I asked a roofer to replace some failed lead flashing that was allowing some water in. I was a bit shocked to see that they’d chased a new diagonal channel across the brickwork. The original flashing was stepped and all the neighbours have stepped flashing that sinks the lead into the natural gap between the bricks. Is this going to be effective? Should I be worried about this?
When I asked the guy why he had done this he said “We could not put the lead work back as it was before because the bricks were soft due to water leakage, the way we did the flashing ensured a more secure fitting in the long term”.
It seemed to me that he’s only going to make it worse by cutting a new diagonal channel in. Is this a cause for concern? Will it lead to more damage to the house? Does this look like a professional job?
The original step flashing was inset into the mortar and when the step flashing was removed, the mortar and brick may have spalled and the repairman didn’t want to rebuild the area. Rebuilding may have required the replacement of a brick or two and remortaring the joints therefore creating a “more difficult” solution when it was much less work to justify his chosen fix.
Will it work? Yes it should. Since he already committed to notching the brick, he could have inset a one piece counter flashing overtop following a straighter line along the slope rather than leaving it bowed. Did he apply new mortar or did he caulk it in place?
Even if the brick was damaged from water the previous reglets should have been re-usable. If they weren’t you just go up a course and re-step it. This angled flashing is the way roofers do it now and it is frankly lazy and not nearly as effective as a proper stepped flashing. It makes even less sense when using lead sheet since lead is easily formed and comes in small pieces. This is usually done with steel or aluminum so they can install a 10 ft stick without cutting it.
If this was actually a new reglet cut in and the lead was properly recessed and wedged in then it should still last a long time on the top edge. The bigger issue is that it appears that he went below the old reglets and filled the old with either grout or caulking. Not only does it look like crap but if caulking then you will have to replace it every 7-10 years and maybe sooner if he didn’t clean and prime the brick first.