What is Chimney Flashing and Why is it Important?
Fireplaces may be pure pleasure on wintry days, but a chimney leak can dampen the positive vibes. To help avoid unnecessary woes, good questions to find answers to are what is chimney flashing and why is it important? A chimney leak is a common reason why chimney repair is needed, and a chimney flashing issue is often the cause. What is chimney flashing, why is chimney flashing important, signs that flashing repair is needed, and more helpful information follows.
What is Chimney Flashing?
Chimney flashing is the metal at the base of chimney stacks. The purpose of flashing is to create a watertight seal between the roof and chimney. Flashing is among the chimney components with the important job of helping to protect against moisture damage.
Why is Chimney Flashing Important?
If chimney flashing isn’t doing its job, moisture can damage the roof and seep into the chimney masonry. So, chimney flashing is important because it protects the roof and the chimney masonry against costly moisture damage. Flashing is difficult to install correctly, however. Keeping close tabs on the flashing is one of the numerous reasons to follow expert advice and schedule a chimney inspection annually.
Major Parts of Chimney Flashing
Chimney flashing has three major components, all of which are made of metal. Aluminum is the least expensive and most common material used for chimney flashing. However, steel and copper are also materials used to create chimney flashing. Steel is strong and rust-resistant. Copper is the most expensive option. A rust-free metal, copper offers great curb appeal and unmatched durability. The parts of the chimney flashing are step flashing, cap or counter flashing, and base flashing.
- L-shaped step flashing lies underneath roofing shingles and bends at a 90-degree angle up against the chimney masonry.
- Cap flashing or counter flashing is also L-shaped, but its purpose is to cover the step flashing. Counter flashing is set into a groove cut into the masonry.
- Base flashing is installed at the joint between the roof and the chimney stack. It helps to guard against water intrusion.
Together with caulking, these three chimney flashing parts should create a waterproof seal.
Signs that Flashing Repair May be Needed
Chimney flashing, when installed correctly, can last up to three decades. The lifespan has various determining factors, however, such as your location, the size and shape of your chimney, and the type of material the flashing is made with.
The following are potential signs that chimney flashing repair should be scheduled with a qualified chimney sweep:
- A chimney leak
- Dripping sounds in the chimney
- Puddles in the firepit
- Discoloration of the masonry
- Rust stains
- Water stains on the wall or ceiling next to the chimney
- Gaps in the caulking around the flashing
Contact Dubuque Fireplace & Patio for Flashing Repair
Do you need chimney flashing repair or other chimney services such as a chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, or masonry repair?
At Dubuque Fireplace & Patio, our chimney experts are friendly and can provide insights into such questions as what is chimney flashing and why is it important.
Get in touch with us at Dubuque Fireplace & Patio by calling 563-582-5156 today or schedule an appointment using our brief online form.