Our Company Blog

Does Your Chimney Flashing Need To Be Repaired?

Flashing is used throughout our homes to seal around doors, windows, and pipes. Flashing is also an important component of your chimney; reliable flashing protects both the roof and the chimney system from moisture and the elements. Over time, flashing may be damaged and need to be repaired.

 Chimney Flashing Need To Be Repaired Image - Memphis TN - Coopertown ServicesWhat is flashing?

Chimney flashing is created by layering strips of metal with other waterproof barriers and caulk. Flashing is primarily used to seal the joint where the chimney and the roof-line meet; this creates a waterproof seal that protects the chimney’s masonry as well as your home’s roof from water damage.

How damage to flashing occurs.

There are a number of ways that flashing can be damaged.

Whether it is improper installation or simple wear and tear, the following are some of the most common causes of flashing damage:

  • Animal entry.
    Both chimneys and attics are tempting places to hide for animals during both the summer and winter months. Because of this, flashing can become damaged as aggressive animals – especially raccoons – attempt to scratch, bite, or claw the flashing away to get into your home.
  • Settling.
    Homes can continue to settle for years after they are built. As the chimney settles along with the house, the shifts can cause the flashing to shift or twist and lose its watertight seal.
  • Roof repairs.
    Changes to the roof can cause the watertight seal to be broken. Whether an entirely new roof has been installed or a few shingles or tiles have been replaced, the flashing may need to be replaced as well.
  • Incorrect installation.
    Flashing can be damaged as soon as it is installed if it is installed improperly. Using too few layers, the wrong types of materials, or adding too many nail holes can all prevent a proper watertight seal from forming.
  • Overexposure.
    Overexposure to the elements over time can cause flashing to lose its seal. Likewise, one or two sides of the flashing can be damaged if that side of the chimney is harder hit by sun, wind, or rain.
  • Extreme weather.
    Severe weather such as high winds, lightning, or flying debris can all damage flashing.

Is the chimney leaking – or is it the roof?

The symptoms of leaky flashing often closely mimic those of a leaky roof. Due of this, it can be difficult to differentiate between the two. Instead of calling a roofer, it may be worth calling a chimney sweep if you have water on the ceiling or walls surrounding the chimney.

Flashing is an important part of protecting your chimney’s masonry against water entry and damage. However, it also protects your roof, ceilings, and walls; because of this, it is important to ensure flashing is undamaged and free from gaps, holes, or leaks. If you think your flashing has been damaged by age, overexposure, or changes to the roof-line, consider calling a chimney sweep! For more information about the importance of flashing, contact Coopertown Services today.

 

By Christina Robinson on October 30th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , | Leave a Comment

Leaky Chimneys

Whether it’s water in the firebox, a moldy smell when you open the damper, or water damage to walls and ceilings, a leaky chimney can show itself in many different ways. No matter what symptoms are showing, it is important to identify and fix the source of the chimney leak to prevent ongoing and future water damage.

What causes leaky chimneys?

water damaged chimney - Memphis TN - Coopertown Services

Because chimneys are made up of a number of different components, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of a leaky chimney. While a professional chimney evaluation is often needed to find the cause of a leaky chimney, the following are some of the most common causes of chimney leaks.

  • Cracked chimney crown. The chimney crown is a concrete or masonry slab that covers and seals the top of the chimney structure. Exposure to the elements, poor construction, or subpar materials can all cause chimney crowns to crack and spall. When this occurs, water can get into and damage the chimney and surrounding building materials.
  • Water soaking bricks and masonry. Because bricks are naturally porous, they are meant to absorb small amounts of water. However, small cracks or holes in your bricks can cause the masonry to absorb excess moisture, soaking them and causing major water damage. Damaged masonry should be repaired as soon as possible; the more damaged the brick is, the faster it will continue to deteriorate.
  • Water coming in through the roofline. If you have water on your ceilings and walls around your chimney, the roof may not be to blame. Damaged flashing – the weatherproof strip that seals the joint between your roof and the chimney – can cause water to come in through the roofline. This kind of leak can damage your masonry as well as surrounding building materials, walls, and ceilings.
  • Damaged chimney cap. A damaged chimney cap can let water freely flow into and down your chimney. This can cause damage to many different parts of the chimney system including the masonry, flue lining, and firebox. Chimney caps can also cause water leaks if they are incorrectly size or improperly installed.

