Chimney flashing works by creating a seal between the roof and the chimney. It creates and watertight surface that prevents rain and snow melt 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 there are few things you should look for such as style and type of material. Chimney flashing kits can be found at most building supply store 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 variation in design there are only a few major chimney types: Field, Ridge and Rake. The difference between the types in based on the shape of the slope and pitch of the roof. If you are not sure which of these you have, there are several websites that list the type with examples to make it easy to identify. It's important that you 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 material such as aluminum, copper, galvanized steel and lead. The best way to select the material used for the flashing is to check with local building codes and laws in your area. Also the type of roof that the flashing is being placed on 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 light weight and easy to trim. Galvanized steel flashing will be more less costly to install than copper, but copper flashing may be needed if its 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 lead 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 the opinion of a roofer, 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.