If your house has a wood-burning fireplace, chances are you also have a brick or stone chimney. Chimneys are functional and look attractive on many types of home architecture; however, they can also be a prime source of leaks that require roof repair.
Chimneys Are Challenging
Like any other structure that protrudes through the surface of your roof, chimneys can be difficult to keep watertight. Any area where shingles or metal panels end and some other structure begins is a prime spot for water to leak down along the structure and get beneath the roofing material.
What makes chimneys even more challenging for roofers and more likely to cause damage requiring a roof repair is the way they are constructed, which is usually from brick or stone. These uneven materials are difficult to seal to prevent water from getting under the shingles.
The Role of Chimney Flashing
If you take a closer look at your chimney, you should see flashing around the base where the chimney passes through the decking and shingles. Flashing covers the exposed edges of the roofing material, sealing off any openings to prevent leaks that require attention from residential roofing repair contractors.
Flashing is also one of the most notable sources of leaks since it commonly loosens at the edges and angles it is supposed to protect. It may even fall off if it is not routinely inspected and resealed. To make matters worse, flashing must be installed around a chimney with a thorough, two-layer technique. Inexperienced roofers may miss this, allowing chimney flashing to be more susceptible to leaks.
Chimney Flashing the Right Way
To ensure water tightness, roofer services must apply two layers of flashing around the chimney as opposed to the usual single layer installed around other protrusions. First, an L-shaped channel of metal is adhered with one side up against the chimney and the other over the shingles. This protects the actual opening where the edge of the shingles meets the side of the chimney.
Next, a second flashing strip that covers the end of the metal adhered to the chimney must be attached. This is done by bending the top edge of the metal and embedding it into the actual mortar used to construct the chimney. This overlapping piece ensures that water cannot drip down along the chimney surface and past the first piece of flashing to cause leaks that require roof repair.
If you see water stains or other evidence of leaks in or around your chimney, you may need repair of your chimney flashing. Chimney flashing must be properly installed by roofers, then regularly maintained to ensure you do not need roof repair down the line. You should work with roofer installation and repair services experienced in working with chimneys and know how to properly seal them to protect your roof and home from damaging leaks!