Flashing is commonly used around our homes. Whether its sealing around leaking windows or drafty doors, flashing keeps outside air and the elements out of our homes. Our chimneys also have flashing. Therefore, it is important that you have reliable flashing that can protect your chimney and roof for years to come.
Chimney flashing is created when strips of metal are layered with waterproof barriers such as caulk. Located on the joint where the roof line meets the masonry of the chimney, flashing creates an important watertight seal. This seal protects your masonry, roof, attics, and ceilings from water damage.
How flashing is damaged
Whether it is because of the elements, animals, or improper installation, there are a number of ways that flashing can lose its watertight seal. The following are just a few of the common causes of flashing damage.
- Animal entry: Aggressive animals – especially raccoons – seeking to get into your attic or chimney can bite, scratch, or claw at flashing and pull it apart.
- Overexposure: If one side of a roof or chimney is harder hit with sun or wind, this overexposure can damage the flashing.
- Weather or storms: Extreme weather conditions caused by storms including flying debris, high winds, lightning, or ice and snow can affect flashing.
- Settling: As a house settles over time, small shifts can cause the flashing to twist or shift.
- Changes to the roof: If you have had your roof repaired or replaced, the flashing may need to be replaced as well; the watertight seal can be broken if shingles or tiles are the chimney structure are affected.
- Incorrect installation: Using poor quality materials or installing flashing wrong, including using too few layers or adding too many nail holes, can all affect its watertight seal.
Is my roof leaking – or is it flashing?
It can be difficult to differentiate between leaking flashing and a leaking roof. This is because both appear in similar areas of the roof and attic. If you see water on the walls or ceilings near your chimney, consider calling a chimney sweep before a roofer. This is especially important if you have any of the risk factors for chimney flashing damage listed above.
Having your flashing inspected may be a less expensive option. This is especially true when compared to the cost of a roof repair or replacement. Even if your roof has been recently worked on, a chimney inspection may be important. Having the flashing checked after changes to the roof line can ensure the watertight seal is still in place.
Flashing protects your masonry and your chimney against water. In addition, it also protects your roof, ceilings, walls, and other building materials. Because of this, it is important that flashing has a consistent watertight seal with no gaps, holes, or damage. For more information about the importance of flashing, or to have your flashing inspected or repaired, contact Coopertown Services today!