I Forgot My Hammer

By
Home Inspector with JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC HOI 394

Missing chimney counter flashingHave you ever walked out of a room to get something and then forgot what you were going to get? Everyone has, right? You walk back to the room you just left and suddenly you remember what it was you were going to get. Momentary memory lapse. The older I get the more frequent they seem to happen. You forget where you left your keys or your phone or that it’s your anniversary.

Take this roofer for example. The guy left his hammer behind on the roof. He probably won’t miss it until he needs again, then he will tear apart his truck looking for that darn thing and then have to go buy a new one when he can’t find it.

Chimney flashing diagramFunny thing is, its not just his hammer he forgot. He also forgot to finish the chimney flashing. Seems sort of an odd thing to overlook, being its such an integral part of a roofing job.

You see a chimney actually requires two distinct flashing details, so that the rain stays out of the house. The first is installed with the new roofing. It is called the step flashing. This flashing consists of “steps” of metal bent at 90 degrees and inserted under each course of shingles along the chimney. You can see them in the photo.

The “problem” is that the steps are open at the top and will allow water to flow right on by into the house. When inspecting the second floor of this house, the ceiling was wet around the chimney. To counter this issue, a second piece of metal flashing is set over the opening of the step flashing. The counter flashing acts to repel water from the opening in the step flashing, sending it away to the roof.

What was also odd about this flashing job was that the roofing under layment was run up the sides of the chimney. It seemed as if this was meant to act in place of the missing counter flashing.

Same chimney with new counter flashingDid I mention this was a new roof, just weeks old and it was inspected by the town inspector. Yes, I saw all the documentation.

My suggestion was to find a different roofer to fix or should I say complete the flashing. The suggestion was easily accepted based on the work done or actually not done. The other day I was sent a photo of the finished chimney flashing by the prospective buyer.

A text book job and no one forgot their hammer. 

 

Posted by

James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
Former SNEC-ASHI President
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

 ASHI Certified Inspector

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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

And there are so many ways to finish it off!  Gum (mint, not fruit), caulking, tape (pick your poison), putty. 

Well, what can be said but what has been said?

Aug 13, 2014 09:43 PM #1
Rainmaker
1,840,005
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I came to comment, but looked and saw that I already had.  I guess I forgot.

Aug 13, 2014 10:04 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,840,005
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

And there are so many ways to finish it off!  Gum (mint, not fruit), caulking, tape (pick your poison), putty. 

Well, what can be said but what has been said?

All that sounds strangely familiar.  If someone said it before you should believe what I am saying.  I remember everything.

Aug 13, 2014 10:04 PM #3
Rainer
220,146
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

I think Jay's lost it. Haha

I also think this roofer needs to take some ginkgo biloba and maybe a refresher course in roofing.

Aug 13, 2014 11:15 PM #4
Ambassador
1,333,480
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jim are you sure some bird wasn't flying by and dropped that hammer on the roof?

Aug 13, 2014 11:18 PM #5
Rainmaker
488,548
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jim, That is where I left it ;) 

 

Actually I see too much poor flashing details on chimneys.

Aug 14, 2014 03:08 AM #6
Ambassador
2,758,510
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good evening Donald. It also looks like he forgot but the chimney caps on.  Oh well, I'm just a home inspector what do I know?

Aug 14, 2014 10:16 AM #7
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Jay, Seems you're getting forgetful 

Jay, Seems you're getting forgetful 

Suzanne, I think you right.

Charlie, Maybe a crane 

Don, Its seems like poor flashing is becoming thr norm.

Michael, Caps aren't required around here. 

Aug 15, 2014 10:00 PM #8
Ambassador
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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

I love reading the posts you home inspectors write. Roof issues is something I would ONLY see via photos since there is NO WAY I would be up there!

Aug 17, 2014 09:40 PM #9
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Barbara-Jo, I use my camera to show the client and their agent the things like a roof or chimney issues after I come down. The digital camera has become an essential home inspection tool. 

Aug 17, 2014 10:06 PM #10
Rainer
207,896
Donny Carter
Carter & Roque Real Estate - Frostburg, MD
Mountain Maryland Real Estate Expert

Seems like the roofer meant to come back to finish but "forgot".

Aug 18, 2014 04:04 AM #11
Rainmaker
441,464
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

If I had a dollar for every bad flashed chimney.........Maybe someday.

 

Aug 18, 2014 11:43 PM #12
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Donny, It does seem so.

Scott, You'd have a lot of dollars :)

Aug 20, 2014 09:53 AM #14
Rainmaker
1,762,711
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

If you come across a flat bar while under a house, that's mine! 

When it comes to roofing, you would think that the flashing would get the greatest attention in doing right James, but that's not the case is it?

 

Sep 14, 2014 02:16 AM #15
Rainmaker
683,909
James Quarello
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC - Wallingford, CT
Connecticut Home Inspector

Tom, You would think that, but believe it or not, this was not the first time I have seen this type of job on chimney flashing. 

Sep 14, 2014 10:24 PM #16
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