If you’ve noticed damage to your roof, ceilings or attic, especially around your chimney, you probably have a water leak due to defective or worn chimney flashing. Moisture in your home’s chimney system can lead to costly problems like wood rot, deteriorating bricks and mortar, and mold growth.
Chimney flashing is made from galvanized or stainless steel, lead, copper or lead-coated copper. The type of material used depends on where you live, typical weather conditions, your home’s roofing material, and the shape and size of your home’s chimney.
When installed properly, chimney flashing keeps water from getting in at places where the chimney and roof meet. Installation includes:
- Base or step flashing – L-shaped flashing that extends under the shingles and bends up against the sides of the chimney.
- Counter flashing – A metal piece that covers the vertical part of the base flashing and is embedded into the chimney mortar joints to seal the top part of the base flashing.
- Cricket or saddle – If your chimney is 30 inches wide or more, a triangular-shaped cricket may need to be installed to deflect water and snow around the chimney.
Note: Even when flashing is installed correctly, some caulking may be required to complete the waterproofing process.
When leaks and water damage occur around your chimney, it can be due to a number of reasons, such as:
- Installation-related problems caused by the incorrect installation of the chimney flashing.
- Loose or damaged flashing as a result of movement of the home as it settles or shifts; animal damage; chimney, mortar or fastener deterioration; or careless roofing or masonry work near the chimney.
- Rusted flashing caused by age; incompatible materials used on masonry chimneys; or steel nails used on copper flashing.
To protect your home from possible water damage and to make sure your chimney flashing is in good working condition, contact T. J.’s Chimney Service in Greenfield, Ind., at 317-455-5310 to schedule an annual chimney inspection. Our chimney experts will closely inspect your chimney and the flashing for signs of leakage. If we find faulty flashing, our experts can repair it, so you don’t suffer from further water damage.