While flashing is used around your home to seal around doors and windows, its most important location might be on your chimney! Because of its location and function, it is important that homeowners have reliable flashing that will continue to protect their roofs and chimneys year after year.

What is flashing?view of roof and chimney from ground past gutters

Chimney flashing is created when metal strips are layered with caulk and other water barriers on the joint between the roof and the chimney. This creates a watertight seal that protects the roof, chimney, beams, ceilings, and walls from water damage.

What causes damage to flashing?

Whether it’s caused by animals, the elements, or improper installation, flashing can be damaged and lost its watertight seal for a number of reasons. Below are a few of the most common causes of flashing damage.

Attempted animal entry: Animals, particularly raccoons, can bite and claw at flashing in an attempt to get into the chimney

Overexposure to the elements

Damage from storms, high winds, or extreme weather: Flying debris during a thunderstorm, high winds, or even serious ice storms can all damage flashing

House shifting or settling

Roofing repairs: Shingle repair or roof replacement can cause the flashing to be moved or shifted during the work. This can cause the watertight seal to be broken if it is not replaced.

Low quality materials or poor construction

Incorrect installation: Using too few layers or too many nails can all cause leaky flashing

Is my roof leaking – or is it my flashing?

Leaky flashing is often mistaken as a leaky roof; because both can cause damage to roofing materials, attics, ceilings, and walls, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two! However, before you spend the money on a new roof call a chimney sweep instead! A chimney inspection is significantly less costly than most roofing repairs, and a well-trained chimney sweep will be able to if the water damage is really from faulty flashing. Likewise, because flashing can be damaged while roofing repairs are being made, we recommend having flashing inspected any time repairs or changes to your roof are made.

The importance of reliable flashing

Flashing is not just a decorative addition to your roof and chimney; it has the important purpose of protecting your chimney, roofing materials, and home against water entry and damage. Because of this, it is important that flashing is well installed, built using the right materials, and regularly maintained so it can last for years to come. As all flashing is custom installed to perfectly fit each roof line, it can last for as long as 25 years when well maintained.

Flashing does more than just keep your chimney dry; it also protects your roof, attic, ceilings, and walls. If your flashing has not been recently inspected or you suspect it may be leaking, don’t delay – call Pristine Sweeps today to schedule an appointment to have your flashing inspected!