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What Is Chimney Flashing & Why Is It So Important?

Keeping water out of your chimney is one of the most important maintenance responsibilities you have as a homeowner. The amount of damage and deterioration that water can do to a masonry chimney is extensive! Not to mention, the repairs can be very expensive. Neglecting those repairs can lead to serious structural problems, including the collapse of the chimney. How do you avoid this hazardous situation? By preventing water penetration of your masonry chimney. Atlas Chimney provides several different professional water penetration preventive services to protect your masonry chimney. For over 25 years, our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney technicians have been taking care of chimneys in the Austin area. So, you know you can trust our experience and professionalism. We would like to tell you more about chimney flashing, one of these preventive services we offer.

What Is Chimney Flashing Image - Austin TX - Atlas ChimneyWhat exactly is chimney flashing?

The area where your chimney meets the roof is very vulnerable to water leaks. This is why a customized flashing system is the best way to protect this spot! Consisting of metal sheeting that is strategically layered around the chimney, a properly constructed flashing system provides a barrier against water penetration. How do you successfully keep water from entering the chimney at the roof? Well, there must be two layers of flashing in place, according to This Old House. The first layer of metal sheeting, step flashing, is attached to the shingles of the roof and lapped up the sides of the chimney. Counter-flashing, the second layer, is installed into the mortar joints and folded over to cover the step flashing. After the layering is complete, the corners are reinforced by applying high-quality urethane caulk to seal any gaps.

Why is flashing so important?

Without a flashing system to protect it, the area where the chimney meets the roof can be a place where water accumulates during and after a rainfall. This can lead to water leaking into the chimney. Water leaks can do a great deal of damage to your chimney and your home. This damage includes the corrosion of the metal components, including:

  • the liner and damper
  • spalling of the bricks and mortar
  • rotting of the wooden structure around the chimney
  • staining of the ceiling and walls in the room of your fireplace

Avoiding this damage is why it is so important to protect your chimney with a professionally built customized flashing system!

Not only does Atlas Chimney provide flashing construction and repair services. In addition, we can also prevent water penetration by waterproofing your chimney. Contact us today to keep water out of your chimney!

A Brief History of Chimney Sweeping

The craft of sweeping chimneys changed immensely since its early origins during the Ancient Roman era. It is surprising to learn how brutal the job was before modern technology and regulations. Before laws and regulations were introduced in the United Kingdom (UK) during the Industrial Revolution (1760-1830), the majority of chimney sweeps across the globe were young children. These kids, called “chimney climbing boys,” began training as young as age six to work in hazardous conditions. Fortunately, those days are well in the past. Education and technology helped improve conditions and safety. At Atlas Chimney, our chimney sweeps have been trained and certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and use specialized tools to ensure safety. Since the history of chimney sweeping in the UK is similar to that of the USA, we want to tell you about some of the most important years in this history.

1788

A Brief History - Austin TX - Atlas ChimneyDuring this year, the British Parliament began discussing how to regulate chimney sweeping. According to a professional chimney service in London and South Essex, Clean Sweep, an age limit of eight for chimney sweeps became law. However, this went mostly ignored. After the turn of the century, George Smart invented the first mechanical sweeper. Groups promoted this new method of chimney sweeping and lobbied to Parliament for stricter laws.

1834

Around a decade earlier, Joseph Glass improved on George Smart’s invention, creating the modern chimney sweeping brush. More and more people used this new tool, lessening the need for small children who could fit into chimneys. Parliament passed a law in this year saying children must agree in front of a magistrate to be a chimney sweeper.

1840

An act of Parliament protected those under 21 years old from chimney sweeping. However, this was not taken seriously because it was not law. Lobbyists continued to press Parliament into declaring this act into law, and over the next 35 years, controls over chimney sweeping were tightened significantly. In 1875, the Chimney Sweepers Act became law in order to stop child labor.

Atlas Chimney is thankful for the many improvements to the technology and other working conditions in the chimney industry. If you live in the Austin area, contact us for your professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs.

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