While not all homes have a chimney system, the ones that do require a little more maintenance. This is due to possible damage that can occur to your chimney such as normal wear and tear or weather related damages. Chimney flashings are also known to be a hazard for potential leaks that can cause water damage to your home interior if damaged. Today we are learning about the Chimney flashing, different types and how to fix it if there’s damage.

Chimney Flashing: What Is It?

Knowing what the chimney flashing is and its role in your home is extremely helpful in order to understand why a yearly inspection is essential. The chimney flashing acts as a waterproof seal and protects your roof and chimney. It is found at the exact point where these two meet. The main goal of the chimney flashing is to create a waterproof seal that protects both your roof and chimney from the elements and also prevents moisture from penetrating.

A properly installed chimney can last over 15 to 20 years, depending of course on other factors such as the climate where you live, the size and shape of your chimney and the materials that make up the chimney.

Types of Flashing

  • Aluminum – The most popular choice, as aluminum flashing is inexpensive and can be shaped to fit on any type of roof. Aluminum is also lightweight and rust resistant.
  • Copper – Durable, easy to use and does not rust. Copper is also able to handle most types of weather elements. The drawback is the costs, copper is one of the most expensive options out there.
  • Steel –  Another common material for chimney flashing. Steel is inexpensive and highly durable, so Indiana weather will not affect it. Can also be used with other metals safely.
  • Vinyl – Typically used for climates with warmer weather. Fluctuating climates, or cities with all four seasons should not use vinyl as it can crack under extreme weather conditions.

Chimney Flashing Parts

There are four main parts of the chimney flashing, these are as follows:

  • Base Flashing – As the name suggests, this flashing is installed along the base of the chimney. Base Flashing is waterproof.
  • Counter Flashing -The flashing is sewn into the existing chimney, and what you see on top is the metal.
  •  Step Flashing –  Installed on the sides of the chimney, and blocks water from running down the chimney. The term “step flashing” comes from working step by step. First, you install a shingle, then one piece of flashing, next comes another shingle, then a piece of flashing until the wall is securely protected.
  • Caulking – The last piece that seals the flashing around your chimney.

As with a roof installation, flashing requires a professional roofer or installer to perform the chimney flashing installation. Chances are, that if not properly installed, your chimney will run into problems in the near future. Furthermore, these will lead to leaks and potential home damage.

Signs of Deterioration

As mentioned above, several factors affect our homes. From normal wear and tear, to the different seasons and weather conditions. A few things to look out for regarding a deteriorating chimney include:

  • Leak or water stains in your ceiling
  • Discoloration of any chimney bricks, or discoloration around your chimney
  • Rust stains
  • Missing or cracked caulking

Deteriorating or faulty chimney flashing is the biggest factor that lead to leaks. Catching early signs of trouble and taking affirmative action will help your home from potentially bigger issues.

A professional inspector will help determine the cause of your leak. Whether its coming from your roof or your chimney flashing, it’s always important to have a professional inspection in order to determine the source of the damage and how to repair it.

Fixing your Chimney Flashing

While repairs can be made for smaller damage, and depending on how early the leak is caught, simply resealing the area with caulk or other special sealant could do the trick. However, if the damage is more extensive, a repair will not be enough and the flashing will need to be repaired.

The roofing professionals at Oscar Roofing will:

Remove the shingles around the flashing and the existing flashing

Place a new base flashing

Install the front, side and back flashing

Set the step flashing

Seal with caulk and install the cap flashing

Contact Oscar Roofing Today

Repairing your own flashing is not advisable as many things could go wrong and the leak could get worse. Chimney flashing should be performed by skilled masons such as the ones at Oscar Roofing. For over 19 years, we have been serving the Bloomington and Fishers areas with the best chimney services.

Chimney flashing repair on roof chimney house