Flashing refers to the sheets of metal that are strategically layered on the roof and chimney where they intersect. This area of the home is particularly vulnerable to water infiltration, but when properly installed and maintained, the flashing works to provide a watertight barrier. Unfortunately, flashing isn’t fail proof.
Here are some common reasons why flashing fails:
Poor Installation Job
Not everyone knows what they are doing when they’re installing flashing. Unfortunately, we see poor flashing installation work all the time and know it to be a major cause of leaks. A proper and professional flashing installation should involve layers of step and counter flashing, as well as caulk. If the installation isn’t done properly, it’ll only be a matter of time before you find water in your chimney and home.
Damage Due To Storms
When strong winds and loose branches lift or dent the flashing on your chimney, water can quickly gain access. We highly recommend having your flashing inspected after any serious storm.
It may seem a bit unbelievable, but as your house settles, those small shifts can cause the flashing on the roof and chimney to separate. If this happens enough, water can seep under and make its way into your home.
Animals are another reason flashing fails. When squirrels, birds, or other animals tamper with your flashing, little openings or dents can form and allow water to seep in or puddle. Over time, these areas that allow water to gather can rust through, allowing water to easily and quickly enter the chimney and home.
The Dangers Of A Leaking Chimney
Chimney leaks can be caused by a number of things which often makes them difficult to pinpoint. Not knowing the source of the leak or how to address and solve the problem can be incredibly frustrating and makes repairs impossible. At Chimney cleaning Charlotte our Technicians have years of experience and knowledge to help in troubleshooting. We know where to look first and what to do when we find the cause of the leaks.
The Most Common Causes of Chimney Leaks Are
Deteriorating or Improperly-Sealed Crowns
The crown is the cement layer that sits on top of the chimney stack. If it is deteriorating, too thin, or improperly sealed or cracked it can allow water into the top of the chimney.
Damaged, Deteriorating, or Missing Flashing
Flashing consists of several layers of metal that overlap where the roof meets the chimney. These layers travel up the sides of the chimney a ways, and protect this sensitive area from water invasion. If the flashing is damaged or missing, leaks are inevitable. For more information on flashing, check out our Chimey Flashing page.
Missing or Damaged Chimney Caps
A chimney cap works in conjunction with the crown to keep out water, debris, and animals. When the cap is missing, rusted or damaged, it can leave the chimney vulnerable to leaks and water damage.