There are so many parts to a working fireplace/chimney system that it’s hard to keep them all straight. There’s the damper, which you need to remember to open when lighting a fire but close when you’re not using your chimney. There’s the smoke chamber, which guides the smoke from the fireplace to the flue. Then we have the flue, which guides the smoke up and out of the house into the great outdoors. And lastly there is the flashing, but…what exactly does the flashing do? Read on to find out about this important part of your chimney’s anatomy.

What is the Chimney Flashing?

Have you ever looked up and really inspected your chimney? If you have, you would have noticed that there is a covering at the bottom of the chimney – right along where the chimney meets the roof. These sheet metal strips are there to protect the area where the roof meets the chimney. It’s the chimney flashing or the “seal between the roofing material and the chimney.” Another question: have you noticed a leak in your living room? Is the wallpaper around your fireplace looking water-stained? Do you have watermarks on your ceiling? Because if the answer is yes to any of these, it may be that your chimney flashing is damaged.

What Happens

According to the Family Handyman website, the biggest cause of leaky chimneys is the sheet metal flashings. There are a few things that could cause a problem with the flashings. It could be that your flashings have just plain worn out, or it could also be that the flashing wasn’t installed correctly in the first place. Regardless of the reason, if your chimney flashing isn’t functioning properly, you are looking at big roofing and interior repair bills.

How To Fix It

The first line of defense against leaking flashings is having your chimney inspected and cleaned on a yearly basis. This may seem like a simplified solution. However, the truth is that the problem may not become a major issue if it is detected early.

There are several steps to fixing your flashing: clean out any debris or dead leaves from the gap between the flashing and chimney, remove the hardened roofing cement, apply more, reattach the flashing with masonry nails, make sure the nail heads are covered…plus a few more steps. If you’re handy and have lots of time, you might be tempted to undertake this job on your own. But considering all the steps and things that need to be done correctly, you’d be better off trusting this job to the experts.

Call the Experts

If you’re looking to get the job done right, give Owens Chimney Systems a call. If your flashing repair is not done correctly, you may end up with rotting wood and mold. Owens Chimney Systems has the proper equipment and the expertise to know exactly how to make sure your chimney flashing will protect your chimney and the interior of your house from rain damage.