See How Much it Costs For a Roofer to Replace Chimney Lead

Leadwork is often found around the base of chimneys, where the chimney stack meets the roof tiles.

This is a known weak spot in the design of most roofs and without leadwork or with failed leadwork, the roof can leak.

Below you’ll find our guide to chimney leadwork, including prices and best practices.

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Chimney Leadwork

Lead is flexible metal that’s been used in the construction industry for hundreds of years, it has many beneficial properties:

  • Is watertight
  • Lasts for decades, sometimes hundreds of years
  • Is bendable and can be moulded around tiles and bricks
  • Can be welded easily

If you live in the UK, chances are your house will leadwork somewhere, probably on the roof or near to a chimney.

Unfortunately, there are some reasons why leadwork may fail:

  • It wasn’t secured to the brickwork well enough and over time has come loose (often caused by failed brick pointing).
  • The lead used by the installer was too thin and has now split.
  • The installer used a length that was too long and the contraction/expansion caused by changing temperatures has resulted in splits.
  • Squirrels have chewed the soft metal and the roof now leaks
Lead roof, damaged

Damage to leadwork caused by squirrels. This type of damage is more common than most people think.

On this page, we’ll take a look at how much it costs to replace the leadwork around a typical chimney.

Cost to Replace Leadwork Around a Chimney

There are three sections of lead around a typical chimney, any or all of them may need replacing, it depends on why they’ve failed:

  • The step flashing
  • The back box
  • The front apron
Examples of different lead applications

Chimney Lead Examples

Below you’ll find three price examples.

We sourced these figures from reputable roofing firms in the UK during 2016 and again in 2018.

We’ve averaged the figures but still feel they should prove to be a good guide to how much it costs to replace chimney leadwork.

Project 1

The price below is to replace all of the lead around a typical chimney. The figure includes the cost to replace the apron, step flashing and also the back box.

The price includes the cost to erect a single scaffold to the chimney, which is located at the edge of the roof.

LocationSmall Business /TraderLarge Business
Need a Custom Price? >Compare Up To 3 Personlised Quotes Here
London Area£850.00£950.00
South, SW and Midlands£750.00N/A
Outer Region and North£700.00N/A




Project 2

Sometimes, leaky leadwork doesn’t need replacing, a repair is often sufficient.

The price below is for a roofer to access the chimney via a scaffold, rake out any loose or defective mortar that was holding the leadwork in place and repoint it.

You may want to explore our more detailed price guide for chimney repointing here.

LocationSmall Business /TraderLarge Business
Need a Custom Price? >Compare Up To 3 Personlised Quotes Here
London Area£450.00£500.00
South, SW and Midlands£350.00N/A
Outer Region and North£350.00N/A

Get a Fixed Written Quote Here

We think our research into home improvement prices in the UK is very insightful but chimney repair work is one of those projects where the cost can vary considerably from home to home.

You may find that the cost of erecting access scaffold is more than the cost of the repair.

To arrange your own quote that’s based on the size and specifications of your chimney, tap the button below to see how we can help you:

  • Submit details of the chimney leadwork project
  • Explore reviews and ratings posted to the website from previous customers
  • Receive a detailed written quote
  • Only proceed if you want to – no commitment or obligation
  • Leave feedback when the project is complete
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How Long Does Lead Last?

If fitted correctly by an expert, leadwork should last the life of the property.

Unfortunately, poorly installed thin lead can fail early, leading to leaks.

The photo below shows rainwater being discharged onto leadwork. After a few decades, it should be no surprise that this wear and tear has damaged the lead:

Lead damaged by downpipe

Damaged Lead – water damage caused by rainwater downpipe discharge onto thin lead

The most common reason why lead fails is that it was fitted in long lengths rather than in small sections.

Lead is a very soft metal that experiences considerable expansion and contraction caused by the changing temperatures through the seasons.

Long lengths often split and leak.

This can be avoided by installing the lead in short lengths that overlap. This provides an allowance for thermal expansion.

The maximum allowable length of a piece of lead will depend on its thickness but as a very general rule of thumb, the lead should never be laid in lengths greater than 2 metres.

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One Response to “See How Much it Costs For a Roofer to Replace Chimney Lead”

  1. RichardApril 21, 2017 at 4:17 pm #

    The information about lead is wrong. Code 3 is 1.32mm thick, Code 4 is 1.8mm thick, Code 5 is 2.24mm and Code 6 (used for box gutters etc) is 2.65mm. The thickest is Code 8 which is 3.55mm. Nothing is 5mm thick. The maximum bay length for Code 4 is generally 1.5m, 2m for Code 5 and 2.25m for Code 6

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