Has Your Chimney Been Damaged by Severe Winter Weather?
Below-freezing weather prompts everyone to protect the P’s—passenger cars (vehicles), pets, plants, and pipes. That about covers everything as long as you don’t forget your chimney pipe! Chimneys across the country are damaged every year by harsh winter weather. Read on to learn how chimneys can be affected by severe weather plus some tips to prevent chimney damage.
Keeping water out of a chimney system is important but it is anything but easy. The worst kind of result from moisture intrusion is spalling, which is when bricks break apart. Spalling occurs after water inside a masonry system freezes and thaws, expands and contracts. The movement causes the bricks to deteriorate. Water-damaged bricks must be removed because they will only continue to break and cause the structure to lean and potentially collapse. The following are some of the ways water gets into the masonry.
The chimney cap over the flue pipe keeps snow, sleet, and rain, from getting into the chimney. When chimney caps are damaged, water can get in. Animals can get in, as well, and cause a range of problems that are not easy to deal with.
The mortar between bricks plays an important part in keeping water out of the masonry system. When the mortar begins to flake off and deteriorate, it’s important to have it replaced with a procedure known as “tuckpointing.” Otherwise, without the protection from mortar, water intrusion will occur.
A Flashing Leak
The metal band that creates a watertight connection between the chimney and the roof is the chimney flashing, and it is subject to leak. The waterproof seal can be disrupted by poor installation, inadequate materials, wear and tear, rusty nail holes, and loose caulking. Leaky flashing not only exposes the masonry to moisture but it also causes serious damage to roof systems.
Damaged Chimney Crown
The chimney crown covers the top of the chimney, and it is supposed to be made with durable cement-like material. Oftentimes, however, it is made with inadequate materials that won’t provide protection for the chimney system for long. Chimney crowns are always exposed to the weather, and they tend to crack and deteriorate, no matter what type of material they are made with. Any damage that occurs allows moisture to seep in between the masonry and the flue.
Tips to Prevent Chimney Damage
At Northeastern Chimney LLC, we recommend solutions that will help to protect your masonry from moisture damage year-round.
Outside-Mount Custom Chimney Cap
You can have a chimney cap system installed that is more of a cover because it also protects the chimney crown. This is called an outside-mount custom chimney cap or band-around brick chimney cap. This accessory provides significantly more protection against the worst winter weather than the type of cap that sits atop the flue pipe.
Waterproofing specifically made for masonry adds an additional layer of protection against bitter-cold weather and water intrusion. The special sealant can help reduce chimney maintenance costs since it helps to keep moisture out.
Contact Northeastern Chimney Today
Have you had a chimney inspection done lately to determine whether your chimney has successfully weathered the cold season’s winter blasts? It can be difficult to recognize water damage without the expert help of a professional chimney sweep. Call Northeastern Chimney at 860-233-5770 today to schedule a chimney inspection, chimney cleaning, chimney maintenance, and more.