Over recent months we have been highlighting the fact that fibreglass or GRP (FRP) can be a realistic cost effective alternative to lead, particularly where metal is subject to the increasing risk of theft. Unfortunately, as we know from the news reports, theft for some buildings can be a regular event and expensive to deter.
In the case of our GRP Valley Trough range, we have been making the point for almost thirty years that GRP has no value to a would be thief; in fact since the very first time when we started manufacturing these products specifically to simulate lead and other metals such as zinc.
However, we have never argued that there is not a place for the use of lead within a roof construction and indeed our Valley Trough range can be used in conjunction with lead where required.
Let’s take as an example our Dry Fix Valley range. This product, which is patented by us and therefore unique to us, was developed to replace the need for the use of mortar during the roofing process, but it was also designed to utilise a traditional lead saddle to provide the weathering protection at the head of a valley.
Why? Because lead is ideal, it’s standard practice for the roofer, it is easily formed to meet the profile of the Dry Valley and it will provide a very long service life without the need for maintenance – a well proven material and is this application with little risk of theft due to the discreet use and therefore minimum visibility!
There are alternatives of course, some being typically based around a preformed “plastic” moulding but there are inherent disadvantages with that type of material. Expansion and contractions rates, exposure to sunlight and temperature extremes may well weaken the material over time; this type of product has been tried in the past but they tend not to succeed in practice, and are also unlikely to have the same long service life expectancy as GRP or lead. Being pre-formed, they often do not have the versatility to accommodate a wide range of roof pitches or differences in roof pitch and may not be best suited to the detailing required.
We recommend using lead in conjunction with GRP valleys as none of these disadvantages apply!