Chimney Flashing: Everything You Need to Know

There are many different aspects of a chimney and all of them play important roles in how it performs. If one part of your chimney is damaged, completely broken or just plain missing, your home’s safety is at risk. Chimney flashing is no exception.

chimney flashing

People often talk about tuckpointing, sweeping, liners and other chimney services but flashing often flies under the radar. However, chimney flashing is an extremely important part of your chimney’s functionality.

In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about chimney flashing so you can make sure your chimney is in proper working condition.

What is Chimney Flashing?

Flashing is found at the point where your roof meets your chimney. It’s supposed to create a waterproof seal that protects your roof and chimney from moisture penetration.

When chimney flashing is properly installed, it can last over 30 years depending on factors such as where you live, the shape and size of your chimney and the materials used.

There are a few different types of chimney flashing and we’ll go over them below:

  • Aluminum – a very popular choice. Aluminum flashing is inexpensive and can be installed on any type of roof. It’s also resistant to rust
  • Steel – steel is also a very common material used for chimney flashing. Provides excellent strength and anti-corrosive properties
  • Copper – lightweight, extremely durable and boosts curb appeal. Copper will never rust and can withstand any weather. However, copper is the most expensive option
  • Vinyl or PVC – should only be used in warm weather climates. Can crack under extreme weather conditions. We don’t recommend this for Chicago homes

Parts of Chimney Flashing

There are a few parts that make up the entire chimney flashing. The first is the base or step flashing which is found under your roof’s shingles and bent upwards against your chimney’s exterior.

On top of the step flashing is the counter flashing. Counter flashing is bent down and installed in the mortar joints of your chimney. It’s purpose is to seal off the top of the base flashing.

For chimneys wider than 30″, there should be a saddle flashing installed. Saddle flashing creates a peak that allows water and snow to run off and prevents it from building up on your roof and chimney.

It’s important to make sure your chimney has all the proper flashing parts so that your home can stay free of water damage. If you’re unsure about your flashing or don’t feel comfortable checking, Early Times will perform an inspection to make sure your chimney is in proper condition.

Keep an Eye Out for Leaky Flashing

chimney leaks flashing

If you recently moved into a home or you haven’t done any work to your current chimney in a long time, you should watch for signs of faulty chimney flashing.

Chimney flashing is a very common contributor to chimney leaks and can end up causing major problems if it’s not taken care of right away.

Your roof and attic can become damaged as a result of chimney flashing failure. Not to mention your actual chimney can sustain heavy water damage from poor flashing.

If enough water gets into your chimney, the brick and mortar joints will become brittle and the chimney’s entire structural integrity is now at risk.

In order to avoid this from happening, you need to get a chimney inspection at least once per year. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Repairing minor flashing damage is better than having to repair your roof and your chimney because too much water has compromised them.

Leave Chimney Flashing to the Professionals

There are many things that can go wrong when installing or repairing chimney flashing, so it’s in your best interest to leave the job up to the experts.

Chimney flashing is a skill that takes many jobs to perfect and only experienced masons can truly provide the highest quality work.

That’s where Early Times comes in handy. We’ve been serving the Chicagoland area with the best chimney services for over 30 years. Our employees are certified and professionally trained with many years of experience.

There’s no chimney project too big for Early Times. Join the thousands of homeowners who trust us to make sure their chimney is in excellent and proper working condition.

Starting your next project whether it’s an inspection or a full blown chimney repair is as easy as getting a free quote online.

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