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San Antonio Roofing: Article About Flashing

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Many homeowners are surprised to learn about the impacts that a masonry chimney can have upon the performance, durability and longevity of their roofing systems. Chimneys intersect the roof along one or more sides, resulting in potential points where water could leak into the inside of the structure. Reliable San Antonio roofing companies typically inspect the chimney flashing as a part of a residential roof inspection. The complex pieces of flashing around a chimney's base, sides and top all perform essential functions in protecting the roof and the masonry.

Base flashing is located at the bottom of the chimney. Consisting of a single piece of corrosion resistant metal, this material extends 3 to 6 inches past the edge of the shingles that abut the chimney's bricks. This flashing is usually reaches 12 inches up from the chimney's base. If the chimney is located at an exterior wall of the house, the base flashing will wrap a few inches around the sides. When the chimney is in the center of the house, the base flashing wraps all the way around.

Along the sides of the chimney are the pieces of step flashing, which are also called soakers or baby tins. The pieces of step flashing are square or rectangular and generally range from 3 inches tall by 3 inches wide to 9 inches tall by 12 inches wide.

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These materials are nailed to the roof's deck as well as the chimney's mortar.

When a chimney's side measures greater than 30 inches, local or state laws often require that roofers or masons put a cricket or saddle flashing into place. This is a piece of metal that deflects water or snow away from the chimney so that it does not build up behind it. This kind of flashing is not attached to the masonry.

Improper installation of any flashing can result in rust or corrosion of the metal, which in turn leads to roof leaks. Faulty flashings can also increase wear and tear on the mortar, which may cause a chimney collapse.

Cap flashing attaches to the vertical part of the base flashing. They only attach to the chimney. If this piece is put into place when the chimney is being built, the top of it will be bent and included in the mortar joint. This piece wraps around the chimney's sides to create a "Z" shape when it is looked at from the ground.

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