Chimney Repair – 4 causes of leaking chimney flashing

leaking chimney flashing

We recently were contacted by a customer in Silver Spring, MD who had a chimney that was leaking through the flashing.  This is a serious problem.  When water leaks into your home from your chimney, this can cause all kinds of problems. From water damage that seeps into your walls to shorting out appliances, chimney leaks are a problem for many homeowners.  Flashing is one of the most common sources of chimney leaks. There are many reasons that chimney flashing leaks, and it’s important to get this problem by a chimney repair company like ours right away before more significant damage occurs in your home. 

The Wrong Flashing Techniques Are Used

Incorrect flashing installation is a big culprit of roof leaks. We recently completed a chimney repair project in Silver Spring, MD that was caused by this problem.  Step flashing is necessary where the roof meets the wall, and beneath the flashing, an underlayment is needed that goes partially up the wall and along the roof.  This creates a solid barrier so that water can’t get through. The step flashing needs to be nailed onto the roof, and not against the wall. The counter-flashing has to be attached to the wall to account for wall expansion and contraction during weather extremes. Flashing that isn’t installed correctly isn’t going to work.

Old Flashing Needs to be Replaced

Over time, roof shingles and flashing can crack and break, requiring that the flashing gets replaced.  This is a common problem that we see when repairing chimneys in Washington DC.  While you may notice a small leak at first, flashing that is deteriorating will eventually lead to bigger leaks if it is left alone. Flashing gets ruined over time because of harsh weather conditions, and the expanding and contracting required during the weather extremes. While it is often made of galvanized steel, even steel can’t withstand harsh weather conditions forever.

The Seal Between the Flashing and Chimney is Cracked

Sealants are used to block water from entering your home between the flashing and the chimney. Sealants get dry and brittle over time, and they are prone to cracking. When a sealant is damaged, water will enter the home through the damaged sealant. If you don’t know how to replace the sealant on your chimney flashing, it’s time to call in a professional to repair the problem.

Water Damming at the Chimney

Sometimes shingles are not placed on the roof correctly, and this can cause water to dam up behind the chimney and seep into the roof of the home in this area. Even when the flashing is installed properly and not damaged, if water is not flowing off of the roof properly, water can dam up and cause problems with leakage.  We recently repaired this type of problem in a home in Ellicott City, MD.

When you have leaks in your ceiling that you can’t identify, it’s important to call in a professional to handle the situation. If you are unable to go on your roof to check for leaks, you need to hire someone to do this for you. When you ignore water leaks,

 

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