Lead is one of the oldest construction materials in the world, with its use dating back to the ancient Roman empires and before. Being strong and corrosion-resistant, yet extraordinarily malleable and easy to work with, making it a popular building material in a wide range of projects, such as lead roofing. Even the discovery of lead toxicity did little to slow down its usage.
Lead is not the most common roofing material, but it's still used in home and commercial construction today. It's possible to create roofs that are primarily made of lead or simply to use lead for flashing and connectors due to their strength and resilience. Either way, lead requires some special maintenance and safety measures to last over the years.
Heather & Little are experts working with historical architecture and less-common materials like lead. We can help you safely maintain your lead roof and keep it looking great!
Crucial Maintenance Tips For Lead Roofing
1 - Always wear protective gear
Lead is well-known to be toxic and builds up in the body over time. The adverse effects of lead are cumulative, and it typically takes years or decades of constant contact to be poisoned. However, that doesn't mean you want to expose yourself to lead contamination unnecessarily, since lead is still so commonplace. If you ever do your own roof work or inspections, always wear PPE, including a protective suit and a filtering mask to keep lead particles out of your body.
That said, it's generally better to let experts handle your lead roofing work. Besides the inherent dangers of roof work, they will have professional-grade protective gear to keep them safe.
2 - Lead roofs should be inspected regularly
Lead is strong and highly resistant to most of the threats that can damage a roof, as well as being resistant to corrosion. However, because of lead's softness, it can be damaged by sufficient impacts such as storm debris or hail. So we strongly recommend a full inspection of your lead roof at least once a year, checking for any damage that may have occurred before it becomes a significant problem.
3 - Maintain the drainage
Lead is excellent for drainage since it's easy to form roofs into shapes and gutters that whisk the water away. However, again, the softness of lead means that those drainage routes can become disrupted. Standing water is terrible for any roof, and with lead roofs, there's the danger of the water becoming contaminated.
4 - Dispose of waste lead properly
Should you ever do major renovations to your lead roof, or if something should happen to knock a chunk of it off, that waste must be properly disposed of by professionals. Lead is easily recyclable, so it needs to be taken off to a certified recycling plant.
Heather & Little are North America's experts in historical roofing, architecture, and renovation. We can help you maintain your historic roof or any other lead roofing on your property. Contact us to learn more about our services.
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