• Protect a building from lead theft with GRP

    April 13 2017

    Lead has been widely used as a roofing material for hundreds of years. Many historic buildings, such as churches, universities and schools, still feature lead roofs as it is renowned for its durability, in some instances lasting for several decades.

    Theft of lead from roofs became a lucrative prospect as scrap metal prices started to increase in the 1960s. This led to the 1964 Scrap Metal Dealers Act being introduced which improved regulation of the scrap metal trade.

    However, insurance claims for lead roof thefts increased many fold, with one of the main church insurance companies paying out more than £2m for insurance claims in a year, recently. With some insurance companies now limiting payouts for lead theft, this has meant that building owners are looking at alternative materials that retain the aesthetics of traditional lead, or copper, but that have no scrap metal value.

    Simulated metal appearance

    Topseal’s fibreglass flat roof systems (Glass Reinforced Polyester) are an increasingly popular choice when a replacement roof covering is needed, by offering a simulated lead or copper finish. And on listed buildings, our solution can incorporate simulate rolled joints, without seams, creating the aesthetics for which traditional materials are renowned.

    Building owners and architects like the fact that Topseal can be colour matched by using a topcoat with a lead grey or oxidised copper finish, matching the aesthetics of the original and retaining its appearance. These simulated lead/copper roof coverings provide long lasting performance with a guarantee of up to 40 years. This type of roof covering is also free from toxic water run-off, which is commonly associated with lead and copper roofs and could be harmful to the environment.

    Our GRP roofing systems are used extensively as lead or copper substitute roofing where a building has complex architectural detail. As GRP is a cost effective substitute for lead as well as being extremely durable, it provides a long term solution, whilst minimising the risk of theft.

    The right credentials

    Many building owners are concerned about the environmental credentials of the materials used for their buildings, which is why Topseal flat roofing systems are such an excellent choice.

    All the Topseal fibreglass flat roofing systems are BBA approved, including the new Topseal Direct Lay system, which means it is verified by the UK’s main independent body the British Board of Agrément. This gives the customer reassurance that the performance of the product has been independently tested and certified.


    So as more building owners choose to refurbish or replace lead or copper roofs, materials like GRP with aesthetically pleasing simulated finishes are rising in popularity.

    Roof coverings like Topseal and Topseal Direct Lay are helping historic buildings to secure a brighter future with lower maintenance and improved environmental credentials.

Design your roof

design your roof

With a wide range of colours and finishes to choose from Topseal can produce a completely bespoke roof, just the way you want it. Click below to design your perfect Topseal flat roof.

More information

Simulated Lead

design your roof

Topseal is used extensively as a lead/copper replacement or alternative for roofs, gutter linings and complex architectural detail work.

More information

Installer Verification

Every Topseal installer is allocated a unique verification number to prevent 3rd party misrepresentation. You should always ask any Topseal installer for their verification number. Enter it below to confirm their identity.