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Leaking Roof? Maybe it's Improper Chimney Flashing! (Home Inspections Norristown)

Home Inspector with Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia

 Leaking Roof?  Maybe it's Improper Chimney Flashing!
(Home Inspections Norristown)


Have a leaking roof?  Often times, that roof leak has nothing to do with the shingles and something to do with improper chimney flashing

Chimney flashing is used to prevent roof leaks between where the chimney and the roof meet. 

improper chimney flashing

Chimney flashing leaks can happen for a number of reasons.


One reason is the chimney is not directly attached to the house frame and if the home settles, the flashing can pull away.


Another reason depends on the type of metal used for chimney flashing. That metal can corrode and rust over time and create a leak. 


Another big reason for chimney flashing leaks that I see all the time in home inspections around Norristown, PA is improper chimney flashing.

improper chimney flashing improper chimney flashing









Just last week, I was hired for a home inspection in Norristown and came across a chimney that had improper flashing.

improper chimney flashing

The chimney was missing counter and step flashing.


From the picture to the left, you can see someone surrounded the chimney with roofing mastic instead. 




 proper chimney flashing


Proper chimney flashing, as shown in the illustration to the right from Carlon, Dunlap & Associates has step and counter flashing


Step flashing is installed with the roof shingles and is weaved between the shingles. 


Counter flashing protects against water getting behind the top edge of step flashing, preventing it from seeping down the chimney or other vertical surface.  It is installed after the shingles are installed and is cut into the chimney and installed on top of the step flashing

It is a relatively easy repair for a qualified roofer.


So, if you have a leaking roof, make sure to check for failed or improper chimney flashing!


norristown home inspectorDavid Artigliere is an ASHI-certified home inspector and owner of ARTI Home Inspections LLC

David is available for home inspections in Norristown, Reading, Pottstown & surrounding 7 days a week. 

Visit www.artihomeinspections.com or call
(610) 220-1907 for your next home inspection!


Posted by

david the home inspectorDavid Artigliere, owner of ARTI Home Inspections LLC, is a home inspector in Pottstown, Reading, Norristown, Royersford and surrounding areas. 

He is available 7 days a week and can be reached at 610-220-1907.

Comments (13)

Vince Chinell
VICO Home Inspection - Branson, MO

David,  Great information, especially for the fixer-upper that thinks a little mastic is all that is required. 

Jan 30, 2012 08:37 AM
David Artigliere
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia - Collegeville, PA
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect

I see these bandaids all the time.  At least the buyer knows what they are getting into and can have this addressed before it becomes a bigger problem.

Jan 30, 2012 08:40 AM
Linda Edelwich
William Raveis Real Estate - Glastonbury, CT
Serving Glastonbury & Beyond | 218 New London Trnk

I just had this at my home...I think it is coming through the bricks...cant seem to stop it... LOL

Jan 30, 2012 08:49 AM
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Here in Manhattan New York, there isn't much of chimneys but it is good to know next time we buy a house in the suburbs...

Jan 30, 2012 09:21 AM
David Artigliere
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia - Collegeville, PA
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect

Linda- we had a similar issue with a rental home we bought.  Once the furnace went, we put in a direct vent furnace and had the chimney capped... took care of the issue!

Eileen- True- Not something a condo owner in NYC has to worry about!

Jan 30, 2012 09:29 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Very good information for home owners.  

Glad to hear that you have friends that live Gaithersburg. We live in Kentlands which is next to Lakelands.

Jan 31, 2012 05:33 AM
David Artigliere
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia - Collegeville, PA
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect

Thanks Roy!  And yes, I used to live in Gaithersburg as a child and still have friends in the area. Small world!

Jan 31, 2012 12:33 PM
Karen Hawkins, MBA - Langley & Surrey, BC
Royal Pro Real Estate Network - Langley, BC

Great information, David - I'll bet many of those mysterious "roof" leaks are really chimney flashing - I wish I'd had this information when our cottage was leaking!

Jan 31, 2012 03:07 PM
Kwee Huset
Kwee Huset Realty - Venice, FL
Venice Florida Homes For Sale

Hi David, I like your photographs and the explanation on the leaking roof from the chimney. Thanks for sharing the great information.

Feb 01, 2012 01:30 AM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

How I LOVE blog posts by home inspectors! They are full of so much good information!!!

Feb 01, 2012 02:29 AM
David Artigliere
Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia - Collegeville, PA
ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect

Karen- exactly!  Seems like a roof issue, but that flashing can be problematic when not done properly.

Kwee- glad you liked the photos.. thanks for reading!

Barbara- I appreciate that and I'm happy I could be informative!

Feb 01, 2012 06:39 AM
David J. Caracausa
The Premier Properties Group - North Wales, PA

Great stuff. Check out this company for help with leaking roof repair. Always a tough situation to deal with.

Aug 25, 2015 01:03 AM