Leaks happen in three main places on your roof: pipes, valleys and chimneys. Unfortunately, many roofers avoid the parts and pieces of your roof when they are installing, especially when it comes to your chimneys. All it takes is a little knowledge and an eye for detail to see that your roof might not be the problem at all.
A chimney moves independently of your house. It actually expands and contracts at a different rate. There are two parts to the metal flashing that keeps water out of your home. Those two flashings move independently, but they cover each other to keep water from getting inside.
This past week we got a call from a homeowner who had a leak and was trying to figure out where it was coming from. His friend had told him he thought it was coming from the roof near the chimney. I climbed up inside the attic to look and there were great big areas of light coming from the chimney. Now, it’s not unheard of to see some light, but it this was an abnormal amount.
It turns out that when this roof was replaced, the old chimney flashing didn’t get replaced along with it. It happens all the time in Portland. Roofers take the old metal that connects to the chimney and they bend it up out of the way. They replace the roof and then try to bend that old flashing back down. It can never really get back to into position correctly, and when we get our heavy winds, water starts coming right on through.
When Roof Life of Oregon puts a new roof on, we take the chimney flashing completely out and put a new one in. That way your components match the lifetime your roof. It’s the right thing to do. Just because we’re “roofers” it doesn’t mean we’re not going to concern ourselves with the parts and pieces of that help your roof function the way it should.