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Cost of Replacing Leadwork

A guide of the process of hiring a tradesman to replace leadwork on a chimney, roof or wall, including the costs of labour and materials.

3-5 days
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If the leadwork around your walls and chimney have seen better days, or are exposed in a manner which is degrading the home’s appearance, you may wish to have a professional replace that leadwork. Leadwork is typically found around chimneys, or steep areas, where a wall/tile meets metal structures.

Lead is one of the most durable materials, but it can rust or tarnish over time. If this is the case, when replacing the leadwork on the roof/chimney, it is best to allow professionals to perform these services.

What the job entails

More often than not, this isn’t a DIY project or a job left up to a local handyman. It will take time, and it is a costly undertaking. With this in mind, the new leadwork will probably outlast your current home, so it is not the type of job you are required to upgrade or refinish, every few years while living in the home.

Initially, they will remove the old leadwork on the surfaces it is present. The lead comes in rolls, however, anything of a 1.5-metre length or larger, shouldn’t be installed at the same time. It should be overlapped, as this will help preserve the lead for years to come, and will also ensure limited gapping/movement, once it is placed.

Roofing tiles are likely going to require replacement. When replacing lead, this can cause breakage/chipping, meaning the roof will be damaged in certain areas. Lead will be affixed to the walls using plugs, which are attached to bricks on the chimney/walls. Cement is placed on all surfaces, to help preserve the lead, eliminate water trickle, and to ensure proper sealing over the roof once the old lead is removed and replaced.

Possible Issues During Installation

In most cases, damage to roof tiles will ensue. The nature of the materials which are being worked on will cause movement and damage. Therefore, expect to replace at least several tiles on the roof, which the licensed contractor doing the lead replacement work, will typically handle.

Cracks in cement is another common issue when replacing the lead tile. This is also a quick fix and is one which can easily be repaired once the tiles are replaced on the roof. A cement layer will simply be applied over the lead, in order to help prevent the water leaks or further breakage after installation.

Other Projects to Complete

You are on the roof, so if there are areas of damage, if you wish to replace shingles, or perform leak repair, this is a good time to do so. Prior to replacing the leadwork, you might as well tackle the roofing problems you’ve been dealing with for some time.

Another area you might want to consider working on is the siding, or if you wish to have your chimney cleaned, now is also a good time to hire a chimney sweep. This will help eliminate damage, will allow you to see exactly where the leadwork has to be replaced, and will also ensure stability once the new leadwork is laid out on the roof.

Any additional aesthetic work being performed to or around the roof should be addressed at this time. Since you have a licensed professional who is performing the replacement work, it is a good idea to get a quote to perform all of the services you would like to complete at the same time. It will cost you less money to do everything at once, and it will also guarantee a shorter duration for the work to be completed in.

Costs & Duration

This is not a cheap undertaking. In terms of labour, expect to pay a licensed contractor a minimum of £150 daily for repair work. If it is a replacement, a minimum of £500 daily will be charged. The duration of such projects is also one which will take a few days to complete. For repair work, set aside 1-3 days. If it is a replacement job, 2-5 days is a good amount of time to set aside, to allow the contractor to complete the removal, disposal of the old leadwork, and eventual replacement of the new leadwork on the chimney and walls of the home.

Of course additional services, unforeseen damage, and additional aesthetic work, will increase the overall cost of the project, and will also increase the amount of time which is required for the contractor to complete the services which they are hired to perform, when replacing or repairing the leadwork around the chimney and walls on the home’s exterior.

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Sam J

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