A fireplace in your home helps make the bitter Indiana winters a bit more tolerable. While fireplaces will help keep you warm and cozy, the brutal winters can damage your chimney. The winter elements like snow, ice and fluctuating temperatures can damage your chimney or greatly enhance existing damage. It is important to know how harsh weather will impact your chimney so that you can take the proper precautions.


Stacking is an issue that can occur during cold winter months. When smoke back-drafts into your home, it is called the stack effect. When the air outside of the chimney is much colder than the air within it, the cold air can shoot down the chimney shaft to interchange with the rising warm air. Keep your damper closed when you are not using your fireplace to prevent back-drafts. Heat the flue up as well to intercept the smoke that is trying to blow back it. To hear the flue, simply hold some lit kindling beneath the open damper before lighting your fire. 

Masonry Damage from Spalling

The winter freeze-thaw cycles may also damage the bricks and mortar of your chimney. When moisture enters the porous materials, it will expand when it freezes. This expanding water will make any cracks or holes much worse. The cycle of expanding and contracting may also cause the front of the bricks to pop or break off, which is known as spalling. Spalling can result in a lot of damage and deterioration to your chimney, even in just one winter. Repair any existing damage before winter, and consider tuckpointing to replace any damaged mortar while keeping your chimney intact. 

Animal Invasions

Many critters are looking for a warm escape from the Indiana winters, and they may nuzzle up in your chimney. Animals in your chimney pose and obvious risk for the wildlife as well as your chimney, fireplace, and home. If you suspect there are animals making their way into your chimney, hire someone to remove them. Follow up by getting a professional chimney sweep to clear out debris and assess any repairs that will help keep the animals out. 

Keep Your Chimney Safe this Winter

While harsh weather poses some risks for your chimney, there are ways to protect it all winter long. Consult an experienced professional like Brick + Ember Outfitters to set your chimney up for success. With our chimney and masonry services, we can repair any existing issues before winter hits, and help you prepare your chimney for winter. Start with a comprehensive chimney sweep today by calling us at 317-434-1960 or contacting us on our website