Winter is show time for your chimney system. It is the time when it endures the most abuse, works the most, and may have the most problems if it isn’t properly maintained.
Winter Weather and Your Chimney
Ordinary wear-and-tear can lead to serious damage during winter months, and there’s nothing you can do about it—unless you prevent it now. Small cracks, voids, and leaks in the masonry chimney now can become serious problems after a long winter. Water doesn’t even have to penetrate through the masonry to damage the system during winter. If there are cracks in the mortar, even small ones, water can get into these spaces. When temperatures drop below freezing, the water freezes and expands, breaking apart the masonry little by little. When the fireplace is fired up or temperatures rise during the day hours, the water melts, moving further into the damaged spaces. This process, called the freeze/thaw cycle, repeats day after day throughout the winter.
Water and Your Chimney
If water is allowed in your masonry or chimney system this winter, the freeze/thaw cycle can do damage that you will have to deal with before spring. Otherwise, the voids created by the winter damage will allow large amounts of water into the system during the wet season. Water during winter can destroy masonry from the outside-in, but water inside the system anytime can destroy the system from the inside-out.
Water in the system can lead to:
- Rusted parts: damper assembles, fireplace accessories, glass doors, hinges, etc.
- Deteriorated parts: firebox assemblies (metal and masonry), central heating system
- Rotting: adjacent walls, wall coverings, structural materials
- Staining: chimney exterior, home interior (walls, ceiling), firebox
- Decay: exterior mortar, flue lining system, hearth support, chimney structure
Chimney Repair and Prevention
When you prevent damage to the chimney, you essentially lower fire risk, prevent waste, and more. A chimney that works properly will heat the home more easily, will release less soot and creosote (requiring less frequent sweeps), will be safer, and will last longer. If you have cracks, voids, flaking, or other changes in your masonry, you need to contact a chimney sweep right away for repairs. This minor damage will be major damage after a long winter, and it’s our goal at Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service, to keep our customers safe and warm this winter.
Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service chimney sweeps are trained and experienced with masonry repairs, minor and major.
- We specialize in tuckpointing, which will repair your mortar and brick issue, closing the gaps and repairing the cracks so that water doesn’t affect your masonry this winter.
- We diagnose and repair chimney leaks. We don’t just fix the damage, but we prevent reoccurrence. We’ll even protect your healthy chimney against future leaks with waterproofing services that will protect the masonry year after year.
- We service chimneys in the Raleigh area year-round. It doesn’t matter if it’s already winter. When you notice a problem, call right away, because a fire doesn’t wait for good weather. If your chimney is unsafe, it will be unsafe every day that a fire is burning in your hearth.