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We Install Flashing & Custom Crickets That Can Make Leaks and Other Water Problems A Thing Of The Past
When you look up at a chimney from the street, you probably first notice the pops of metal: the chimney cap at the top and the flashing surrounding the chimney at the roofline on all four sides.
Flashing, particularly when it’s made of copper, provides a great visual effect, but its role is a lot more function-focused. We install flashing around the chimney to protect it, and the interior of the home, from water intrusion.
You see, the chimney comes up through a hole in the roof, so naturally, there are gaps between the roofing and the vertical walls of the chimney. Flashing is designed to thoroughly close off those gaps, essentially making the roof and the chimney one. And proper flashing is designed in layers to offer superior protection and make it far more difficult for water to make its way through.
Flashing Design: A Breakdown
Flashing is made out of various strips of metal, which are integrated with the roof and chimney. Step flashing pieces are L-shaped and are layered first, one side butted up against the chimney, the other woven into the roof shingles. Counter flashing goes on top of the step flashing, with an angled edge installed into the masonry joints. Exposed edges are then bolstered with high-performance caulk. Together, the pieces of flashing work to provide you with strong and lasting protection against water intrusion.
A variety of metals are commonly used in flashing, though the most common are galvanized metal, stainless steel and copper. Galvanized metal tends to be the least expensive and the least durable, while stainless steel and copper cost more, but are far more durable.
When Flashing Problems Arise
If you have a chimney leak, the flashing is one of the first problem areas that American Chimney’s technicians will look at. Often, the parts of the system that are designed to protect against water are the first to succumb to its effects. Of course, we see flashing issues more often with galvanized metal (which is prone to corrosion), but flashing damage is also common as a result of weather – for example, heavy winds can pull up or tear pieces and pull caulking loose. In addition to high winds, heavy rain and snow can cause rusting and corrosion, rendering the flashing ineffective.
If our techs find flashing issues in your system, we can repair or replace damaged areas so that your system is properly protected once again.
Problem Roof? A Custom Cricket Might Fix It
Even the most meticulously installed flashing can start to fail if the roof’s design encourages water to pool around one side of the chimney. In these instances, the most effective fix is usually to install a custom cricket, which is basically a ridge that’s built to divert water around the chimney and down into the gutters.
Here at American Chimney, we design, install and finish crickets that can hold up against water for years and years.
If you have a chimney leak that might be the result of a flashing issue, let us know. Our technicians can inspect your system, locate the source of the problem, and if necessary, repair your flashing and/or install a custom chimney cricket. Just call 215-364-0881 to make an appointment! Or, click here to request an appointment online.
Waterproofing may be the best long-term solution for your leaking chimney. Talk to us for more details.