Importance of Chimney Flashing
It’s unfortunate that some homeowners have spent thousands of dollars on rebuilding sections of their homes and having dangerous mold removed, when for a fraction of the cost they could have addressed the problem that led to all this: damaged or missing chimney flashing.
The strips of sheet metal surrounding the base of your chimney where it drops down into roof don’t look like a very complicated arrangement, but flashing performs a critically important job. With flashing that’s warped or otherwise in disrepair, rain water and water from melting snow have an easy path into your home, where the moisture will begin to damage wall boards and ceilings.
With our snowy Wisconsin winters, it’s not hard to imagine how much water can be channeled right into your home if solid protection isn’t in place. Once inside the house, water will rot wood and sheetrock and lead to a serious compromise in the structural integrity of the home. Additionally, because dampness and lack of air circulation create the perfect breeding ground for mold, a huge amount of this substance can grow behind and within walls without anybody even knowing about it.
All these problems can be prevented by scheduling regular chimney inspections and having damaged flashing and other issues addressed right away.
What leads to problems with chimney flashing?
Flashing is made of thin metal which, if installed properly, will give you many years of service before it needs repair or replacing. If improperly installed, there may be gaps where the strips seal onto the roof. This is most likely to happen when a person other than a chimney services technician lays the flashing.
When you have the shingles on your roof replaced, don’t assume the roofers will ensure that the flashing is sound and secure after the job is finished. Roof repair work often leads to issues with chimney flashing.
Over the years, intense heat and cold will begin to take their toll on metal flashing. Rotting, rusting and warping all can leave gaps or holes that are big enough for significant amounts of damaging water to get into the home.
Homes naturally settle, and this can be enough to open the seal of the flashing, giving water a clear path to infiltrate the house.
These and other factors and events can cause flashing to become compromised. Fortunately, there’s a way to keep these things from causing serious damage to your home.
What to do about damaged chimney flashing
The best remedy for damaged flashing is to arrange for an inspection with a certified chimney professional. This person can assess the damage and repair or replace the flashing.
A chimney inspection will go beyond just the flashing. During an inspection, the technician will examine all your chimney’s components and the chimney structure itself to determine if early signs of damage are present. This is your very best defense against costly repairs.
If your chimney flashing is damaged, or if you’re having other issues with your chimney or fireplace, Chimney Specialists of Highland, WI, is standing by to help. We perform chimney cleaning, chimney inspection and chimney repair work to ensure safe and efficient operation. Call us at (608) 929-4887.