Lead flashing is an integral part of a roof’s structure, as it prevents the passage of water at joints such as those seen on chimneys, vent pipes and walls.
However, the theft of lead flashing is a problem that has been around since Roman times. Legislation was introduced in the 18th century to declare the theft and possession of these metals a crime, with the Scrap Metal Dealers Act introduced in 1964 going further and bringing about regulation of the scrap metal trade.
There are many ways to safeguard lead flashing in your home that can help prevent you from becoming a victim of theft, such as the following:
Secure fixing of your lead flashing
Seek out a specialist roofing supplier like Ashbrook Roofing when purchasing lead flashing and you will also be able to buy special fixing which better secure lead sheets in place on the roof of your home.
As well as being securely fastened to your property, special fixing material also allows your lead flashing to maintain natural thermal movement and can be used on flat, pitched and vertical surfaces alike.
Make it difficult for thieves to reach your roof
There are many ways to restrict thieves from accessing your roof and stealing your lead flashing.
If trees are planted around your home, check that the branches aren’t hanging over or close to your roof. You can also restrict people climbing up to your roof by storing wheelie bins and ladders in a locked storage area — a shed that has a strong padlock on the door, for example.
Anti-climb paint can also limit climbing when painted onto flashing and drainpipes. Just remember that the law states that the paint can only be applied to objects at least two metres above the ground, while you’ll also need a sign informing people that anti-vandal paint has been applied to parts of your property.
The majority of thieves will have a vehicle to store their stolen flashing and make a quick getaway. Placing a gate around your driveway or a parking bollard on it both mean that thieves will have to walk further to get to and from a vehicle, increasing their chances of being spotted.
Make yourself known to your community
You don’t always need to spend money in order to secure your home.
If you have just moved into a property, introduce yourself to your neighbours and exchange contact numbers. You don’t need to directly alert them of concerns that you have like the theft of lead flashing. Instead, you can drop it into a conversation by asking if they are aware of any problems that you need to be aware of about your new community.