Your flashing could be giving you trouble, and you might not even realize it until problems occur. What is flashing and what type of problems can it cause if it’s missing or damaged? It’s important to get to know your chimney and its parts so you can identify problems before it is too dangerous.
The flashing is made of multiple layers of thin metal placed at the intersection of the roof and chimney. This is the most vulnerable part of your chimney when it comes to water damage. Without the flashing, water can easily penetrate the masonry and roof to damage your chimney and home. The flashing needs to be installed by a professional for proper function. The placement of your flashing depend on the material and slant of the roof. Only a professional can install the flashing properly, without using a sealant and without exposing nails which lead to leaks.
Signs of Flashing Trouble
It is difficult to see the flashing from the ground, so it’s important to identify problems right away to prevent further damages to the rest of your chimney. Some signs of a failing flashing are the following:
- Water Leaks – Water leaks anywhere in the home are most likely caused by the chimney. The water enters the system and the home, runs through floors, ceilings, and walls until it reaches the lowest point, and then forms a leak. The leak may be rooms away from the chimney, and homeowners may call a handyman or plumber, but your first call should be made to a chimney professional when there is a leak.
- Chimney Odors – Before signs of a leak are visible, you may notice chimney odors that indicate a problem. Smells of mildew or mold are a sign of a hidden leak.
- Dripping Sounds – Like odors, sounds of water in the system are a sign of a leak that is likely collecting on the smoke shelf above the fireplace. The smoke shelf can collect water to cause deterioration, mold, and even mosquito problems indoors.
- Loose and Missing Flashing – If you notice loosened layers of flashing, exposed nails, or the flashing is missing, then you definitely have a problem. Unfortunately, not every homeowner makes a habit of climbing onto their roof. It’s important to hire a chimney professional regularly because they can identify an issue with the chimney system before it’s serious.
Water Damage Prevention
One of the best things you can do for your chimney and your home is to prevent water entry. Water in your home can cause serious damage including rusted parts, clogged vents, deteriorated assemblies, stains, chimney settlement, and more. Water damage is the worst thing that can happen to your masonry, and prevention is our specialty.
At Pristine Sweeps, it is our dedication to keep our neighbors in Seattle safe and warm this winter, and it starts with chimney safety. Call Pristine Sweeps for flashing repairs, routine chimney sweeps, and annual inspections. Speak with a professional today at 206-574-8414.