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Lehi 07-03-2009 07:03 PM

Does anybody here know about chimney flashing?
Hi all, a roofer recently installed counter-flashing on my chimney, however there was no flashing to begin with. :( The roofer is now saying that the counter-flashing still serves a purpose which makes no sense to me considering that counter-flashing is supposed to be installed over flashing. Can anybody here tell me if it's true the counter-flashing will still be useful for anything? Thanks. (I hope my roofer isn't on here lol)

jaros bros. 07-03-2009 07:48 PM

You need to have both flashing and counter flashing to effectively prevent leaks. You can have a car and tires, but unless you put both together, you aren't going to get to work in the morning.
What you are saying seems suspicious. Step flashing should run up both sides and two pieces for the top and bottom. Then counter flashing is either mortared or cut into the brick and run over the top of the step flashing and base flashing.

Ed the Roofer 07-03-2009 07:51 PM

There needs to be a lower and an upper flashing on all sides of a chimney.

I am going to presume you are talking about a masonry or brick chimney for point of reference. Please correct me if I am wrong.

On the lower section of the chimney, which is the side that faces the gutter or eave edge, there needs to be a Roof-To-Wall Apron Flashing. The bottom portion of the sheet metal covers the top portion of the row that butts up to the lower bottom side of the chimney. The top portion of the sheet metal Apron Flashing then goes up vertically on the face of that lower side of the chimney. It needs to be Wider than the chimney and fold "Ears" or "Tabs" of sheet metal around the corner of the structure.

Then, both the left and right side would have "Step Flashings" installed, which are also commonly called "Baby Tin" flashings, which are individual 90* bent flashings, which get weaved in between each successive course, or row, of shingles, as they proceed up the slope of the roof. At thetop corners, they extend past also, so that they can fold around the corner.

Then, on the Top side of the chimney, the side which faces the Peak or Ridge of the Roof, get a flashing called veral names, ie; Pan Flashing, Apron Flashing, Saddle Flashing, (If a saddle or cricket is required, but that story is for another day).

Then, all 4 sides of the chimney need a second piece of sheet metal installed, which is called the Counter-Flashing. Most traditionally, the Counter-Flashing gets installed into a sawed out mortar joint, called a Raggle or Reglette Joint. This can be installed in a Step-Fashion, or as a perpindicular joint to the slope of the roof. Also, some choose for preferance to not cut into the masonry structure and Surface Mount the Counter-Flashing. The Counter flashing then needs to be secured to the structure with masonry anchors of one type or another.

So, in answer to your question, Yes, a bottom flashing is necessary for a proper flashing job to remain water-tight.

Could you please upload some photos of the chimney you are referring to, so that a proper view could be made of it and advise given more accordingly to your exact situation.

One more thing.....If the chimney rests on the Ridge of a roof, where part is on one slope and part is on the opposing slope, then the amount of sections would require 6 sections of sheet metal and then the appropriate counter-flashings to be installed.


Lehi 07-03-2009 08:19 PM

I have a picture but I'll need to find out how to upload it. It is a block chimney and my roof is asphalt shingle. I wasn't home when the roofer came over so I didn't have a chance to talk to him at the time; when I saw on the report that he recommended counter-flashing I said ok, not knowing that counter-flashing is something different from flashing. :blush: The roofer assumed there was flashing under the tar patch around the chimney. After the job was done and I saw what it was I was angry and contacted the roofing company. I told him the counter-flashing is "useless" because there is no flashing and that's when he told me that it still serves a purpose so that's why I'm here - to get other opinions.

Lehi 07-03-2009 08:25 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here's the picture.

Ed the Roofer 07-03-2009 09:23 PM

There "May" be the Base Fashings and Step Flashing Baby Tins hidden behind that muck, but it does not look like it, but it does look like a sheet matal rear Pan Flashing is installed.

The repair is Sloppy, at best.

The right thing to have done, would have been to remove all of the affected shingles coated with roofing cement and clean off the base of the chimney and remove and newly re-install any materials required as previously described.

But, it all depends on what was agreed to and whether or not it leaks during his warranty period.

What a slob though. He doesn't even know how to properly finger in the caulking and at least Attempt to make it look like a neat tidy job.


Lehi 07-03-2009 09:36 PM

Thanks for the reply Ed. There isn't anything behind the tar. I didn't think there was but I cut away a chunk of the patch to be sure and there is nothing but block behind the tar. There is flashing on the upper side but that's all. The only agreement that was made was to have counter-flashing installed. I wish I had known that counter-flashing was not flashing, I wouldn't have had this done. Once I complained and pointed out that there's no flashing, I'm being told the counter-flashing still has some use. I don't see how. I told the roofer that I didn't want to spend more money I hadn't intended to spend to have him come and do the job right (install flashing) and that maybe the best thing to do was just to come remove the counter-flashing and clean up the mess they made but I don't think that's going to happen. :( I'm probably stuck with this snafu which will be in the way now if I should decide to have flashing installed in the future - like when I have the roof re-shingled.

Ed the Roofer 07-03-2009 10:27 PM

If thats really true that there are NO base flashings and step flashing baby tins on the lower section and the two sides, then as soon as the roofing cement dries out and cracks, there will be monsoon like leaks occuring at the intersection of the concrete block chimney and the wood deck sheathing.

Personaly, if I were you, I would DEMAND that they come back and do the job correctly.

Have them show you ANY Roofing Specification Manual that states that no 2-piece, or even 1-piece sheet metal flashing system does not need to be installed around a chimney.

They will not be able to find it.

You are a consumer, not dumb, just naive to roofing and construction related terms. You expected that the term for the product and material that was to be installed was the correct and proper type of application.

It is NOT. Demand that they make it right.

