Have you ever heard of the word “FLASHING?”
It’s one of the common causes of chimney leakage. Leaky chimney can lead to high expenditure that is required for the repairing. The chimney inspectors claim that in many cases they find the problem is sourced from faulty flashing.
You have to understand what flashing is.
Flashing is a sheet metal that is installed for making sure that the link between the roof and the chimney is completely watertight. Like everything, the flashing also has an expiry date. An annual chimney inspection can diagnose the issue.
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Let’s deal with the installation of flashing:
Flashing has two metal panels. The first part is the base or step flashing. It is installed directly below a shingle and bent upwards against a brick made chimney. The chimney inspectors usually find cracks on the L-shaped sections of the step flashing.
Coming to the second part of flashing:
It is known as counter flashing. It is bent down over the base flashing. It is cut back and embedded into the mortar joint of the chimney at the top. It seals off the step flashing’s top portion. The flashing installing is quite complex as the corners are vulnerable.
Hence, even the installation is of the high standard, there remains a small area to which application of good quality urethane caulking should be done for completion of the waterproofing aspect. If the leakage around the flashing is not permitted to go on too long, the caulk’s re-application may be required. In case the materials of the flashing are not overlapped accurately, the issue can’t be rightly fixed with the help of a caulk.
The types of metal:
The metals that are used for flashing differ based on the cost and region. In the southern area, aluminum and galvanized steel are the common choices. In some cases, costly copper is used.
Copper is considered as the best material for flashing due to its durability. The corners can form a better watertight connection because they can be effectively soldered. In the North East, lead flashing is preferred because the metal is soft and can be smoothly bent to give the preferred shape. It doesn’t matter what type of material is involved, accurate layering is important during the installation for forming the watertight connection.
The probable warning signs that the flashing requires replacement or repairing:
The leaks in the chimney are not evident straight away. They can lead to severe structural damage. The moisture can enter the attic, roof, ceiling and results in extensive damage, wood rot, drywall destruction, etc. Hence, it is always advised to inspect the chimney zone in the attic twice a year so that the diagnosis of the leaks can be done before they become too serious.
The chimney inspectors and the professional sweeps scrutinize the flashing right away during the inspections. They use the camera to reach every corner of the chimney structure. Chimneys are vulnerable to moisture as it is at the roof slope’s bottom end. Hence, most of the installers put a ‘cricket’ (a roofing term used for a triangular shaped diversion roof that is constructed behind the chimney right at the roofline). The cricket is fitted to make sure that the flashing can conduct its task properly by keeping the moisture away from slipping into the room where the chimney and the roof join with each other.
Different chimneys have different needs:
Every chimney is not alike and hence the flashing is a custom task. In many instances, the chimneys are not connected to the house’s frame. When the house shifts or settles, the chimneys become liable for the leaks. The chimney flashing should be replaced in certain conditions that it is completely missing, rusted, wrapped with roofing tar, need for the replacement for the shingles, etc
If the roof comprises of wood shingles or asphalt, call a professional to install or replace the chimney flashing. The techniques are more complicated when the roof is constructed of tile or slate. It is important to check if working on the rooftop is comfortable because the project is quite advanced. Measurement of the metal pieces must be taken. They should be cut, bent and then layered to fit tightly around the chimney.
The clients must be present at the spot to check if the task is done properly. Hire only a reputable worker who is insured and certified.