In this Attention to Details article, we will focus on the roofing system’s flashings, specifically chimney flashing, for homes in the Wichita, KS area including McPherson, Hutchinson, and Newton.
What is flashing?
Simply put, flashing is thin pieces of material, generally aluminum or galvanized steel, placed over joints in roof and wall construction to prevent water seeping in, resulting in damage to the home.
Typically, flashings in acceptable condition can be reused in the event of a roof replacement. However, it is important to consider that all flashings used as part of a roof system, and no matter what coating is used on the flashings, whether they are galvanized or painted, they WILL eventually rust and fail.
Why is chimney flashing important?
Chimneys are another commonly overlooked area when replacing a roof. In our opinion, if chimney flashing is eight years or older, it should be replaced (no matter the condition) to prevent future leaks. Remember, many roof systems are engineered to last up to 50 years and will easily outlast the flashings. According to Xactimate, an estimating program widely used by insurance carriers, chimney flashings are estimated to last 35 years, meaning they will require replacement prior to the roof if the roof does indeed go to term at 50 years.
When to replace counterflashing and step flashing
As a general rule, if a roof consists of two or more layers, both the counterflashing and step flashing should be replaced. When roofing builds up in layers, the elevation changes and requires a reset for proper water shed. This service for a small chimney (24” x 24” or less) typically begins at $225. An average chimney flash including surface mount counterflashing and step flashing is approximately $325.
In short, you do not want to spend thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars replacing your roof only to be faced with a roof leak that “wasn’t the roofer’s fault” if you fail to properly address flashing. With each roof replacement, all chimneys should have the flashing inspected for deficiencies as well as chase cap and brick tuck pointing, if applicable. It is best to address any problems before the roof replacement which will prevent repairs in the future.
Looking for a new roof or need a roof inspection in the Wichita KS Area?
Otherwise, if you have any questions about new roofs in the Wichita, KS and Sedgwick county area, please consider S&A Roofing, and contact us any time.