Keep Your Chimney From Leaking By Repairing Your Chimney's Flashing
Most people don’t give a lot of thought to their chimney flashing. It’s rarely seen or even noticed – until something goes wrong with it. Warped or missing flashing can lead to a serious water leak and severe damage to your home and parts of the chimney.
Above & Beyond Chimney Service of Dedham MA regularly replaces chimney flashing that can no longer do its job in protecting a home from infiltrating water. It’s a small maintenance task, but it’s one that you can’t afford to overlook.
What Is Chimney Flashing?
Chimney flashing typically is made from sheet metal strips that are fashioned to fit securely around the base of your chimney where it intersects with the roof. Its purpose is to block rain water and melting snow.
Flashing has two layers: “step flashing” and “counter flashing.” L-shaped step flashing is laid down and sealed with caulk. Counter flashing covers the top ridge gap of the L-flashing and is secured by embedding it into the chimney masonry.
When installed correctly, chimney flashing will serve you well for years.
How Does Flashing Become Damaged?
A variety of things can harm your flashing and cause the need for either flashing repair or new flashing installation. They include:
- Powerful winds that dislodge the material
- Squirrels, raccoons and other animals that enjoy chewing on the flashing
- Rust issues, which are common with certain types of flashing material
- Improperly installed flashing or poor-quality caulking used in the sealing process
- Old age
- Workers on the roof who inadvertently damage or dislodge the flashing
One Size or Type Doesn’t Fit All
Like many parts and components of your chimney system, flashing must be customized in order to work properly. This is one of the reasons it’s not advisable for the average homeowner to perform a flashing installation job.
When Above & Beyond’s certified chimney repair experts install new flashing, we take the time to make sure the new material is a perfect fit in terms of shape and size for your chimney and roof. We have the correct tools and training and take pride in doing every job right the first time.
Potential Damage Caused by Flashing Issues
If water is allowed to flow down into your home through a gap caused by damaged or missing flashing, there are three primary concerns.
- Chimney damage: Water can begin to erode chimney masonry below the roof. If there are undiscovered cracks or compromises in this masonry, the damage can be faster and more pervasive.
- Home materials damage: Wall boards, insulation, electrical wiring and other home building materials can be severely damaged by regular water infiltration.
- Mold growth: Dark, undrafted and damp areas are perfect for harboring mold. Mold is known to be dangerous to humans and pets, and if water is leaking down into your home, the growth can be widespread and very expensive to remedy.
Because all this damage happens below the roof and out of sight, you may not become aware of it until a major safety and property risk occurs.
Part of our annual chimney inspections include a close look at chimney flashing. If it’s time for an inspection or if you know there is trouble with your flashing, call us at (781) 383-0415.
We proudly serve Cohasset MA, Dedham MA, Westwood MA, Dover MA, Brookline MA, Milton MA, Quincy MA, Holbrook MA and other local communities.