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About Your Chimney Flashing and What Can Go Wrong

chimney-flashing-repairWe’re not talking about flashing lights above your chimney. “Chimney flashing” is a term that describes the part of the chimney that meets the rooftop, and the way the two are sealed together. Chimney flashing is made of durable materials meant to help prevent leaks and water damage, but it’s still one of the most common areas to require repairs for a chimney.

If chimney flashing is not done properly, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise: a leak from your ceiling. Learn more about this problem and potential prevention and solutions below!

How is chimney flashing applied?

The way chimney flashing is installed is customized for any roof. First, a chimney technician must determine the roof slope, along with the width of the chimney before ordering custom sheet metal. They’ll have to remove the old flashing, caulk, and roof cement before moving onto the installation. Then, it’s all about knowing how to apply sheet metal and layering the components so that they shed water.

The first step in installing the seal between the roof and chimney is adding the base flashing. This may be a custom fit for your home, but you or the technician may have to bend it slightly to fit the roof slope. This piece of sheet metal is in an L shape and is installed underneath a roof shingle and propped up against the chimney before being secured into place.

Counter flashing is then installed atop the base flashing. This metal fits over the base at the bottom and also bends over the base flashing at the top, sealing into a joint in the mortar. As you can hopefully tell, chimney flashing installation is no simple process, which is why it’s always advisable to trust a chimney technician to do the work.

Why does chimney flashing leak?

Chimney flashing can peel away from the mortar over time for a few different reasons. Of course, there’s always the possibility that the flashing was not installed properly. Sometimes, we find that a chimney’s primary method of sealing to the roof has been caulk, which alone is not an effective means of weatherproofing the home.

Then again, chimney flashing can simply wear down with age and weather. Heat, freezing temperatures, and water can all come together to put strain on the materials, and you may need to fix chimney flashing or replace it entirely from time to time.

How do you protect against chimney damage?

Whenever you have a roof leak or noticeable chimney damage, be sure to call in the right specialists for the job. That way, you’ll know the job is done right the first time by chimney specialists or a roofing company with the proper credentials and experience. This includes any sign the chimney flashing may be leaking, such as the appearance of dark spots on the ceiling.

Most importantly, be sure to schedule inspections for your chimney once a year. A trained chimney sweep can help to detect structural problems with the masonry and issues with your chimney flashing sooner, so that you won’t have to worry about major water damage.

2nd Generation Chimneys, Inc. offers chimney repairs in Minneapolis, MN. Call our friendly team today!

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