I've Got a Brick Chimney. Does It Really Need Re-Flashing?

Are you about to replace your roof? If that's the case, you're undoubtedly being bombarded with new terminology. Chimney flashing is another one of those terms you should be familiar with by now.

Chimney flashing is a crucial component that every roof requires. Yet, few homeowners are unaware of what this is or what function it fulfills.

At True Quality Roofing, we take pride in teaching homeowners about all roofing elements, especially the materials used in making their roofs. We are one of the best local roofing companies offering quality roofing. That's why we'll walk you through what chimney flashing is and why it's crucial.

What Is Chimney Flashing?

Chimney flashing forms a waterproof seal to prevent water damage and infiltration to your chimney and rooftop. Also, it comprises three main parts: step flashing, cap/counter flashing, and base flashing. It serves as weather stripping for the chimney.

 Continuous Flashing

Continuous flashing is also known as "apron flashing" because it mimics the appearance of an apron. It's a single chunk of metal that runs the length of the roof, carrying excess water to the tiles below. Long continuous flashing will have difficulty flexing as the home expands and contracts with the seasons. If left alone, it may distort or crack, making it ineffective at keeping water out.

Long sections, as a result, have built-in expansion joints to allow them to move with the house.

Base Flashing

Chimneys need two pieces of flashing. Rain will always come into contact with a flashing surface that will direct it downwards. Also, flashing around a chimney is notoriously tricky to install. Another advantage of two-part flashing is this:

The two sections can move when the roof materials expand and contract naturally as the weather changes, ensuring that the entire system remains safe. The lowest portion is the base flashing. 


Counter-flashing completes the two-part team by being placed opposite or above base flashing.

Step flashing

It's a rectangular piece of flashing that is bent 90 degrees in the middle. It's used for flashing between the roof and the wall. To ensure that water flows away from the wall, multiple flashing pieces will be put in layers with shingles.

These components, when combined with caulk, form a watertight seal.

If the flashing surrounding your chimney fails and leaks, it can cause significant damage to your attic, roof, and even interior rooms.

If the chimney flashing starts leaking, the chimney itself may be harmed. The structure of your chimney could become fragile and break as water seeps inside the mortar seams between the bricks.

Depending on the quality roofing has and the surrounding climate, flashing is placed at the area where your chimney contacts your roof and is composed of steel, aluminum, vinyl, or copper. 

3 Things You Should Know About Chimney Flashing

You now understand what chimney flashing is and what metal it is composed of. There are a few things you should know about chimney flashing, though.

Chimney flashing protects your roof's most vulnerable areas

As the name implies, Chimney flashing is used to deflect water away from specific parts of your roof. If not adequately protected, these places are the most vulnerable to leakage.

Flashing should be installed by a roofer everywhere your shingles come into contact with something, such as a wall, chimney, or open roof valleys, to ensure that your roof investment lasts as long as possible. These problem locations will remain leak-free for the life of the flashing material, provided the roofer does it appropriately.

Keep in mind that flashing isn't the only portion of your roof that needs to be installed, utilizing quality roofing techniques to extend the life of your roof.

When you get a new roof, your old flashing might not be replaced

Is it true that because getting chimney flashing is exceptionally essential, you should replace the existing flashing while you obtain a new roof? The answer will vary depending on the situation and the state of the metal.

When your local roofing contractor comes out to give you a price for a roof replacement, they evaluate your chimney flashing. They'll inspect your flashing for rust and determine whether the metal's integrity is still intact.

If there is no corrosion and the metal's integrity is still intact, your flashing will not need to be changed during your roof replacement. It will, however, need to be replaced if it is broken, rusted, or if you are upgrading from a 3-tab to dimensional asphalt shingle.

If your roof's current flashing needs to be replaced during your roof replacement, it will ultimately depend on what your contractor discovers during your roof inspection.

Your chimney flashing should be inspected at least once a year

When you have a new roof, keep in mind that you won't always have to replace your chimney flashing. Your flashing should outlast the original roof it was built on, regardless of the type of metal it is composed of.

Because it lasts longer than the roof, it's critical to evaluate your chimney flashing as part of your regular roof maintenance. That allows your roofing professional to check that the flashing is in good working order and that the metal's integrity is intact.

Is it vital to re-flash your chimney?

Many components of your home, including your roof, can deteriorate over time. Damage to the wood surrounding the chimney, walls, ceilings, and attics can be severe if the flashing is weakened. Winds can tatter or gust up flashing, and they can also tear, shatter, become loose, or be devoured by animals.

You should have a chimney professional evaluate the issue area if you observe leaks around a chimney. Roof leaks can be solved by flashing the chimney.

Unless it is stipulated in the contract, some roofing contractors won't re-flash your chimney. It's a time-consuming task that necessitates a significant level of talent to complete successfully. "Why fix something that ain't broke?" is a popular justification.

The truth is that if the chimney is not re-flashed once the roof gets installed, the odds of it leaking within the first four to five years are extremely high.

If you're going to invest in a new roof system for your home, make sure it will keep you dry for years to come. Make sure the contractor's proposal covers re-flashing the chimney.

That can help you avoid pricey roof repairs by catching future flashing issues early on. During an annual maintenance inspection, your contractor will evaluate the integrity of your chimney flashing, among other things.

Leave the chimney re-flashing to the local roofing companies

Because there are so many things that may go wrong while repairing or installing chimney flashing, it's best to leave it to the professionals.

Chimney flashing is a talent that takes many jobs to master, and only experienced masons can deliver the best results.

True Quality Roofing is one of the top local roofing companies that come in handy in this situation. With several years of expertise, our workers are certified and thoroughly trained.

Our roofer can handle any size chimney project. Join the thousands of homeowners who have faith in us to ensure that their chimney is in good functioning order.

It's as simple as contacting us to get started on your next project, whether it's only an inspection or complete chimney repair. 

Get in Touch With Our Team Today!

For more information, contact us today to speak with a True Quality Roofing team member.