Chimney repairs are among the most difficult roof repairs. Complex roof features like the chimney require complex sealing and protection methods. It’s not surprising that chimneys and leaks are a common service topic.
Let’s look at common chimney problems and find out why chimney repairs differ from other roof repairs.
Flashing and Chimneys
Flashing refers to the metal bands that are placed around your roof’s edges. They help protect leaky spots and prevent moisture from getting in. Flashing is required for chimneys (and the protection against moisture that the metal bands offer). Chimneys are holes in your roof, which can lead to leaks.
Flashing is required in areas near the shingles for chimneys. It is common to have two sets of flashing that overlap, one coming up from the roof and one falling to the ground to cover the edges of the first. The flashing is then sealed at the junction with the underlayment or shingles. If every chimney were protected by flashing, nothing would go wrong. Unfortunately, chimney flashing may not be installed correctly all the time. This can lead to natural aging and storm damage that eventually leads to serious problems.
Signs and symptoms of flashing problems
Flashing problems are often indicated by leaks at the corners or chimneys. This flashing problem can be fixed by replacing or resealing the affected area. Remember that chimney leaks can be caused by amateur work. This means chimneys should not be used to learn your DIY skills.
The Chimney Crown
The chimney crown is the cement or concrete layer at the top of the chimney. It seals the chimney’s opening and the flue. Larger chimneys have more chimney crowns. Flashing problems are more common than crown problems, but they can cause even more damage. Cracks in the flue allow water to seep into the chimney.
You should remove and replace any cracked or damaged crowns. Sometimes, a new chimney can be the best choice. Broken crowns might require extensive rebricking. Although small cracks and leaks can be closed with mortar, this is only a temporary fix.
Crown problems are often caused by weather or extreme age. If water seeps into your chimney or other nearby walls, contact a professional immediately.
To protect the chimney flue from rain, it also requires a cover. Damaged covers can lead to a variety of problems. These include a blocked chimney or a fire in the fireplace. These issues are often obvious and chimney covers can be easily replaced.