Rubber roof repair and chimney flashing in Lexington MA

Here is a quick overview of a rubber roof repair we’ve done in Lexington Massachusetts about a year ago. This roof repair involved installing one outside corner flashing on a chimney, using EPDM peel and stick flashing material, removing old lead counter-flashing, which was damaged (eaten by squirrels), installing new copper counter-flashing, and repairing multiple cracks in the chimney itself. The cracks were caused by chimney overheating, when there were too many pieces of wood added at once in the fireplace (according to the homeowner).

Here is a video that shows how we performed this rubber roof and chimney repair:

Roof leak and repair details:

During the inspection, we could not identify the source of roof leaks right away, though it was apparent that roof is in fact leaking around the chimney. What we did find was a spot next to the corner of the chimney, where there was a piece of insulation under the rubber, either missing or so wet, that it was easily compressed down by about 2 inches.

Yet we did not find any voids in the seams, and the roof had a poof pitch of about 2 in 12. so all water was running down and not ponding on the roof. Also all seam overlaps were facing down, so the water had almost no chance to penetrate the seams.

The chimney flashing was wrapped around the chimney and flap was glued to the roof. Still there were no voids in the seams even where the flashing was glued to the main piece of rubber roofing.

After further examination, we found one spot on the corner of a chimney flashing that could be leaking, which we flashed with EPDM flashing membrane. Also, the lead flashing was damaged by squirrels on all four corners and homeowner decided to replace it with copper, which squirrels do not find as tasty as lead.

Finally we determined the main cause of roof leaks was actually due to multiple vertical and horizontal cracks in the chimney itself, which were “fixed” by applying cheap caulk to the crack. Caulk was completely dry and was falling out in may spots.

We removed all old caulk from the cracks in the chimney, cleaned the surface with wire brush attached to a high speed drill, and applied thick layer of high-quality roofing caulk / sealant (Solar Seal 900) deep inside the cracks and to the surface of the chimney. Additionally and as mentioned above, we patched the rubber roof and installed new copper counter flashing to prevent further damages to the chimney flashing. This rubber roof repair was actually performed the same day as we did this PVC roof repair in Needham, MA.

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