting can be treated and repaired to prevent worsening disintegration.
#5. Water Leaks Inside Your Home
From less severe water staining to much more alarming water leaks and structural damp... If rainstorms are causing dripping, dampness or water to run down your interior walls, it's time to look at your flashing. Again, inspect those areas directly below your flashing as your flashing may be broken and incapable of channelling water away from intersections, chimney structures, valleys and similar elements of your roof structure that are susceptible to rainwater and storms.
#6. Loose Lead
Lead flashing that has come away from your roof will instantly impair its ability to protect your roof from water penetration and weather ingress. Oftentimes, loose or wobbly flashing that has clearly become detached or separated from the roof structure below is caused by either high winds, heavy storms, multiple contraction and expansion cycles or poor installation. Make sure loose lead flashing is repaired urgently if you see any of the signs mentioned.
#7. Soaring Energy Bills
As the cost of living crisis continues, it's important to ensure that your household isn't losing money unnecessarily. One key factor that can result in your home becoming less energy efficient is compromised roof flashing. If your lead flashing is damaged, loose or broken, or deteriorating beyond repair, this can cause air leakages, resulting in heat loss during the winter and a hotter home during the summer. If you're reaching for the air conditioning unit or thermostat more frequently and your energy bill has skyrocketed recently, make sure you check your lead flashing for issues.