A chimney is a great addition to most homes. Not only do chimneys provide comfort and a focal point within the home, but they can also improve the home's curb appeal and value. However, when chimneys are not properly installed or cared for, they can become quite a problem when they leak. Sometimes, the leaks are caused by the chimneys themselves; other times, the leaks result because the joints between the roof and the chimney were not sealed.
If the problem appears to be caused by leaking or damaged flashing and counter flashing, a Fort Worth roofing contractor can help. Often, the flashing and counter flashing are installed using roofing cement. Over time, the roofing cement can lose its hold on the flashing, causing the flashing to fall away from the masonry. This allows moisture to enter the attic space and even the living space. If the leak is not taken care of quickly, the damage to the ceiling, walls and even the chimney itself can be extensive and expensive.
In order to correct the flashing issue, the roofer will first remove any leaves or other organic debris from the area. This often means pulling leaves out of the joint between the flashing and the masonry. Once the area is clean, the flashing will be removed from the chimney and the roof.
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This must be done very carefully as the flashing is usually tucked underneath the nearby shingles. Once the flashing is removed, the old roofing cement will be chiseled away from the masonry so that the new flashing will sit flat. From here, there are two ways to protect the home against water damage.
First, a roofer can simply replace the flashing and use cement to once again hold the flashing to the masonry. In addition, roofing nails can be used to keep the flashing from pulling away from the masonry in the near future. However, the cement will fail over time.
A more permanent solution is to add counter flashing. To do this, a roofer will use a grinder or a saw to cut a shallow channel into the masonry just above where the flashing is installed. The top of the counter flashing will then be installed into that channel. The bottom of the counter flashing will be placed over the flashing so that the joint between the flashing and the masonry is covered. A bead of caulk or roofing cement can then be used to seal the area. If this process is done by an expert roofing contractor, leaks should not occur.