Many homeowners would not know how to respond if asked “Does your chimney flashing need repair?” There are a few reasons why most homeowners may not know. First, the flashing is largely unseen, on the roof, out of sight. Secondly, we often assume that if the work has been done once, it doesn’t need to be repaired–especially if professionally installed. Thirdly, flashing is one thing that many homeowners try to install themselves or hire out through family or neighbors. They may think the work is done correctly, but more often than not, it’s incorrectly installed and therefore unsafe.
Signs Your Flashing Needs Work
The biggest sign that the flashing needs to be repaired is a water leak. If you have noticed water leaks in the chimney system, around the chimney system, or anywhere nearby in the home, the culprit is most likely the flashing. You may be tempted to call a general contractor, but the first call to make is to a chimney professional so they can check the flashing. Unfortunately, many homeowners don’t realize there is a leak until it’s visible, and by this time there is substantial hidden damage.
Symptoms of a Chimney Leak:
Changes in the masonry – Stains that appear black or green inside the fireplace indicate a persistent water drip. White stains on the exterior masonry (efflorescence) means water is passing through the masonry and leaving minerals on the exterior surface. Brown or red stains mean the cap or chase are leaking and causing rust.
Visible or sounds of dripping – Dripping in the system is very serious. The water may be pooling on the smoke shelf which will allow mold and mildew to grow, causing health problems. The water also wrecks a chimney system from the inside out.
Change in efficiency – One of the best things homeowners can do for their chimney is to pay attention to how well it works. A drop in efficiency is an indication of a possible leak. This can present as a smoky fireplace, a difficult-to-light fire, less heat output, and a general change in function.
If you have signs of a chimney leak, whether discreet or obvious, it’s important to have your flashing checked, as well as your cap, crown, and the rest of your chimney to make sure the leak hasn’t caused serious damage. Chimney damage becomes a hazard, and a hazard puts your life and home at risk.
When to Call for Flashing Repairs
If your chimney is leaking, it’s important to call a professional right away. Another reason to have your flashing checked for repairs is if it wasn’t installed by a certified professional. High winds (enough to fell trees or blow shingles off the roof) can also cause flashing damage. This type of weather can dislodge flashing, expose nails, and cause chimney leaks.
Reach a chimney expert at 318-674-2825 or schedule online.