Chimney flashing consists of thin sheets of aluminum, stainless steel, or copper along the seam at the base of the chimney where it meets the roof. This seemingly simple part of the chimney system is essential for preventing leaks in and around the chimney. Installing chimney flashing properly and keeping it maintained is one of many things a homeowner can do to prevent water damage to the chimney system.
Why Flashing is Important
Flashing not only covers and protects the seam of the chimney and roof, but it also directs the flow of water and debris away from the chimney and toward the edge of the roof. There are other ways that water can penetrate the masonry, but if a professional is involved in your chimney maintenance, these waterproofing measures will not be overlooked.
Signs of Flashing Damage
By the time the average person sees water damage or a leak, it has most likely already caused unseen damage. To be sure that you catch them early, know the signs and symptoms of flashing damage.
A buildup of debris along the chimney base—If you notice a buildup of debris along the chimney seam, then the flashing is not directing water and debris away from the chimney affectively.
Discolored masonry in the chimney and firebox—Discolored masonry can be the result of water stains. This can occur on the inside of the chimney, or even along the visible outside of the chimney brick.
Visible water damage in the ceiling—Visible water damage or leaks can occur in the ceiling or walls near the chimney or even in a different area completely because water can flow behind the scenes.
Foul odors coming from the chimney—If your chimney is stinky it’s most likely do to moisture mixing with the soot to create a foul odor.
When to Call a Chimney Expert
Again, once damage is visible to the average homeowner, the damage is already done. It’s best to call a CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) right away when you notice a problem. It’s even better to keep up with regular chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections. It’s at these inspections that a chimney sweep will notice issues because of their expert training and years of experience.
The professionals not only have the training to notice damage before it becomes worse, but also know how to properly install flashing and waterproof a chimney in the first place. Proper installation of chimney flashing is vital because it is designed to withstand the shifting and expanding of a house between the roof and chimney. If installed incorrectly, the flashing will shift and allow water leaks and more extensive damage.
White Glove chimney professionals are the best in the Northern California area to take care of your chimney needs, and that includes the flashing! If you see a problem with your chimney flashing or to schedule a chimney sweep or annual inspection, White Glove Chimney & Duct is available to help. Contact us today.