Dos and Don’ts: Chimney Flashing Repair 101
According to Architect Magazine, 40% of building problems are caused by water getting into places that it shouldn’t, often the roof of homes.
Homeowners can help to protect and extend the life of their roof with regular inspections and repairs. However, many homeowners only remember that a roof needs maintenance when there’s a problem, such as a pesky leak. When this happens, there are two options many homeowners are faced with; fixing it themselves or getting a roof repair service specialist to fix it.
Keep reading to find out the dos and don’ts of chimney flashing repairs and whether you need to call a professional.
What Are Flashings?
Flashing is the thin strips of metal that help to protect your roof from leaks. Flashing is often fitted around joints and valleys of a roof. For example, flashing is fitted around chimneys, dormers, vent pipes, vent fans, and vents in general.
If flashing fails then your roof and home may be subjected to leaks. Most commonly, flashing will fail around the chimney. Shingles can help to protect the roof, but flashing is essential in protecting roofs.
Flashing generally lasts longer than the original roofing materials. Although this depends on a range of factors, such as the material of your roof, the climate where you live, and the maintenance and care of the roof. A flashing inspection should be conducted each year, to ensure you find any problems before too much damage is done.
DIY Flashing Repair: Dos and Don’ts
Many homeowners want to save money when it comes to home repairs. After all, there’s plenty of how-to guides and video tutorials on the internet, but remember these materials don’t make you an expert. Amateur DIYers might struggle with complex fixes, such as flashing repairs, but if you are thinking about doing the fixes yourself, these useful dos and don’ts might be able to help you.
Do Consider All Factors
Before you start planning a flashing repair make sure you consider all the factors. Calculate costs for you to do it yourself and get quotes from professional roofers.
Determine whether the time it takes you to complete the repairs is sufficient enough, compared to the time an expert can complete it. The sooner you get the roof flashing fixed the better protected your home is.
Think about how steep and dangerous your roof is before you buy repair materials. Many homeowners assume that they’ll be fine on their roofs, but some roofs can prove fatal. Remember that your safety is more important than the cost of hiring a roofing contractor.
Don’t Do a Flashing Project Alone
Completing a flashing project can prove difficult, so it’s always important that you have someone who can help you. Ideally, one of you should have experience in flashing and knows what to look for when it comes to problems.
Having a person helping you with your flashing project can also be beneficial if any accidents do happen.
Do Make a Thorough Plan
Planning the project is important for the success of it. You need to make sure you have all the tools and materials beforehand. You should also look at weather forecasts to ensure that you won’t suddenly encounter an unexpected storm.
If you don’t know much about flashing and roofing then part of your planning should also be researching. Find reliable sources that can help you with how to repair your flashing.
Don’t Forget About Safety
Safety should be at the heart of all DIY projects, this is especially true when you’re working in dangerous conditions (such as upon a high roof). Before you start repairing any flashing you need to be equipped with the appropriate safety gear.
You need to have shoes that have a lot of traction, to help prevent any slipping. You will also need a helmet, safety glasses, and a harness.
Do Use the Right Materials
Using the wrong materials for flashing repair can deem the project pointless. Flashing materials need to be shaped with ease and soldered. Traditional flashing materials include lead, tin-coated steel, copper, and galvanized steel.
When you are buying your materials ensure you don’t cut any corners with the cost. Materials that can’t be soldered or shaped with ease, such as aluminum, shouldn’t be used. Aluminum can also corrode when it comes into contact with brick or stone mortar.
Don’t Repair Flashing on Tile or Slate Roofs
If your roof is covered with wood or asphalt shingles then you might be able to do the work yourself. But amateur DIYers should always avoid repairing flashing on tile and slate roofs. These two types of materials require a much more complicated technique to be used when it comes to fitting flashing.
How Much Does Chimney Flashing Repair Cost?
A DIY repair can cost you anywhere between $275 and $400 (for the materials). However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you’ll also need to invest a lot of time to ensure you do a good job. Remember that a leaky roof can be much more costly in the long run than hiring a residential roof repair specialist.
Hiring a roof repair expert will often be more cost-effective and less time consuming than repairing the flashing yourself. The cost of flashing repair depends on the problems with your flashing, the area affected, and the materials of flashing used.
On average, a flashing repair can cost between $200 and $1,500. Flashing repairs cost between $200 and $500, while replacement costs between $300 and $1,500.
Repair Your Flashing Now
Before you decide on whether your flashing repair should be completed by you or a professional, remember to weigh up the pros and cons. Those with little construction knowledge and limited resources should always hire a professional so that you don’t cause more damage.
Read our other renovation and home improvement articles to find more tips and guides on how to keep your home safe.
Thank you for reading!