In order to keep water out of your chimney, it is necessary to take a few preventive measures. At Ashbusters, we have years of experience with dealing with leaky chimneys and know what works. Spring is the best time to make sure your chimney is protected from water penetration during the heavy rains of spring and summer we normally get here in the Charleston area. If your chimney is not protected as well as it should be, you could be dealing with water leaks and the resulting damage all summer long. Not only does water cause damage to your chimney and home, but it can also make the interior of your chimney smell musty and stale, especially when the weather is hot and humid. To keep water out of your chimney, our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney experts can install a chimney cap on top of your chimney, and if you have a cracked chimney crown, we can repair it or construct you a new one if your existing one is damaged beyond repair. However, one of the most vulnerable areas for water leaks is where your chimney meets the roof, and to protect this spot, Ashbusters provides customized flashing construction, installation, and repair services. We strongly recommend you talk to us about our flashing services, especially if you have been dealing with a leaky chimney. We would like to tell you a bit more about why a new chimney flashing system can take care of any leak problems you might have.
Consisting of metal sheets that are wrapped in layers around the chimney where it meets the roof, the best chimney flashing system is made up of two parts: the base flashing and the cap (or counter) flashing. The reason your flashing system should be two parts is that they create an overlap that allows movement without breaking the watertight seal. The base flashing is at the bottom and is a single piece of metal that extends three to six inches down over the existing shingles and 12 inches up the lower face of the chimney. This piece gets wrapped around the chimney. There are also step flashing pieces that protect the sides of the chimney, and these base flashing pieces are all nailed to the deck. As for the cap flashing, these metal pieces cover the vertical parts of the base flashing and are only attached to the chimney. After all of the metal flashing sheets have been attached, caulk is applied where the flashing meets the roof to add even more of a watertight seal.
I have had flashing on my chimney for quite some time. Is it still okay?
If your flashing has been there for several years, it may not be in the best condition, and it may have not been properly installed. The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) Reporter feels that chimney flashing should be checked for rusting, loose flashing, flashings that are opened at the top, and installation-related problems. Our experienced chimney technicians can inspect the existing flashing system to be sure all of its parts are there and check the tops of the cap flashing to see if they are set correctly into mortar joints. If we can make repairs to your existing flashing system, we will, and if the system is beyond repair, we can construct a customized new flashing to keep water out of your chimney.
Once Ashbusters has protected your chimney with a cap, a crown, and flashing system, we can then waterproof your chimney with a 100% vapor permeable formula that will create a barrier against water penetration. Contact us to schedule a chimney inspection today.