Chimney flashing upkeep is essential, as it affects your chimney’s performance. If one part of your chimney is damaged, broken or missing, your home’s safety is at risk. Something you don’t want to mess around with.
People often note how important chimney tuckpointing and sweeping is, but chimney flashing can be overlooked. Despite that, chimney flashing is a vital part of chimney upkeep and should be a high priority on all homeowners’ lists.
The following information covers everything you need to know about chimney flashing and why it is crucial to having a safe home.
What is Chimney Flashing?
Flashing is found at the point where your roof connects to your chimney. It creates a waterproof seal that protects your roof and chimney from moisture. Because your chimney leads down into your home through the fireplace, it is essential to have the chimney flashing maintained.
This maintenance is vital because chimney flashing is the only way to protect your home from severe water damage. If properly installed, chimney flashing can last over 30 years. Of course, it depends on the shape and size of your chimney, the climate in which you live and the materials used to create the flashing.
Here are several types of chimney flashing:
This material is a popular flashing choice because aluminum is inexpensive and can be installed on nearly every kind of roof. It is also rust-resistant.
Steel flashing is commonly used on older homes but can rust out eventually making it not ideal for the long term.
Even though this type of flashing is quite expensive, copper is another popular flashing choice. It will withstand all weather and will never rust. It is also very lightweight and durable.
Vinyl or PVC
This material should only be used in warm weather climates when it comes to flashing. This is because it can crack under extreme weather conditions.
What are the Different Parts of Chimney Flashing?
There are several parts that make up chimney flashing. The first part is the base, which is right under your roof’s shingles and is bent upwards against your chimney’s exterior.
The counter flashing is on top of the base. This part is bent down and installed in the mortar joint. The purpose of this is to seal off the top part of the base flashing.
For chimneys wider than 30 inches, a saddle flashing is often used. The reason for this is because it creates a peak that will allow water and snow to run off and away from the chimney. It also prevents damage to the chimney and your roof overall.
Your chimney needs to have these parts to work properly. When that happens, your home will stay protected from moisture and water damage, making your loved ones safe as well.
It is wise for you to have professionals come by from time-to-time to ensure that everything is working properly.
How do you Know When Your Flashing is Leaking?
It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for faulty chimney flashing. Incorrect installation and old parts can be reasons behind a leak. This can cause major problems in your home if it is not taken care of quickly.
Damage to Your Roof and Attic
Your roof and attic can become damaged if your flashing does not work properly. Roof damage is nothing to ignore. So, if you notice any problems with your roof, call a professional right away. If roof problems are ignored or unseen, water can leak into your home and your walls, which can cause damage.
Create Brittle Bricks
If water gets into your chimney because the flashing isn’t properly maintained, then the brick and mortar joints may become brittle. The added moisture in the chimney can cause damage. Replacing a chimney is quite expensive and can be avoided if you follow a maintenance schedule.
How Often Should Chimney Flashing be Checked?
To keep any damage from happening on an older chimney, you should get an inspection done by a professional once a year. Repairing minor damage is much better than having to replace your roof or your chimney because the water damage is just too far gone. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Chimney upkeep is just as vital as any other maintenance in your home and will affect how your roof looks and works.
Schedule a Free Quote Today!
Faulty chimney flashing can cause serious problems, so don’t hesitate to contact us for a free quote. The maintenance and repair of such things is a skill that takes time and experience to perfect. Our professional staff at Ray Arnold Masonry and General Contracting will know how to get the job done.