We are well into fall, and that means winter is right around the corner. Maryland winters are notoriously cold and harsh. Cold weather can also be harsh on your chimney. Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures can all cause masonry chimney damage. It is essential to identify any signs of wear so repairs can be made as soon as possible. Keep reading to learn more about winter weather can damage your chimney.
Bricks are porous and absorb moisture. Water can also leak into tiny cracks in a chimney’s mortar caused by the settling of the house, weather events, or the age of the chimney. When the water inside the bricks freezes, it expands and puts extra pressure against anything surrounding it. Multiple freeze-thaw cycles will cause accelerated deterioration in a chimney’s bricks and mortar. Look out for signs of mortar damage like:
- Crumbling mortar
- Loose or spalling bricks
- Cracked chimney crown
- Chimney flue tile pieces in the firebox
- Rusted chimney damper or fireplace grate
- Water-stained walls or ceiling near the fireplace
How to Prevent Water Damage
There are a few preventative measures you can take to avoid damage and protect your chimney from winter weather and water damage:
Waterproof your chimney: Waterproofing sealant is the first line of defense against water damage. This sealant acts as a protective layer over the masonry, preventing it from absorbing water. Sealants allow water vapors from smoke to evaporate from the chimney but prevent the bricks from absorbing external water.
Install a chimney cap: Installing a chimney cap is the best way to protect the chimney’s interior from water damage. It prevents precipitation from falling down the chimney. When you have the cap installed, you should also check to ensure that the chimney crown does not have any cracks that could allow water to leak into the bricks.
Have your chimney inspected: A certified chimney sweep can spot any damage in your chimney and identify the cause. Water damage is the most common chimney problem. The quicker you catch this problem, the cheaper the repair costs will be. Having your chimney inspected will ensure that all components of your chimney are in good condition.
If you are concerned about winter weather damage to your chimney, contact Champion Chimneys today. Our certified and experienced technicians can make sure your chimney will remain safe and secure.
Call the Experts at Champion Chimneys for Chimney Cleaning Today!
Champion Chimneys, Inc. is a fully licensed, bonded, and insured chimney service company that has served customers in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland since 2001. Our team is trained and certified by Certified Chimney Professionals, Inc. (CCP, Inc.). Courteous service is our trademark, and our crews arrive on time in uniform, driving fully equipped trucks. We specialize in all aspects of your chimney system. Whether you need chimney and flue cleaning service or a full chimney rebuild or inspection, contact us at 443-Chimney today and let us fix all your chimney problems. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.