At Copperstone a story that we hear all too often is the theft of lead roofing from churches and subsequent damage to property. Apparently this is a very common issue and has been on a steady increase. According to Building Conservation, with the rise in value of scrap metal, metal theft has been one of the fastest growing crimes in the United Kingdom in the early 2000s.
Unfortunately thieves are becoming smarter and more adept at stealing larger quantities, creating problems for many church caretakers around the country… In many cases, the decision is made to use a lead alternative to replace the roofing. There are a number of reasons why people choose to do this.
The main reason is that lead is very expensive – to install, repair as well as to insure against future theft. And not to mention the risk of more hassle if the new roofing were to get stolen again.
So what is the alternative?
There are a few lead alternative materials out there, which provide a much more cost effective solution, and Masterform is one of better known among them.
Nicholson offer some detailed information about Masterform, accompanied by images and case studies where it has been used. I’m no roofing expert, but to the untrained eye it looks very similar to lead and if you ever needed to recreate the lead look without forking out for the real thing this may be the material for you.
So what specifically are we dealing with here? According to UK Supplier Nicholson, Masterform is “a unique alternative weathering material providing a long term waterproof covering to areas where traditional roofing materials such as lead, zinc and copper would normally be used.”
As for the material specifics, it is described as an unlaminated polymer based sheet material, with an aluminium mesh embedded within the sheet. As such, it has been manufactured to meet weathering requirements, and is BBA accredited.
Masterform is available in grey or black, and can apparently be installed by any roofing contractor, and easily molded into whatever shape is required. And the best thing about it is it’s completely worthless to thieves!
Image Credit: Nicholson