Prevent Winter Chimney Damage This Summer

Act now to prevent chimney damage this winter!

Act now to prevent chimney damage this winter!

If you live in an area where the temperatures rise and fall, and you have freeze and thaw weather cycles your masonry chimney can be suffering more damage than meets the eye. Here in Aurora and the middle of northern Illinois, each of the four seasons brings new challenges and take their toll on chimneys in the area. But winter takes the worst toll. Pozzi Chimney Sweep knows all too well the consequences of winter’s weather abuse and we have perfected our techniques to minimize the damage and correct any potential problems that do occur. If repairs are needed before we are able to waterproof and protect your masonry, our skilled technicians can perform them for you.

Summertime is one of the best times to tend to your chimney maintenance. It’s always preferable to go on top of your roof when it is not covered with ice and snow. The warm weather allows our skilled technicians the access and ability to inspect, safely maneuver on your roof, and make the necessary repairs. The professional products we use to seal and waterproof are also temperature sensitive and best applied in dry temperate weather.

Here are chimney basics every homeowner should know. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) explains, “Chimneys are far from the passive black holes that most people assume them to be. They perform several vital functions, and their simple appearance misrepresents their complex construction and performance requirements. A chimney deteriorated by constant exposure to the weather can be a potential safety hazard. Weather-damaged lining systems, flue obstructions and loose masonry materials all present a threat to residents.”

The CSIA site goes on to explain, ”All masonry chimney construction materials, except stone, will suffer accelerated deterioration as a result of prolonged contact with water. Masonry materials deteriorate quickly when exposed to the freeze/thaw process, in which moisture that has penetrated the materials periodically freezes and expands causing undue stress. Water in the chimney also causes rust in steel and cast iron, weakening or destroying the metal parts.”

Chimneys in the Snow Belt suffer more damage than anywhere else due to the temperature variations which cause more instances of spalling brick damage.

Conscientious homeowners are aware that their chimneys, retaining walls, and brick paving are susceptible to water damage and have seasonal inspections by a chimney professional; they also invest in preventative measures to ensure that the risks of water penetration and damages are mitigated. If there is damage, it is important to have the repairs completed before the sealant and waterproofing materials are applied. Otherwise the water and dampness will become trapped and further moisture damage and mold accumulation will occur.

The ideal approach to prevent damage from freeze/thaw cycles is to be pro-active rather than reactive. And summertime is the best time to call your local chimney professional to inspect, repair, and waterproof your chimney. If you live in around Aurora, IL, then Pozzi Chimney Sweep is your chimney sweep of choice. Contact us here for your next appointment!