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What Is Flashing?

Flashing generally consists of several overlapping layers of metal that cover the area where your roof and chimney intersect. When properly installed, it should not only cover the roof and base of the chimney but should extend a bit up the sides of the chimney as well. The flashing should be smooth and flat to the surface of both roof and chimney.

The most common cause of leaky flashing is improper installation. You can save yourself from this experience by having your flashing professionally installed and regularly inspected.

Although installation is the key to effective flashing, there are some other factors that can render flashing ineffective. These include:

  • Animal Tampering – When an animal tampers with the flashing on your roof and chimney, it may bend, dent, or poke holes in the layers of metal. Once flashing is separated from its installation point, it is prone to continued separation and leaves a vulnerable area exposed to the elements.
  • Strong Winds or Storms – The weather seems to be getting more severe no matter where you live in the world. As the weather worsens and the winds get stronger, flashing can take a real beating. As you get more and more used to these severe storms, it may not even cross your mind that your flashing is being put to the test every time. Strong winds can literally pry your flashing from the chimney or roof, leaving the entire area unprotected. These winds can also bend and dent your flashing, leaving the flashing itself vulnerable to water settlement and corrosion. Once water has a place to rest in your flashing, you can expect to see rust and holes in it and water in the chimney and firebox.
  • House shifts/settling – It may seem a bit unbelievable, but as your house shifts and settles, it can cause the flashing to separate from the chimney or roof. This can also happen as a result of earthquakes no matter how minor. Having your flashing and chimney system regularly inspected by a professional can help you catch these separations (no matter how minor) before they become a problem.

Why Flashing Is Important

No matter how well your chimney is sealed at the roof meeting point, it needs the protection of flashing. Flashing is the chimney’s last defense against water. When properly installed and maintained, it prevents water from gathering around the masonry of the chimney and causing all sorts of leaks and deterioration. To schedule a flashing inspection or installation, call Chief Chimney Services, Inc. today!


One common solution to a leaking chimney is to have it waterproofed, definitely a job for professionals who know what they’re doing. Call on Chief Chimney Services today.

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Wow! A mother-daughter team, the most pleasant and professional of any chimney service I have encountered. Called in advance, showed up on time, explained everything in detail, was thorough and clean. In a profession full of questionable practices, this was a great experience and I would recommend Diane and Lauren without hesitation. ~ Zev Asch, East Northport, NY
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