Winter weather may have had a slow start, but it’s well underway now in Raleigh! From now until Christmas week, temperatures will be cold, periodically freezing, and wet. This time of year can be bothersome for homeowners who use wood heat as their sole source of heat, but it doesn’t have to be a problem. Whether you use your fireplace, stove, or appliance for home heating, zone heating, or simply the ambiance of it, you should do all you can to protect it from winter weather.
Make Sure Your Chimney is Capped
Of all the things that can go wrong with your chimney system during winter, you don’t want to let it go without a chimney cap. The cap is designed to protect your chimney from the top-down. It keeps critters and birds from making nests, carrying debris in, and scratching up the lining; it deflects rainwater, snow, and wind from going into the flue opening; and it keeps sparks from escaping the flue. Without a cap, water can damage the system, flammable debris can get into the system, and the risk of fire in the flue or on the roof is increased substantially.
The biggest threat to your chimney system through the winter is water damage. If water is allowed into the system, it can wreak havoc on your masonry from the inside out. One small crack in the masonry at the onset of fall can become a crumbling joint or spalling chimney face by spring. Water flows freely into a small crack and freezes when the temperature drops. When it freezes, it expands, breaking the masonry further and causing more damage. The water melts when the chimney warms up, and flows further into the damaged masonry. This process, called the freeze/thaw effect, repeats throughout the winter months. Homeowners who don’t take the necessary precautions may be surprised when spring comes and the chimney system is damaged, possibly hazardous, and needing expensive repairs.
Without a cap, Raleigh’s winter precipitation may do more than damage your chimney’s masonry. Water causes damage to the interior and exterior of the home—not just the chimney.
- Stained interior/exterior masonry
- Rusted parts (including damper assemblies, fireplace doors, and accessories)
- Deteriorated firebox assemblies, central heating system, and flue lining system
- Stained and rotting ceilings, walls, wall coverings, flooring, and belongings
- Structural collapse, leaning/tilted chimney, chimney settlement
- Bacteria/mold growth
Chimney Cap Repair and Replacement
Whether you need a chimney cap for the first time or need a replacement, Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service has a chimney cap for you. We sell and install a wide range of caps in several styles that will work for your specific flue. If you need a specific style due to high winds at your home, draft problems, or odors, we can find a cap to solve that too. The best way to start looking for a chimney cap is to start by talking to a chimney expert.