Chimney flashing works by creating a seal between the roof and the chimney. It creates and watertight surface that prevents rain and snowmelt from running down the chimney and leaking inside the structure. Installing chimney flashing can prevent costly repairs that potential water damage can cause.
When purchasing a chimney flashing kit, you should look for a few things, such as style and type of material. You can find chimney flashing kits at most building supply stores as well as online.
Choosing the Proper Chimney Flashing Style
When looking at a house, it sometimes appears that all chimneys are designed differently. Despite small variations in design, there are only a few major chimney types: Field, Ridge, and Rake. The difference between the types is based on the shape of the slope and pitch of the roof. If you are unsure which of these you have, several websites list the type with examples to make it easy to identify.
You must examine your roof before purchasing a flashing kit because a slight difference in style can often change where the flashing's flanges and joints are located. If these elements do not line up properly this can create leaks and gaps around the chimney that can not be fixed using roofing cement.
Selecting the Right Material
Chimney flashing kits are available in various materials such as aluminum, copper, galvanized steel, and lead. The best way to select the material used for the flashing is to check with your area's local building codes and laws. Also, the type of roof on which the flashing is being placed can determine what type of material needs to be used. Aluminum flashing will be the cheapest and easiest to install of all the flashings. It is lightweight and easy to trim.
Galvanized steel flashing will be less costly to install than copper, but you may need copper flashing if it's being placed on a chimney that needs a higher level of protection from the elements. Lead chimney flashing is not often used due to the health risks that it can cause. Special building permits may be needed if working with lead flashing.
Before selecting a chimney flashing kit, examine your existing flashing thoroughly. This can help determine what type of material was previously used and how effective it is. Researching styles of chimneys will prevent costly mistakes and delays in the installation of the new flashing.
Most importantly, if there is any doubt, always contact a professional. It may cost more to get a roofer's opinion, but it will ensure that the job is done right the first time. With proper planning and execution replacing or installing chimney flashing can be an easy and inexpensive project.