Imagine: everyone is gathered in the living room. There are blankets, hot chocolate, books, board games, and a plethora of movies to choose from. The last thing to do is light up the fireplace and it’ll be perfect – memories made to last a lifetime.

But, as you near the hearth, ready to spark the flame, you notice the firebox is damp and you instantly remember: the flashing. You were supposed to replace your chimney flashing and now your chimney is leaking.

We hate an abrupt change of plans just as much as the next person, but fortunately, if you have a chimney and live in Benton County, AR or Greene County, MO, and if the cause of your frustration has to do with your chimney, fear not. Ozark Stove & Chimney is here to help. Book with us online or call 417-201-6585 to learn why homeowners throughout the Ozarks prefer us as their chimney service providers.

Why Is Proper Chimney Flashing Installation Important?

Using a chimney without flashing (or damaged, faulty, or incorrectly installed flashing) and expecting normal, optimal venting performance is kind of like tipping a fast food soda cup upside down and expecting liquid to only pour from the straw.

In the way that the straw has open space between it and the lid, so too does a chimney and the roof. That open space may be minimal, but it’s there…and it’s a vulnerable spot for leaks. Flashing consists of metal sheets that appropriately seal this area, protecting your home and chimney from lots of potential damage.

a broken down chimney next to a big hole in a roof

Around the base of the chimney, several different types of flashing are installed to ensure complete coverage, as well as allow the chimney and roof to expand and contract at their own rates. Without flashing, not only are your chimney and roof in danger of water penetration and damage, but your home is too. Water can seep into the open cracks and spaces and leak through your ceilings causing mold, mildew, and other dangers. 

How Does Flashing Protect Against Chimney Leaks?

When done correctly and according to code, the different types of flashing are installed to slightly overlap each other. Because chimneys are constructed of different materials than roofs, these different layers of flashing not only seal the small openings between them, but allow for each component to breathe accordingly. 

So, what are these different types of flashing?

  • Base flashing: Installed at the base of the system where the chimney meets the roof, base flashing establishes where the gaps are and begins the process of creating a watertight seal over them.
  • Counter/cap flashing: Thought of as the second piece of a two part system in conjunction with the base flashing, this type of flashing is done with L-shaped metal pieces that are attached directly to the mortar joints on the chimney so that any water will run straight down the outside.
  • Step flashing: Also L-shaped and hinge-esque, step flashing attaches both to the chimney and the roof, under its shingles, ensuring that every possible place for water entry is appropriately protected.
chimney flashing stair stepping up red masonry

Worried that your flashing is damaged or incorrectly installed? If you live in Northwest Arkansas or Southwest Missouri, trust Ozark Stove & Chimney to replace it. Schedule right here online, or call us at 417-201-6586.

Can I Install/Repair Chimney Flashing Myself?

While we are not your parents and thus cannot tell you what to do, technically (legally, anyway) we can’t tell you no. But we can tell you that we absolutely do not ever suggest or recommend this. You may be thinking that it seems simple enough, but we can assure you that not only is it a rather involved installation process, it’s also very easy to do incorrectly.

And, as you’ve learned, incorrectly installed flashing can cause leaks which can cause damage, and damage usually leads to repairs, reconstructions, or replacements that can cost lots of money.

It’s just so much easier (and smarter) to leave the hard (and often very dirty) work to the professionals. Here at Ozark Stove & Chimney, we’re friendly, highly certified, and always keep our customers involved, so you know what’s happening to your chimney every step of the way.

Questions? Give Us a Call

If you have questions or concerns about your chimney, call us at 417-201-6585 to learn more about what we can do for you.