Flashing is an important protective element for roofs. It protects corners, edges, valleys and other areas that the shingles cannot. One of the most complicated flashing types for your roof is chimney flashing.
The chimney flashing is typically made up of two layers, which overlap one another and are shaped differently at the back, sides and front. Although this complicated flashing system might seem like a lot, it is actually one of the most difficult jobs on your roof.
1. Chimney Flashing Resists Rain
Because the roof shingles cannot protect the edges of your roof, they are vulnerable.
This is the most problematic spot in your chimney. Rain can run right to this spot, and could get trapped against the chimney’s back. This could lead to a pool of water. Because standing water is not able to drain off the roof, but can instead be pulled through the roof via gravity, roof leaks are more common.
Dead leaves can trap behind the chimney and increase the pond effect. This spot may be covered by a waterproof membrane. Your contractor might install a chimney cricket, which is a special piece of roof that helps divert rain.
2. Chimney Flashing Excludes Wildlife
Wildlife love to make their way into chimneys and other roof penetrations. The roof deck is designed to allow vent pipes, chimneys, and other roof features through the cut-away holes.
Animals can easily sense warmth in attics and begin to try to get through them. Installing metal flashing around your chimney can deter animals from trying to climb into your attic.
3. Chimney Flashing Resists Heat
The flashing around your chimney must be able resist heat from a fire, unlike the bathroom vent exhaust point.
Although it is not directly above the roof, the fireplace can still transmit heat through bricks. A chimney fire can cause much higher temperatures (and you might not even know it). The chimney flashing must be made from non-flammable materials such as metal to avoid it becoming a fire hazard.
4. Flashing Allows For Expansion And Settlement
When they heat up or cool down, the bricks of a chimney’s chimney can shrink and expand by very small amounts. The asphalt shingles on your roof may also expand or contract slightly depending on how they heat up in sunlight and cool down to ambient temperature at night.
Brick and asphalt can expand and contract at different rates, so any one object that attempts to bridge the gap will either break or become loose. This is why chimney flashing must be made from two pieces that can move slightly apart or together. The chimney can also settle slightly over time, so adjustment is possible.
As you can see the demands placed on your chimney’s flashing system are high and the stakes are high. It is important to hire an experienced roof contractor who can not only lay shingles, but also correctly install flashing around chimneys and other roof features.
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From the initial inspection to fulfilling the basic requirements and finally to providing a free estimate for your entire project, we are always happy to help. We are here to assist you with all your roofing needs. Contact us today, and we will send over a roofing expert to help you with any of your roofing projects, and be sure to check out our 5-star reviews!