What is Chimney Flashing & Why Is It Important?
The flashing is a vital component for protecting your chimney from moisture intrusion. Water is a mortal enemy of chimneys and can also severely damage your home when a leak is not discovered quickly. So, understanding what it is and why the flashing is essential for maintaining a healthy fireplace and chimney will help minimize repairs so you can enjoy a safer, more efficient, and more productive fire experience.
So, what is the chimney flashing? In simple terms, it is a layer of sheet metal that creates a watertight seal where the chimney meets the roof. Chimney flashing must be installed in a particular fashion. Otherwise, it can fail, springing a leak in the chimney. One of the most common repairs we perform in Augusta, GA and throughout the CSRA and South Carolina Midlands is fixing improper flashing installation.
Flashing is extremely important because you want to keep your flue, flue liner, and other internal parts of the chimney dry. This will prolong its useful life and reduce repairs. More importantly, it will reduce the fire risk and prevent roof damage and exposure to harmful fumes.
Types of Flashing Materials
Several materials are commonly used for flashing:
Galvanized steel is commonly used for chimney flashing due to its strength and low cost. However, galvanized steel combines rust and zinc, which are prone to rusting. Galvanized steel may not be the best choice if you live in a wet and humid climate.
Stainless steel is often recommended for chimney flashing because of its rust-resistant properties. It can be an excellent choice in most climates. However, although it is more durable than galvanized and other materials, it can rust when there is damage to the chromium finish, often due to frequent hailstorms.
Aluminum flashing is a popular choice among many homeowners due to its inexpensive cost. Aluminum shares many benefits with stainless steel but at a lower price point. It’s also lighter weight, making aluminum flashing more susceptible to flashing damage, such as warping or bending.
The chimney pros at Advanced Chimney will help you select the best flashing materials for your chimney flashing replacement or installation.
Is Your Flashing Leaking?
Now that you know what chimney flashing is and why it is important, let’s take a quick look at how you can tell if water is leaking through the flashing.
Roof/Ceiling Damage: One of the most recognizable signs of water seeping through the flashing is stains on the roof, ceiling, and walls near the fireplace or heating appliance. You may also notice paint chipping around the moisture. It can also damage your roof deck and attic, which is why flashing damage is often mistaken for a roof leak.
Damage to Chimney Chase & Siding: Another sign that you may have a flashing leak is water damage to the wood-framed chase and siding. There may also be decaying mortar, cracking bricks, or even gaps in the masonry near the flashing.
Chimney Flashing Repair
Since flashing damage can cause severe water damage to your attic, roof, and chimney, any sign of a leak must be evaluated by a certified chimney professional as soon as possible. Advanced Chimney Sweep provides professional chimney services, including inspections, flashing repair, replacement, and installation throughout the Central Augusta River Area (CSRA) and South Carolina Midlands region. Call (706) 833-4630 or (803) 508-3990 to schedule an appointment or contact a technician online today!