Gutters, valleys and flashing

Who said guttering had to be plastic! Lead guttering is often a feature of older homes; unparalleled in its longevity (lasting well over 100 years), it’s a good alternative to plastic, if you’re trying to cut down on your plastic use. Lead also does not discolour or show dirty water stains like a white PVC pipe does. Because of lead’s flexibility, it is perfect for houses with unusually shaped roofs, as the lead can be moulded around any structure. Gutters can also be made a ‘secret’, and hidden in your roof, dropped down from the tiles or brickwork.

Lead valleys are another way of waterproofing the joins between sections of a roof; but unlike tiles which go over the join, valleys run underneath the join. Water runs straight off your roof, meaning that its most vulnerable areas (the joins) are watertight and don’t allow any water to collect.

Lead flashing helps to seal and make watertight areas where the slate or tile meets a chimney, or other section of your house, such as a loft extension, for example. There are many different types of lead flashing that we install to help waterproof your roof. Step flashing, continuous flashing, counter-flashing, base flashing and cap flashing are all methods of installing lead, in very different ways!

General & Flat Roofing With Lead

Flat roofs often are a feature of extensions and bay windows, and so they’re pretty common! Although some customers will want bitumen or fibreglass- and whilst these synthetic materials are relatively cost-effective- they don’t always offer the longevity and beauty that a lead flat roof can offer. We always use appropriate codes of lead for our flat roofs, depending on the size of the roof, and if it will have to bear the weight of standing water. Some older houses will have a specialised flat roof at the apex of the roof, such as on a gambrel, or mansard roof, and these are commonly fitted with lead, which suits the era and look of the whole house.

Lead is used on the ‘hips’ of a roof (the join between two or more sides of a roof) to seal out water. Although ‘hip tiles’ can also be used, lead offers a distinctive, smooth join. As lead is so malleable, it is perfect for tricky, uniquely shaped or very tight hips.

Lead slating or tiles can also be used on some areas of roofs; these tiles often have distinctive ridges, and a lovely deep grey colour. However, this can be a very expensive way of slating and covering a roof, and we would recommend looking at other beautifully coloured slate as an option too, such as Brazilian, Welsh or even Cornwalls’s very own local Delabole slate!

Dormers, Bay Windows & Canopies

Bay windows can be covered with lead in a flat or pitched style; the same goes for porches, doorways and dormer windows. We make sure the substrate (felt or similar) allows proper temperature control, and is appropriately flexible, so the lead can shift, stretch and shrink, and not be constrained or cracked if it is nailed to the wrong substrate.

A lead canopy covering doors, windows or porch areas can be shaped to be convex or concave; the water runs off well either way, and gives a Georgian-period or European look to a building. Very nice!

Lead Portfolio