Chimney Flashing - What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Your chimney’s flashing is an incredibly important part of its structure, but many homeowners are not aware of what it is or why it is important. Let’s take a moment to see exactly what this crucial component of your chimney is and why you should ensure it is properly maintained.

What is Chimney Flashing?

Chimney flashing is essentially a thin metal sheet that goes around the seam of your chimney and the surrounding roof. This protects your chimney from water intrusion that could lead to degradation of the masonry as well as your home’s roof. Given how large a structure your chimney is within your home, extending all the way from its foundation and above the roof of your home, it is certainly important to prevent its degradation.

Leaking Roof

If your roof is leaking, particularly right around your fireplace, there is a good chance your chimney flashing may be at fault. Oftentimes homeowners have a difficult time telling this apart from any other leak, but it is one reason to ask your roofer about the health of your chimney flashing.

Over time rain, ice, and brutal temperatures can cause your flashing to gradually decrease. The moment the thin metal starts to warp or develop holes, moisture will begin penetrating the gaps, no matter how small they are.

This can lead to considerable damage to your roofing system, particularly its underlayment as well as harmful mold growth. Moisture is also one of the greatest risks to the structure of your chimney. In the first place, bricks are made from clay and are prone to absorbing water hastening their decay. With time water can also erode the mortar that holds your chimney’s bricks together. All of this can lead to costly repairs that could be avoided by quick repairs of your chimney’s flashing.

Repairing Chimney Flashing

If you suspect your chimney flashing may be compromised, it is important to contact a professional roofer to have your chimney’s flashing and the surrounding roof inspected for damage. This should be done any time moisture is visible in the fireplace or anywhere around it.

Depending on the type of damage and its extent, the repairs your chimney and roof will need may vary. At the minimum, most flashing repairs will require either recaulking the flashing or replacing it entirely. Generally, this will be a fast and easy repair, but for more extreme damages, it may require a full replacement of the flashing and a resealing of mortar joints. If left without repair for an extended time, there may even be damage to the chimney structure that will require repairs as well.

Final Thoughts

A chimney’s flashing is critical to its safety and service life. Without proper flashing, moisture can damage the chimney’s structure and your roofing system as well. For this reason, it is critical to have your chimney’s flashing inspected any time you suspect it may be damaged.

Contact Us

If your chimney flashing is in need of inspection or repair, contact North Shore Roofing. Our professional roofers have been assisting homeowners for more than thirty years. Call us at (978) 977-3816 and connect with us on Facebook.