Understanding the meaning of lead restoration, we do get asked. Lead rarely needs intensive cleaning usually only from organic material like leafs & atmospheric dust.
All of which can normally be removed by hand or low pressure water spray with care.
When problems do arise more often than not the main reasons lies with installation techniques. ie: improper use of nail fixings restricting thermal movement coursing the lead to distort & a concentration of fatigue stress resulting in cracks & splits in the lead. A perfect example of this are flat roof bays with splits across them at times you will see multiple repairs on them. 99% of the time this is caused by over fixing with nails restricting thermal movement. There is no fix in this instance only replace with new. This is not always the person installing the leads fault as in years gone by there was not the knowledge there is today in design specification & considerations.
Lead does have a lifespan with examples lasting way over 100 years.
However, there are situations of accelerated corrosion when lead comes into contact with other materials like Lime some timbers metals & sealant.
Condensation on the underside of the lead can cause corrosion.
In extreme condensation conditions, the corrosion can penetrate completely through the lead. Again this is no fix just remove and replace.
Please note there are health & safety procedures for removing old lead if in any doubt you can visit LSA website for health & safety advice.
When replacing the lead all leadwork should conform to the current Building Regulations recommendations BS 5250 & BS 6229.
Repairs can be made to lead using a welding and a filling rod, examples of this would be slate or tile slipping from the roof onto a lead flat roof making a hole, these type of accidents can be repaired. When the leadwork needs replacing entirely most of the time new lead will be used. On some conservation projects, some existing components will be used as a mould if the casting method was used.
while the old lead will be sent to be melted down and left to cool to form 2 tonne slabs that are passed through heavy rollers repeatedly to progressively thin the lead down to lead sheet BSEN12588 or if so required pored onto fine bed of sand to the desired size & thickness or codes to form sandcast lead sheet mainly used in the conservation of historic buildings. There have been instances where the old lead has been removed & repaired with additional modifications added to bring each component up to modern specification with an emphasis to
weathering & fixings. This is vary rare & would need to have a high Historic value or marmoreal status. English Heritage would usually have a interest in such projects.
I have been invited to work on such projects in the past.
illustration can be found on this websites portfolio, Lead Belvedere .
Id also like to point out if work needs to be carried out on Listed buildings you are required by law to contact the local planning office and ask about Listed building consent. The contractor should be aware of this & pass this information to the client & even contacting the planning office themselves .
Lead has a very low carbon footprint & has a rating of A to A+ in the BRE Green Guide to specification. Lead is a contemporary building material that has a key role to play in sustainability with its proven environmental benefits lead will only generate between 0.5 & 0.66 Eco points These figures mean that the effects of using lead on such projects is of minimal impact on its environment credentials.
Lead is 100% recyclable with no loss to performance.
MY LeadWorks is a true "one-stop shop" because, in contrast to many other leadwork contractors, all of the work is carried out "in house" without any subcontractors. We use traditional techniques and carry out our work using both milled and sand cast lead (depending on the specific of the application) and using the correct detailing according to the guidelines and practices set by The Lead Sheet Association. All work is carried out professionally on and off-site working closely with architects and local authorities.
There's a saying that we like to use: "Don't let the lead work you...you work the lead."