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Haus Profi® lead-free flashing – a cost-effective answer to lead theft


Haus Profi® lead-free flashing – a cost-effective answer to lead theft
Haus Profi® lead-free flashing – a cost-effective answer to lead theft

The newly launched Haus Profi® range of lead-free flashings has been designed to seal gas, oil and wood burner flues of all diameters on any type of roof. Products can also be used for any traditional abutment and pitch transition work, for conservatory roofs and to seal penetrations made for cables. Wakaflex® and EasyFlash® can be stretched and shaped without using lead forming tools, enabling them to be used at tight angles and with deeply profiled tiles such as Double Roman and Bold Roll. Cut by knife or scissors and installed without the need for skilled labour, self-adhesive butyl backings retain their high bond strength and can be used at low working temperatures on most dry surfaces without priming.

Sabetoflex® and Wakaflex® provide a long awaited and simple means of sealing flues on plain tile and other double-lapped roofs. This otherwise difficult task can be undertaken without employing a specialist roofer so the job can be done more quickly and at far lower cost.

Police crime statistics reveal that over 67,000 incidences of metal theft were recorded in 2012 and 61,000 in 2013. However, both years’ statistics understate the true extent of the problem as many police forces in England and Wales were still not recording incidences specifically as metal theft. Estimates of the likely total vary from 110,000 to 125,000 but Ecclesiastical Insurance, the UK’s leading church insurer, had at the time received more than 9,000 claims worth over £25m.

For those faced with the crippling financial consequences of lead theft, this is unlikely to be a short-term problem. English Heritage has described the situation as one in which there is ‘an epidemic of lead theft from church buildings’ so much so that it says ‘In some circumstances like-for-like replacement following a lead theft is not prudent’. It commissioned research by Newcastle University, Loughborough University and the Council of British Archaeology into the scale of the threat of heritage crime in England. Conclusions were that:

  • An estimated 18.7% of all listed buildings were affected by crime in 2013
  • The biggest single threat of theft and damage to a building is metal theft and the most threatened type of building is a church
  • Over 70,000 buildings were affected by crime in 2013, almost 30,000 of which suffered ‘substantial impact’
  • Around three in eight churches or other religious buildings were damaged by crime in 2013
  • Thieves often target lead flashings around chimneys and abutment details ripping off roof tiles and causing damage to the roof which has severe implications in terms of the structure as a whole
  • A number of councils are taking steps to tackle the problem by using non-metallic alternatives

Unlike lead, Haus Profi products do not suffer from cold working fatigue so weather is unlikely to prevent a repair taking place.

While it is acknowledged that regulations will require that some buildings have like-for-like replacement following lead theft, Wakaflex and EasyFlash, however, offer a solution for a large proportion of buildings. Wakaflex is BBA certified (14/5103) and offers excellent colour fastness and retained flexibility. As with EasyFlash, colours are available to match the chosen tile or slate, enabling an unobtrusive finish to be provided. Materials pose no risk to potable water and, in the event of run-off, will not cause staining.

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