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Remodeling and Home Design

Tim Wheeler Masonry Construction, Stone - Cast, Seattle, WA


Licensed | Bonded | Insured

TIMWHC*955KD


Tim Wheeler

Seattles Best Masonry

Chimney Flashing Repair Seattle

New Chimney FlashingChimney flashing is one of the most important parts of a chimney.  In that it protects the area around the chimney from leaking water were the roof meets the chimney.  It also is one of the most over looked area in the maintenance of a home.  Chimney flashing is your first line of defense against water damage and is also your last line of defense, because if water gets past your Chimney flashing there is nothing also to stop it from penetrating your walls & ceilings.  Here in the Seattle area we get quite a bit of rain water every year,  so whether you have a fireplace that is built with masonry stone or brick you will have to maintain the chimney flashing so that it won"won't leak.   Here in lays the problem in that the chimney flashing is able to last about 20 years here in the Seattle area, due to the amount of wear and tear in our weather patterns.  Many of the fireplace chimney that i see as a Seattle Masonry Contractor have the same chimney flashing that they were built with, and many of these are over 50 years old or more and failing.  Most of the time this can be fixed by cutting out the old metal flashing with an angle grinder and replacing it with new chimney flashing.  The next thing that we would look for is if the bricks that are above the chimney flashing need to be repaired, missing mortar joints also need to be repaired and retuckpointed so that the water can not by pass the chimney flashing.  Last but not least almost every fireplace crown needs to be check for cracks, chimney crown cracks are one of the main reasons that chimney can leak past the chimney flashing.

 

In the picture above you can see an example of a chimney that has been restored by cutting out all the old Flashing and replacing it with new flashing.  This chimney is over 50 years old but is as good as the day that it was built, all the brick have been repointed with new mortar joints and cleaned and sealed .  But the most important part of this chimney restoration is the new concrete crown that is placed at the top of the chimney, if you look close at the pitcher above you will see that this new concrete crown is aprox. 4 inches thick.  This is a lifetime chimney crown, And is quite different in that almost all chimney crowns are constructed out of mortar when they are being built, and will only last a few years without extra maintenance.  With this concrete crown at the top of this chimney it is actually better then the day that it was built.  A brick chimney can last for hundred of years if it has been constructed right and maintained.  Brick chimney are meant to absorb a certain amount of water and then dry back out by breathing in and out the normal amount of water.  That is why it is so important that the chimney or fireplace flashing is in place and working to stop any excess water from entering in through the chimney walls and into the rest of your home.  Remember that a chimneys flashing stands alone and has no backup system to stop water from damaging your walls and ceiling,  It would be a good idea to check your chimney flashing every few years to make sure that its in good condition.

As a masonry contractor here in the Seattle area for over 25 years we have repaired thousands of brick and stone chimney for our many customers, and we always repair them in a way that they should have been built to start with.  By this i mean that if a chimney flashing is not installed right we will cut it out and reinstall it in the proper way.  One of the biggest problems that we see in chimney flashing is that the flashing is not stepped right.  Chimney flashing need to be stepped with at least a 2 inch overlap from piece to piece, with the higher piece always over lapping the lower piece.  This is also true of how much you want to overlap the roof flashing, as it needs to have at least a 2 inch lap to prevent water from getting by the flashing.  Last but not least is, if your chimney is more then 2 feet wide it is a good idea to place a cricket behind the upper side of the chimney this is a small peeked roof that will kick the water out from behind your chimney.  This is a little tricker then just a regular roof because both the cricket and the chimney need to be flashed were they meet.  Let"Let's talk about how long a repair Flashing or chimney tuck pointing should last or how often they will need to be redone?  As i said above we have been repairing chimney and fireplaces for over 25 years in the Seattle area, and we have yet to go back and redo any chimney or fireplace that we had previously rebuilt.  This is not that amazing for if a chimney is built right it can last a lifetime and more with just a little maintenance.   Please give us a call if your chimney is in need of help and i will come out and give you a free chimney inspection.

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