The Importance of Chimney Flashing: How to Identify and Repair Damage

Roofer Applying Caulk to House Chimney Flashing
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Homeowners with a chimney need to do more maintenance than those without one. If you recently had a chimney leak or saw rust stains in your firebox, it might be time to repair the chimney flashing.

What is Chimney Flashing?

Chimney flashing is a waterproofing system that protects the gap between your chimney and roof from water damage. It’s constructed of multiple layers of metal (usually aluminum or galvanized steel) to create an impermeable layer over the joint between these two parts of your home.

Flashing helps keep moisture out, thus preventing mold growth and damage to the chimney structure and underlying parts of your house. Flashing also prevents water from entering the home, which can cause significant damage.

When to know it's time to fix the chimney flashing?

Suppose your chimney flashing needs repair or replacement. In that case, you may notice signs like rust stains under the firebox, water seeping through the front of your fireplace, peeling paint around the chimney, or a distinct odor from the area. If these signs are present, it’s time to call a chimney repair contractor.

What does a chimney flashing repair involve?

Depending on the condition of your existing flashing, a contractor may recommend repairing or replacing it altogether. The decision will be based on their assessment of the damage and their experience with chimney flashing.

When repairing, the chimney contractor will assess and repair any existing damage before applying a silicone-based sealant to prevent further water leakage. If they determine it’s necessary to replace your chimney flashing, they’ll remove the old material, thoroughly clean the chimney area, and install a corrosion-resistant newly galvanized metal flashing.

How Much Does it Cost to Have Chimney Flashing Repaired?

The cost of chimney flashing repair or replacement is determined by the size, condition, and amount of material that must be replaced in the chimney. For example, larger chimneys needing significant flashing repairs typically cost more than small ones with minor damage.

The prices for resealing and replacing the flashing around your chimney depend on the size, chimney type, flashing material, and roof type. Resealing costs $150 -$425 while replacing it can cost between $750 to $1450.

The most precise way to find out how much it will cost to fix your chimney is by talking with a chimney repair expert. They’ll be able to evaluate your chimney’s condition and give you a repair or replacement estimate.

What is Chimney Flashing?

How to Repair Chimney Flashing

It’s important to note that experienced professionals should only handle chimney flashing repairs. DIY attempts can easily lead to damage, meaning it’s likely to spend more money in the long run.

Here is how to repair chimney flashing:

  • First, inspect the flashing to identify any damage or signs of wear. Look for cracks, gaps, or other imperfections in the flashing material.
  • If there are small cracks or gaps, these can often be repaired using a sealant or caulking. Apply the sealant or caulking to the affected areas, smoothing it out to create a watertight seal.
  • If the flashing is severely damaged or has significant gaps or holes, it may need to be replaced. To do this, remove the old flashing carefully, not damaging the surrounding roofing material.
  • Once the old flashing has been removed, clean the area thoroughly to remove any debris or loose material.
  • Measure the area where the new flashing will be installed, and cut the new flashing to fit. Be sure to leave a slight overlap at the corners to create a watertight seal.
  • Install the new flashing, securing it with nails or other appropriate fasteners. Use a sealant or caulking to fill gaps or seams, and smooth it out to create a watertight seal.
  • Once the new flashing has been installed, scrutinize the area to ensure that it is properly sealed and that there are no gaps or leaks.

Following these steps can effectively repair chimney flashing and prevent water leaks and damage to the chimney and roof. It is essential to regularly inspect and maintain the chimney flashing to ensure that it remains in good condition and continues to protect the home.

Is this a suitable DIY project?

Although it’s possible to repair chimney flashing on your own, it can be challenging. The job is often done 30-40 feet (or more) off the ground and requires experience and skill. Before you attempt to tackle the job by yourself, consider the following points.

Safety considerations

You will need an extension ladder to access the roof and a helper holding it steady and secure at the bottom. Once on the top, each step must be careful, stable, and safe, especially when walking at an angle. Homeowners falling off of their roofs is more common than one would think.

When the old flashing is removed, much care must be taken not to get cut or otherwise injured by the old, and possibly very sharp, pieces of sheet metal.

You will also need all the necessary tools and supplies to repair your flashing correctly. You should wear protective eyewear and heavy-duty gloves; in most cases, a roof jack will need to be installed.

Supplies and tools

Having the appropriate tools for the job and suitable materials is important. Please take precise chimney measurements to cut the flashing correctly. Before you begin the installation, you should complete the measuring, cutting, and bending of metal by climbing onto the roof.

Time to finish

Replacing chimney flashing can be time-consuming, depending on the size and complexity of the structure. Depending on the situation, it can take four to eight hours for an experienced professional to remove the old flashing and install the new one. The time frame may also depend on the type of roofing material you have and its complexity.

For these reasons, it’s best to leave the job to a professional. A skilled chimney contractor will have the right tools, materials, experience, and safety gear to do the job correctly and efficiently.

Seeking out help

To fix and replace your chimney flashing on your own, you need quite a bit of skill, effort, experience, and caution. You will require the necessary tools and safety equipment, precise calculations, and knowing what you’re doing. Depending on how big the project is, it might take more time than planned, resulting in the roof or chimney being vulnerable to further damage while repairs are being carried out.
It’s generally not easy to repair chimney flashing by yourself.

For affordable, high-quality service for all types of chimney repair and flashing needs, contact Prime Chimney Repair in Vancouver, BC. With over 15 years of experience in the chimney repair industry, our experienced professionals can provide you with the best solution for your home. Call us today at 778-765-3760 to get started!


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Chimney Repair Vancouver, BC