Leaking roof? Checking Around The Chimney is a Good Place to Start

It is an unfortunate reality that Mother Nature will take its toll on rooftops. Years of rain, cold, ice, sleet and snow can eventually cause a roof to leak. When that happens, there is a good chance that there is an issue with the chimney area.  When a roof begins to leak, it usually does not do so in a wide open area. Older roofs will work loose and the age factor will produce a leak inside your home. The leak often starts around the chimney, which is quite common.

flashing-at-chimney-bad

Getting a new roof? Make sure your roofer replaces the flashing.

Even after a heavy rain, a new roof can start to leak. When that it occurs, it usually means there is a problem with the flashing. It could be attributed to old flashing on your roof. Flashing is the term used to define the material, which is usually galvanized steel or aluminum, that covers joints in a roof. The purpose of flashing is to prevent water from seeping through, which would ultimately cause damage to the inside of your home.

Over time, flashing could begin to rust or the caulking could also give out (as noted in the attached picture). Older forms of flashing were made of tin and those should always be replaced when a roof starts to leak. That problem could be fixed with just a quick service by an experienced roofer.

Check for improper flashing

Improper flashing could also be a result of a roofer not installing it correctly. One scenario would be that the underneath step flashing was not properly placed. Another scenario would involve the improper installation of counter flashing. These are common errors that can be commonly made by more inexperienced roofers.

Proper flashing around a chimney will have a ice and water shield around it. Step flashing can be fastened around the perimeter of a chimney to ensure there is no leakage. There is also counter flashing in which a roofer will take a grinder and cut into the chimney so the flash can be inserted there.

Another reason that raindrops may keep falling on your head is due to improper mortar on your roof. This could present itself in numerous ways. The mortar joints could be cracking. Additionally, the mortar cap could be cracked or deteriorating. Every chimney needs to have a mortar cap, one that should have a good seal on it.

Check the chimney when leaks start

If the leak is coming from the chimney side of your house, the chimney should always be the first place to check in the event of a leak. It might need repointing, mortar repair, or new flashing. Regardless of the extent of the damage, roof repair is not something that should be attempted by a typical homeowner. What could be dangerous for the average person is just another day at the office for an experienced roofer.