Innovative product to ease roofing skills shortage

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A lack of skilled roofers has led Marley Eternit to create an easy to install aluminium sheeting that can be rolled out on a roof like a carpet

Marley has launched Flexfast which is a new Universal Lead Replacement Roll to create a water-tight seal and effective flashing at all abutments, including walls, chimneys and dormers.

The manufacturer says that it is cheaper than traditional lead and quicker to install but has “similar aesthetics and rigidity.”

Flexfast is also up to 80% lighter than its lead equivalent, making it easier to handle.

The firm said: “The ongoing loss of skills in the roofing sector, as a result of the labour shortage and ageing workforce, means there is a clear need for manufacturers to develop easy-to-fix products.

“The new universal lead replacement roll has been designed and developed as a time saving solution, that doesn’t require specialist lead fitting skills.”

Flexfast has UV and age resistant Butyl adhesive backing for a quick fix.  It is made from creped coated aluminium, reinforced with metal grid, but it can stretch up to 60% so can be moulded.

Stuart Nicholson, roof systems director at Marley Eternit, said: “While lead has traditionally been used as a flashing material on roofs for hundreds of years, it is now starting to be seen as a labour intensive, costly and potentially hazardous job and lead replacement products are growing in popularity.

“Some European countries have already banned the use of lead in construction and although it is not yet banned in the UK, with lead prices increasing year on year and high levels of lead theft, there are clear safety and cost benefits to using lead replacement products. Our new Universal Lead Replacement Roll provides a cost saving alternative, which is also easier to install when compared to traditional lead.”

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