Preventing chimney leaks

One of the best and most effective ways to prevent chimney leaks is through preventative maintenance. An annual chimney inspection can identify any areas of damage or deterioration in your chimney system before they cause water entry.

Another way to protect your chimney against the elements is by using a masonry sealer. Our waterproof sealants are specifically designed for use on chimney masonry; they are designed to allow gasses to pass through the brick, but keep water from getting in. These products can help stop the progress of water damage to your masonry, and can also be used as a way to prevent water damage to your chimney structure.

A leaky chimney can cause major problems throughout your home and fireplace system. Contact Coopertown Services today to learn more about fixing your leaky chimney and preventing chimney leaks from returning again.

By Christina Robinson on February 29th, 2016 | Tagged with: Tags: , , , , | Leave a Comment

Spring Means Rain and Rain Means Leaks – Make Sure Your Chimney Is Waterproof!

After a long winter, the advent of spring is a welcome change in pace in the weather. While the changing seasons mean longer temperatures, warmer days, and more time spent outside, it can also bring plenty of rainstorms.

Rainy Days Cause Chimney Leaks - Memphis TN

Although rain and water are a necessary part of spring’s renewal, they can have devastating effects on your chimney. This year, make sure your chimney is waterproofed before any April showers cause a leaky chimney!

What causes chimney leaks?

Chimneys look deceivingly simple; what appears to be nothing more than a straight column of bricks and mortar is actually a complex structure. Due to the complexity of the chimney structure, it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint exactly where a chimney leak is coming from. The following are three of the most common culprits for chimney leaks.

  • Chimney cap: The chimney cap covers the top of the flue, protecting the flue and fireplace against water, animals, and debris. If the chimney cap is damaged – or in some cases, missing – the flue is unprotected and can be quickly damaged by the elements.
  • Flashing: Flashing is the weatherproof strip that protects the joint between the chimney and roofline. Damaged flashing can cause significant damage to your home, affecting not just the chimney but also walls, ceilings, and structural elements. Flashing may lose its seal over time due to being incorrectly installed, damage from animals or storms, or over-exposure to the elements.
  • Masonry: Water can have a devastating effect on masonry chimneys, causing bricks to crack, spall, and fall away. Damaged bricks absorb greater amounts of water, leading to further and increasingly expansive masonry damage.

Signs of a leaky chimney

There are a number of ways to tell if your chimney is leaking or if you are experiencing water damage. One of the most common and easiest to spot signs of a leaky chimney is water in the firebox; this most commonly occurs after a rain storm and may be accompanied by a tell-tale drip drip. In addition, some chimneys with water damage may have a dank, musty odor during warm weather or after a rainstorm. Finally, chipped or cracked bricks on the chimney itself may indicate the masonry has been damaged by water.

How to prevent chimney leaks

There are a number of steps homeowners can take to protect their chimneys against water damage. One of the most important things you can do is to have an annual chimney inspection. Water entry can cause damage to the interior portion of a chimney long before it is noticed. Because of this, a chimney inspection should be performed each year to ensure your chimney has not experienced water damage.

In addition to an annual chimney inspection, homeowners should also consider protecting their chimney with a masonry sealer. These specially designed products are an excellent way to protect the bricks and mortar of your chimney structure against the elements. Masonry sealers are recommended even if you are not experiencing any current chimney leaks; they can greatly extend the life of your chimney over time.

If you’re worried that you may be experiencing a leaky chimney, contact Coopertown Services today! Our expert staff can not only repair any damage caused by water entry, but can also weatherproof your chimney to prevent chimney leaks from happening.

By Christina Robinson on April 29th, 2015 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment