It seems that there are constantly new products coming out in the roofing industry that are designed to last longer, be more resistant to weather damage, and to be better for the environment. At the same time, traditional types of roofing materials, including options in shingles, decking, and flashing, are still the go-to materials on any job.
One of the materials that has been used for decades on roofs in house and on commercial buildings is lead flashing. While there are some concerns in using lead in a variety of other applications in residential and commercial construction and repairs, when used as a flashing material it is still a very good option that is safe and effective.
Roof flashing is used whenever there is a joint or a meeting of the roof and any vertical structure. The use of lead flashing in these applications provides an effective seal or protection over these areas as well as reducing the risk of water seeping into the space and causing damage over time.
Lead is both durable as well as workable, which means it is soft enough to easily seal these spaces, but it is also very long lasting. Lead is also a metal that expands and contracts with the surrounding temperature without any problems with developing brittle characteristics that can cause cracks and breaks.
At the same time, lead flashing does not melt in direct sunlight for extended periods of time, and it does not contract significantly in cold temperatures, making it a good material for all climates.
As a barrier material, lead is a top choice. It is highly resistant to corrosion, which means exposure to humidity, rain, snow, or chemicals in the air do not cause surface damage. Lead is also an excellent insulator, which is an essential factor for sealing the areas where the walls and roof meet.