Stripped Down From the Bottom Up


This was a very interesting blog post from a home inspector, James Quarello, from Connecticut.  Read this post.  You’ll learn something about chimneys and flashing.  Thanks for sharing this.

Via James Quarello – Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC):

Stripped down from the bottom upThe other day as I was walking around and looking over a Craftsman style bungalow, I noticed something quite peculiar with the chimney. It looked more than a bit top heavy. Not really the look I’m used to.

The chimney was clearly in need of some repair, which I could easily tell just from standing on the ground, but the bottom at the roof was drawing my attention. I saw new flashing which made sense because the roof was obviously quite new. What was odd was the flashing looked half done.Where's the brick?

Ascending the roof to get a closer look I saw what has to be a first for me. The bricks along the entire base of the chimney had been removed. The removal corresponded with where the old counter flashing would have been.

My guess was the roofer removed the bricks in order to reflash the chimney. That's gonna leak!Not being a mason, he apparently couldn’t first repair the damage done removing the old flashing before installing the new flashing. So instead Mr. Roofer goes on ahead and puts in nice new lead flashing. No one uses lead flashing any more it seems, I was impressed. Too bad good work was ruined by a bad installation.

To go ahead and theorize further, I figure our quality roofer is now unable to complete his flashing job because he has no where good to attach the vitally important counter flashing. You see with out counter flashing, the chimney penetration is going to leak as sure as it’s going to rain. The counter flashing is what repels the water coming from above, the step or lower flashing sheds water running down the roof.Chimney flashing diagram, how it should be done.

As good as this contractor’s work is, it will all have to be removed in order to first fix the chimney and only then can the flashing be installed. Reminds me of one of Murphy’s laws;

There is never time to do it right, but there is always time to do it over.




James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
2010 – 2011 SNEC-ASHI President
NRSB #8SS0022
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

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About susanmorrison

After living in Walpole, MA for many years, our family was transferred to the west coast when I was a senior in high school. In 1983, I graduated from Mission San Jose High School in Fremont, California. I am also a 1987 graduate of Providence College with a major in liberal arts and a minor in business administration. I bring to the table many years of sales experience beginning with thirteen years in Corporate Sales at Delta Air Lines. I'm the mother of three children and I'm very active within the Franklin, MA community. I am also a cancer survivor and support the American Cancer Society Charities.

My husband and I have built five homes and I've lived in a variety of other locations including Toronto Canada, Irving Texas and my current home in Franklin, MA. As a result of all my moving around, I came to the conclusion that I was an expert at moving...why not become an expert on the other side of the table? I earned my real estate license in 2004 and believe that I have found my true niche'. I can empathize with my clients on a variety of levels; whether they are buying or selling. And, like so many other good realtors out there, I believe that possessing good communication skills is one of the many keys to success.

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