Lead Flashing

In general terms, flashing is thin pieces of impervious material installed to prevent the passage of water into the structure from a joint. It can also be part of the Water Resistant Barrier (or WRB) system. It decreases water penetration at chimneys, vent pipes and walls which abut roofs, window or door openings. Lead flashing is a way to make the building durable and less likely to develop problems of poor ventilation such as mould. Lead flashing is often found in the form of sheet metal, which is available as exposed or concealed. As a metal, during its installation it should have expansion joints on long runs to prevent the deformation of the sheet during expansion and contraction. Lead can be used to coat other metals such as copper or can be alloyed with them. Lead is chosen for its malleability, flexibility and good resistance to corrosion. Lead flashing can be installed as roof flashing or as sill flashing under windows or doors. As part of the drainage and insulation system to prevent structural damage to the building, lead flashing is often found on houses with a pitched roof. It is also more likely to be installed in areas with heavier rainfall.

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