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The Importance of Chimney Flashing

Chimney flashing usually goes unnoticed until it fails. Flashing surrounds the base of your chimney to keep water from leaking in where your chimney structure meets your roof. When chimney flashing fails, water can seep in around the chimney, resulting in ugly ceiling spots, wavy wallboard, peeling wallpaper, and the rotting of your home’s joists. So how do you know if your chimney flashing will keep your home safe from water damage?

Proper chimney flashing installation

Many roofers, builders, and masons can rush the installation of chimney flashing, failing to follow the steps of proper installation and potentially leaving your home susceptible to water damage. When installed properly, chimney flashing features two layers. First, a layer of L-shaped metal is woven into your chimney’s shingles, with one side lying flat against your roof and the other side flat against your chimney. To completely seal the flashing, another layer of metal flashing is embedded into your chimney’s masonry with mortar, and then the metal is folded down over the bottom layer of flashing to keep water out.

Types of chimney flashing

There are several materials used for chimney flashing, and the type of metal used will affect the longevity of your flashing. In the north, lead is commonly used as flashing because it molds easily around corners. On higher-end jobs, homeowners will opt for stainless steel or copper, which won’t rust, corrode or develop holes like other flashing materials can. Copper has the added benefit of being able to be soldered at the corners, while other metals would form seams that need to be caulked to keep water out. Caulking is often the first thing to fail in the flashing, letting water into a home.

How to tell if your chimney flashing is secure

Unfortunately, the first sign that there’s a problem with chimney flashing is often a water leak. If you don’t want to be surprised by an ugly spot on your ceiling or discolored or warping wallboard, it’s worth having your chimney flashing inspected. You can ask your chimney sweep about the state of your chimney flashing during your annual inspection. Knowing that your chimney flashing is improperly installed or starting to corrode can help you address the flashing before it causes a problem in your home.

What to do about bad flashing

If your chimney flashing is already failing, or if it’s improperly installed or starting to break down, don’t wait until you have major water damage to have it fixed! Chimney experts are generally the best option for repairing faulty flashing, as roofers may often band-aid the issue and fail to resolve the problem. If you need to have your chimney flashing inspected or repaired, call Your Chimney Sweep to schedule an appointment today!

Advantages of Top-Sealing Dampers

Like an appliance, your chimney requires maintenance and repair as heat, weather, and time take their toll. One of the first elements to give out in a chimney is often the chimney damper. Since most chimney dampers are metal on metal, they don’t form a particularly tight seal to begin with. When they’re hit with heat from your fireplace and moisture from smoke and the outside environment, they’ll begin to rust and warp. A warped chimney damper might be difficult to open or close. It can also fail to form a complete barrier when closed.

When your chimney damper stops operating properly, it’s time for a replacement. Most chimneys are installed with damper located in the throat. However, these dampers are usually replaced with top-sealing chimney dampers. They are placed atop the chimney crown.  Afterwards, they are attached to cables. These cables run down the chimney to a handle or lever that allows you to open and close the damper.

Benefits of a top-sealing damper.

When replacing a chimney damper, top-sealing dampers offer a convenient option. This is because their exterior location makes them easier to fit than a replacement throat damper. Convenience, however, isn’t the only reason to choose a top-sealing damper. This type of damper is fitted with a rubber gasket that forms a tight seal when the damper is closed. That means your new damper will do a more complete job of protecting your chimney from the elements. With a top-sealing damper, water and cold air can’t enter through your chimney when the damper is closed. In addition, warm air from your home can’t rise out and exit through the chimney when the fireplace isn’t in use.

Top-sealing dampers also keep animals, birds, and debris out of your chimney. Many top-sealing dampers attach to their bases with collapsible metal caging. This means even when the damper is open, birds, bats, animals and leaves can’t enter your chimney. When it comes to keeping moisture, animals, birds and debris out of your chimney, nothing works better than a top-sealing chimney damper!

Need a new damper? Call Your Chimney Sweep!

Is your existing chimney damper failing, stuck in place, or letting a draft in? If so, call Your Chimney Sweep to ask about having a top-sealing damper installed! Your Chimney Sweep installs top-of-the-line top-sealing dampers that will restore your chimney’s function. Plus, it protects your chimney from animals and the elements and last for years to come. Our chimney technicians will evaluate your existing chimney and find the right top-sealing damper to fit your flue. We’ll even install it the right way! Call now to schedule an appointment and have your new top-sealing damper ready in time for the burning season!

By Joe Sauter on June 26th, 2017 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment