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Chimney Repair and Reflashing: What Homeowners Need to Know

Chimneys add charm and functionality to our homes, providing warmth and ambiance through fireplaces and wood-burning stoves. However, they are also exposed to the elements and can suffer from wear and tear over time. Chimney repair and reflashing are crucial aspects of maintaining a safe and efficient chimney system. In this article, we’ll explore what homeowners need to know about these essential chimney maintenance tasks.

Chimney Repair: Addressing Common Issues

  1. Masonry Damage: Over time, the bricks and mortar of a chimney can deteriorate due to exposure to weather conditions. Cracks and gaps in the masonry can allow moisture to penetrate, leading to further damage.
    • Solution: Re-pointing or tuckpointing involves removing damaged mortar and replacing it with fresh mortar. This process restores the structural integrity and appearance of the chimney.
  2. Chimney Cap Repair: A chimney cap serves as a protective barrier against debris, water, and animals entering the chimney. If damaged or missing, it can cause various problems.
    • Solution: Repair or replace the chimney cap to ensure it functions properly and keeps unwanted elements out of the chimney.
  3. Flue Liner Issues: The flue liner, typically made of clay or metal, protects your home from the heat and gases produced by a fire. Cracks or damage to the liner can be hazardous.
    • Solution: Repair or replace the flue liner to maintain safety and efficiency. Stainless steel liners are often recommended for their durability and longevity.
  4. Water Damage: Water penetration can cause serious chimney issues, including mold growth, structural damage, and deterioration of the interior chimney components.
    • Solution: Waterproofing the chimney is essential. A water repellent sealant can be applied to the exterior masonry, preventing water intrusion while allowing the chimney to breathe.

Chimney Reflashing: Preventing Leaks

Chimney flashing is the material (usually metal) that surrounds the base of the chimney where it meets the roof. It prevents water from seeping into the home through gaps between the chimney and roof.

  1. Common Causes of Flashing Problems:
    • Age: Over time, flashing materials can deteriorate and lose their effectiveness.
    • Improper Installation: Inadequate or faulty installation can result in gaps or loosened flashing.
    • Weather Damage: Harsh weather conditions, such as strong winds or hail, can damage flashing.
  2. Signs of Flashing Issues:
    • Water Stains: Stains on interior walls or ceilings near the chimney indicate water leakage.
    • Dampness: Moisture in the attic or crawl space can suggest a flashing problem.
    • Visible Damage: Inspect the flashing visually for gaps, corrosion, or missing sections.
  3. Reflashing Solutions:
    • Professional Inspection: Hire a chimney professional to assess the condition of the flashing and determine if it needs repair or replacement.
    • Correct Installation: Ensure that the flashing is correctly installed, with overlapping sections and proper sealing.
    • Quality Materials: Use high-quality flashing materials, such as galvanized steel, aluminum, or copper, to maximize longevity.

Preventive Maintenance and Regular Inspection

To avoid costly chimney repairs and reflashing in the future, homeowners should consider the following preventive measures:

  • Regular Inspection: Schedule annual chimney inspections by certified professionals to identify issues early.
  • Keep Gutters Clean: Clogged gutters can lead to water overflow, which can affect the chimney and flashing. Keep gutters clean and in good condition.
  • Chimney Caps: Invest in a chimney cap to prevent debris and animals from entering the chimney.
  • Proper Ventilation: Ensure proper ventilation in the attic to prevent moisture buildup.


Chimney repair and reflashing are critical aspects of chimney maintenance that help keep your home safe and dry. Regular inspections, addressing common issues promptly, and investing in high-quality materials are essential steps in ensuring your chimney system functions efficiently and extends its lifespan. A well-maintained chimney not only enhances the comfort of your home but also adds to its overall value.


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