About Your Chimney Flashing and What Can Go Wrong
Chimney leaks are the most common problem we receive calls about. In many cases, faulty chimney flashing is the cause. Chimney flashing is the metal seal that bridges the gap between the chimney and your home’s roof. When it’s in good shape, it prevents water from running down the sides of the stack into your home. If it’s loose or damaged, you could end up with expensive water damage in your home.
What is Chimney Flashing?
Chimney flashing is typically made up of two layers of metal. The first layer is an L-shaped sheet of metal. The vertical side of the flashing butts up against the chimney. The horizontal side rests on the roof and is woven in with the shingles. The second layer of flashing is embedded into the chimney’s mortar and folds down over the first layer. Flashing is usually made of aluminum, galvanized steel, or lead.
Some homes have copper flashing which is the longest-lasting. It isn’t as common since copper flashing has the largest price tag. When chimney flashing is professionally installed, it can last for up to 30 years.
Why is my Chimney Flashing Leaking?
Chimney flashing is built to last for decades. While it’s designed to withstand fierce storms and high temperatures, it can have a much shorter lifespan. When it fails, you can be stuck with expensive repairs if you don’t act quickly to solve the problem.
If you have water damage around the sides of the chimney, faulty chimney flashing is the most likely cause. There are many reasons why your chimney flashing might be failing. It may have been weakened by a storm, damaged by a critter, or improperly installed, to begin with. If your chimney flashing isn’t layered and sealed correctly, it’s more likely to leak.
How to fix Chimney Flashing?
Repairing chimney flashing is rarely a DIY project. Re-sealing it with caulk is only a short-term solution in most cases. Often, a more complex repair is necessary. Unless you have training and experience in chimney repair, it’s a good idea to leave this to a professional.
The best step to take, if you are concerned about your flashing, is to have your chimney inspected by a certified chimney sweep or technician. A professional with a trained eye will be able to determine the best solution for your home.
Water damage from a chimney leak can result in thousands of dollars of damage. It can cause internal wooden beams to rot and weaken your ceilings and floors. Acting quickly to repair the flashing can save you a bigger headache for a fraction of the cost.
Give Burlington’s chimney service team a call to set up an appointment for an inspection! The NFI Certified Chimney Technicians on our team are skilled at installing and repairing chimney flashing. We serve residents throughout Southeast Wisconsin. If you are concerned about water damage, call us immediately! Avoid the steep cost of waiting too long to stop the leak.