This is why I MUST meet with every single cliet before I present them their detailed specification proposal. It is a time for me to go over every single detail, so that they know and Understand what they are getting or what they decide to eliminate and not receive.

I just had a woman who contacted me from the internet, who was clearly instructed, that after we measure her roof, we will call the next day, after the proposal is typed up and prepared with manufacturers brochures for every product that we install, that we Must Meet In Person for an appointment to go over the details and answer any questions.

She knew that when she contacted me.

Hers husband was informed of that whe my estimator went out there and discussed certain things that he observed with him.

They knew that from our Introduction sheet and list of things to consider when choosing a contractor and what should be included in a detailed proposal and contract.

But, today, my secretary finally got a hold of this woman and she says they Do Not Have Any Time to meet any Roofers. They want all 10 of the roofer that they contacted to just e-mail them the proposals.

Well, I do not want to begin any contractual working relationship on the foundation of potential misunderstandings, so unfortunately for my 4-5 hours spent paying someone to drive from a different job location, to and from their home, then to measure their roof which was very ;arge, steep, and detailed, then to diagnose and calculate what they needed and then for my secretary to type up the 8 page specifaction document and compile all of the manufacturers related brochures, she will not be getting an estimate from me.

What an incredible waste of time and a lack of courtesy and respect that is.

I feel that every consumer shoud be as advised as possible, not just "Thinking" something would be included and "Guessing" at what someone means with new fangles terminology, but advised and questioned and answered accordingly.

Sorry for hopping on my soap-box relating that story, but it happens way too often.

Then, because I answer home owners questions on many forums related to roofing and other constructin and contract issues, I see on a regular basis the underlying reason why so many problems occur in the first place.

A. The Home Owner did not take enough time to fully equip themselves with a basic understanding of what they need and how it should be done.


B. The "Typical" Contractor does not allow enough time for the inherent and vital customer service time to spend with them, prior to a major home re-roofing project is signed away to them or another contractor.

A more responsible and professional "Businessman and Contractor" will insist that the proper amount of time be devoted to each and every customer, to the best of their capabilities.


Lehi 07-03-2009 10:41 PM

The problem is, if I demand for them to come and do the job correctly it is probably going to cost me a lot more money, money I don't have to spend so I don't think there's anything I can do. :( I agreed to have counter-flashing installed and that's what they did, even though it's not going to do a doggone thing. :cry: You are wise to insist on meeting in person, I should have done that but I was trying to be accommodating. :bangin: They've offered to come back and do the job correctly, the roofer will be meeting me next week to discuss the issue, that's why I came here for answers. I'm sure they'd be happy to do the repair; it would mean more pay for them. I just can't figure out why they would install counter-flashing when they weren't even sure there was flashing - they just assumed it. Is that typical? And then to tell me that the counter-flashing "does have and provide a use". That doesn't make any sense to me. I feel like I'm being BS'd.

Ed the Roofer 07-03-2009 10:53 PM

No, their repair should have been done correctly and any rookie would have known that the counter-flashing on top of NOTHING would do absolutely nothing.

You paid them to take care of the problem at the chimney and what they charged you for, which is total Crap, should not count at all.

You have them do it right and inform them that the photos will be sent to be reviewed for correct application methods and they should have done that in the first place.


Lehi 07-03-2009 11:32 PM

Josh, I'm sorry, I hope you don't think I was treating you like chopped liver. I appreciate your answer too, the more confirmation I have the better and you're right, it does seem suspicious. :mad:

Ed the Roofer 07-04-2009 12:00 AM

You didn't say anything that offended me in any way.

Maybe, since the contractor is stating that he will come out and meet you next week, he will wind up being more honorable and do the right thing.

I am not going to speculate what he should have charged for the first "Attempt" at correcting the obvious problem, but if it was very little and he does do it correctly the 2nd time, he may even be entitled to being paid for the additional work required, but not excessively.

See what the Boss Man has to say when he meets with you.

Hopefully, he will conclude on his own, that the repair was not sufficiently done and do what should be done.

Don't get into any arguement with him, but just be polite and assertive as to what you expected to be done for their service call, which you have not yet received.

If you go out and make him "Lose Face", he may be less inclined to be obliging to your request for the propoer repair to be done. Let him be aware, that you realize that not all of his workers are proficient necessarily and you understand that, but request that someone else handle the remaining portion of the work to get it done properly and that you will take photos of it and ask an outside party if what they did was the correct application.


Lehi 07-04-2009 12:09 AM

Thanks again Ed, in my previous post I was actually referring to jaros bros. who I hadn't addressed after his response. I will try to remain calm when I meet with the "Boss Man". What worries me is that he is the one who said the counter-flashing "does have and provide a use" even after I told him the only flashing there was was on the upper side of the chimney.

Ed the Roofer 07-04-2009 12:18 AM

Counter-Flashing does have and provide a practical and functional use.

But, that is ONLY if it is "Counter-Flashing" some other flashing, hence, the word, "Counter".

Here is a good link and description of the proper way to install the base and sep flashings and counter-flashings.

Shorter and direct link, instead of through Google Images:


Definitions and diagrams:

A good site with a description similar to the one I wrote earlier and a video to view:


Lehi 07-04-2009 07:27 AM

:yes: Believe me Ed, I've looked at dozens and dozens of photos and websites about chimney flashing after this fiasco. How a roofer can tell me that counter-flashing does anything useful when there's no flashing is beyond me but I thought I'd come here and ask to make sure there wasn't something else I wasn't understanding.

To address a previous question you brought up, I don't know how much it costs to install flashing but this cost $125 for three sides of the chimney. Now that I know the difference between counter-flashing and flashing, I imagine it costs substantially more to install flashing.

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