In the wake of the recent Northeast snowstorm, now is the perfect time to have a professional inspection of your chimney flashing. Water seeping through this location is fairly common in the chimney industry.

As we all know, water that leaks into your home can cause considerable and costly damage. In the winter, the snow will eventually melt and if there is poor sealing around the area of the chimney above the roof, leaks through the roof and into the ceilings of your house will occur.

The area around the chimney at the rooftop is protected with metal strips called the “flashing.” Without context, this word may suggest something entirely different, but in this case the flashing is sheet metal that wraps around the chimney at the base of the rooftop. There are two layers: the step flashing and the counter flashing. The step pieces are L-shape metal segments, while the counter layer is put into mortar joints and folds over the step layer.

Even if all of the flashing appears to be already in place, a perfect seal is not guaranteed. Over time, small entry points for water can form. This is when caulk is required to fill in the cracks. Ask your chimney expert about the flashing when it’s time for an inspection.