Winter definitely feels like it is finally here, and for many people, that means they’ve got the heat going (and maybe even those fireplaces). By this time, you should have done your yearly chimney inspection to ensure everything is safe and ready to use. (If not, get it done soon!) This important chimney maintenance keeps you and your family safe during the long winter of use and also protects your chimney from damage caused by rain or snow. This inspection should include the chimney crown, which protects from water damage. Read on for more details about how snow can damage your chimney and the importance of yearly inspections and maintenance.
How Is Snow Dangerous?
If we’ve got snow, then we have both ingredients for chimney damage during the winter: moisture and freezing temperatures. The reason that this cause an issue is that moisture soaks into masonry pretty easily. Once it is in there, if temperatures fall below freezing, that moisture freezes, and when it does, it expands. The pressure caused by this expansion can cause damage to the masonry (which in turn, lets in more moisture and causes more damage). Over time this can cause huge issues, including chimneys that lean and eventually fall or crumble.
Protecting The Various Parts Of The Chimney
It can be helpful to know about the different parts of the chimney to understand how snow causes damage. The Flue is the vertical shaft that goes up and out – it is the name for that internal pipe. The liner lines the flue and needs to be cleaned and maintained and may eventually need to be replaced during the life of a chimney. A properly maintained chimney should keep rain and snow out of this part. The external parts of the chimney are the masonry, usually bricks held together with mortar.
This part is very prone to moisture and snow damage. Generally, mortar lasts about 25 years, but when it starts to flake, it is a sign that damage is happening. The chimney crown is the usually white portion at the top that acts as a seal to keep moisture from getting down between the exterior masonry and the flue. The crown can crack due to constant exposure to the elements. Your chimney inspection must include an inspection of the crown; otherwise, water damage is inevitable. Finally, the flashing is the waterproof seal where the roof meets the chimney. Water and snow can get into the roof if this fails, damaging the masonry and the wood structure.
Schedule Your Fall Chimney Cleaning from Champion Chimneys, Inc.
When you need a trusted company for your chimney inspection and chimney cleaning, you can trust our team. 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.). 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.