You Love Your Chimney, But it Could be Harming Your Home

Your chimney is a wonderful architectural detail and a necessary part of your home’s fireplace system. For centuries, chimneys have been associated with notions of family, warmth, and safety in the winter. They can make a home appear cozy, familiar, and sometimes even nostalgic. When your fireplace system is functioning, the chimney is vital for helping to expel carbon dioxide in the form of smoke. Without a chimney, your home would fill with that smoke, making those fireside chats a little less comfortable. In other words, chimneys, as with many aspects of your home, serve an aesthetic function and a practical function, making chimneys not only necessary but also desirable.

But chimneys can also open you up to problems. In a way, they’re cutting a hole right through your home’s primary defense mechanism: the roof. By creating a hole in your roof for the chimney (or building the roof around the chimney), you’re creating weak spots in your roof—miniscule cracks through which water and critters and work their way into your home and begin causing damage. Water can cause wood to rot and mold to grow, and termites (or other critters) can get into your home and cause damage as well.

Chimney Flashing Installation in the Twin Cities

Over the years, however, builders and contractors have discovered ways to help protect your roof despite the presence of a chimney. This is usually referred to as “chimney flashing.” Flashing is designed to create an impermeable, waterproof barrier around the edges of your chimney on your roof. By creating this barrier, and encouraging water to move away from the chimney, properly installed flashing can keep your roof from taking on damage. Essentially, it shores up the weak spots created by the chimney in the first place, and in doing so, ensures that your home will continue to be structurally sound—or, at least, that any problems will not arise from your chimney.

In order to be so effective, chimney flashing must be properly installed. Proper chimney flashing installation follows four basic steps.

  • Step 1: If there is debris in the gap between your chimney and roof, that debris needs to be cleaned out. Flashing will not install properly if there are leaves, dirt, or other detritus in the way. (Indeed, the presence of this debris may be a sign that the previous flashing, if there was, has failed.) The excess materials and debris should then be discarded.
  • Step 2: Remove excess roof cement. This is a material used to keep things in place in the roof (shingles, for example, and flashing). There may be some roof cement left over from the previous flashing or from other projects that had been conducted on the roof. If this excess is not removed, the new flashing will not function properly.
  • Step 3: Once the old cement has been removed, you need to apply some new cement. That might sound a bit odd, but that’s just the way it works. The new cement will provide a healthy adhesive for your new flashing, and help to keep things watertight.
  • Step 4: Install the new flashing. This can be accomplished using masonry nails or sturdy screws. You will need to ensure that the flashing is secure and tight against your rooftop, otherwise water will indeed penetrate the flashing and cause damage to your roof.

All of this work is, naturally, done on a rooftop, so there are certain safety requirements designed to minimize the risk of injury. For example, it’s a good idea to have rooftop equipment that will keep you tethered to the roof in case of a slip or fall. It’s also a good idea to have specialized shoes to help give you traction so as to avoid the slip in the first place.

How Much Does Chimney Flashing Cost in the Twin Cities?

The cost of chimney flashing for your residential home may be quite variable. It’s a relatively easy job, but it’s one that you want to make sure is done right, so if you have any hesitation about your capabilities for getting the job done, you should definitely consider contacting a contractor, such as Exterior Contracting, Inc. We have a great deal of expertise with rooftop jobs, and we can make sure that everything is done right and safely, all in a way that will protect your home from Mother Nature.

There are several factors that will directly effect the cost of chimney flashing installation:

  • The flashing unit purchased
  • The size of the chimney
  • The angle of the roof
  • The scope of the project
  • Any other issues that the project uncovers that must be addressed

The best way to get an accurate assessment of the cost of this project for your home is to contact Exterior Contracting, Inc., to schedule an estimate. We’ll take a look at your roof and what you want to accomplish and give you a more accurate estimate.

So if you’ve got a roof that’s leaking around your chimney, contact Exterior Contracting, Inc., to get started on the fix right away.

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