Chimney Flashing: An Often-Overlooked Chimney Component

Most people don’t hear or talk much about chimney flashing until something goes wrong with theirs and they’re faced with big bills to repair the roof, chimney or parts of their homes.

National Chimney Cleaners of Fairfield County, CT, and Morris County, NJ, would like to share a little about this important chimney component so you can remember to keep yours in tip-top shape and avoid major problems.

Professional Chimney Flashing Repair in Stamford CT and Somerset County NJWhat is chimney flashing?

Chimney flashing refers to the protective material that seals the gap between a roof and chimney. Typically made of metal, there are three parts:

  1. Base flashing, which adheres to the roof
  2. Step flashing, which is layered up the side of the chimney
  3. Counterflashing, which covers the step flashing for additional protection

Why is flashing needed?

A well-built chimney running through a well-built roof won’t have a lot of space between where the two objects meet. But there will be some space, and that’s all the space that’s necessary for water to run down along the chimney and into parts of the home.

If water is allowed through the chimney-roof gap, all kinds of problems can occur, including:

  • Roof damage
  • Damage to interior ceilings, flooring and walls
  • Attic damage
  • Deterioration of the exterior chimney masonry below the roof
  • Potentially hazardous mold growth in both seen and unseen areas of the home

What can go wrong with chimney flashing?

Various events and time itself can cause flashing to fail. Flashing can dislodge from its seals and open the gap. It can also become rusted and warped.

Earthquakes and the settling of the house and chimney can cause shifts that break the flashing’s seal. Lighting strikes, major hail storms and season after season of pounding rain can also damage chimney flashing.

Spotting flashing problems

Look for:

  • Sections of missing flashing material
  • Peeling and warping
  • Water stains
  • Rust stains
  • Deterioration of roofing materials around the flashing
  • Flashing pieces that are loose to the touch

How to resolve flashing issues

Resolving all chimney-related issues begins with a proper chimney inspection, which should be performed by a licensed chimney company once a year, whether or not problems exist.

If you feel comfortable accessing your roof or a ladder to get close to the chimney base, you can take a look at the flashing a couple times a year. But your evaluation is no substitute for the evaluation of a trained chimney specialist.

Damaged flashing can either be repaired or replaced. If the problem is only that the flashing has come unseated, gluing it back down with an adhesive may solve it. If flashing sections are warped, rusted out, split or otherwise damaged, it’s usually best to install new flashing.

If you’re careful and know what you’re doing, you can install your own flashing. However, unless you’re really handy with this type of work, it’s best to let a professional do the job. It’s not particularly expensive and can be done fairly quickly.

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Call your Connecticut and New Jersey chimney flashing specialists

National Chimney Cleaners provides a full menu of chimney cleaning services, chimney inspections and chimney repairs, including flashing repair and installation.

If you suspect that your flashing may be in need of repair or would like to schedule and inspection, we would love to help!

Give us Call (800) 631-6177, or use our handy contact form and an expert team member will promptly reach out to you!

We’re here when you need us.


Use an Experienced, Established Chimney Sweep Company!

Don’t take chances with uninsured, novice, roofers, unregistered business, no workman’s comp.
Our pros have to know what they’re doing when they put their heads up a chimney and to do that, chimney sweeps obtain specialized training and have years of experience in the field.