Lead or Aluminium Flashing

I am getting quotes for a new roof. One roofer has advised aluminium flashing which is approx £500 cheaper and 2 others have said to stick with lead which is more expensive but they said better. I have looked at the pros and cons on the net, but can’t make a decision. Help!

Very few people use lead anymore as it’s very difficult to solder. Typically we use copper or lead coated copper. Aluminum flashing is acceptable but inferior due to it’s lack of longevity and the inability to solder it.

Sounds like you’re in the U.K. I’d say if money is an issue and you’re re-roofing with a material (such as asphalt shingles) that has a life span of less than 50yrs then aluminum is ok. More than 50yrs (such as slate or tile) then go lead.

Tar, I think she’s talking about apron flashing? Like when a lower porch shingle roof or shingle pediment roof meets a sided wall? I always use lead or copper, no need for solder. It’s only a counter flashing. New construction hacks like Brazilians, Guatamalens & G.C.'s use that junk aluminum roll flashing & then shingle over it. Ma’am, go with the lead if you have wood siding, colored aluminum (not mill finished alum.) to match your trim if you have vinyl siding.

If you do go the aluminum route go with a minimum .025 gauge

There is nothing in her post to even remotely suggest that the OP is specifically referring to an “apron” flashing. Why would you assume that?

Main Concern - Who is installing it.

Lead and Aluminum will both work if installed correctly. I agree that if it is a shingle roof then Aluminum would be fine. 90% of our roof replacements are residential shingle roofs. We always use the thicker aluminum. The standard colors are white, black, and brown. I also agree that it should be the thicker type like he mentioned. Not the stuff that is sold at Home Depot or Lowes that is usually shiny and paper thin.

My repair department repairs multiple chimneys per week. Most are from the flashing or from never adding mortar or repointing the joints in between the bricks.

It’s always an installation error/problem that causes the flashing leaks. 99% of time. Neither Aluminum or Lead are going to dissolve or get rust holes, etc. 50%
of the leaks in Erie,PA are from the previous contractors not servicing the chimney when the roof was installed. Missing Mortar, Cracked Chimney Crown, etc.

  1. Ask for pictures of the chimney crown, the joints, and the flashing, the flue. Basically you want to see a bunch of pictures in case you can’t get up on the roof yourself. Even if you can…I would recommend the pictures to play it safe.

"New construction hacks like Brazilians, Guatamalens & G.C.'s"
I strongly disagree with that statement. Like I said we fix counterflashing problems every week due to poor installation…and I don’t know of any Brazilians, or Guatemalan roofing crews in my city. 90% of the roofers in my city are “Caucasian” like myself. So, I guess that would be proof that all races have crews that produce poor workmanship and others that produce fine quality roofing systems.

To sum it up…don’t decide to choose your roofing company because of their race, or what material that they say is superior. Although we all argue over what material is the best…all material manufacture’s are all held to pretty close standards. A perfect installation is the key. Roofing crews on the other hand, aren’t held to any standards.

Best of luck. We would love to answer more questions if you have any, and we would love to hear who you choose. Stop back to let us know how the project goes.

P.S. I mentioned chimney flashing, but I would say the same for wall counter-flashing also.

Tar, there’s no evidence saying it isn’t apron flashing either. It’s just my guess that it is. What else could be aluminum or lead? Atleast with lead they don’t nail thru the face of it like they do when they put a viewer on w/box nails.

“What else could be aluminum or lead?”

Just about anything? Chimneys, aprons, counters, finial caps, something unusual and decorative…?

I just don’t see making an assumption off zero facts.

Whichever it is, I’d go with lead.

Thnx Tinner. Tar, relax man.