Winter weather can be harsh—on your skin, on your sinuses, on your morale. This weather can also be harsh on your chimney. Snow, ice and freezing temperatures can all lead to masonry chimney damage. It’s important to recognize any signs of that damage so that repairs can be made as soon as possible.

Cold Weather Damage

Freeze-thaw cycles can affect your chimney in much the same way that they create potholes in asphalt. Before the temperature drops, water penetrates the porous surfaces of your masonry chimney. Then, contained inside, the water freezes and expands. As a result, your masonry can crack and crumble.

Left unrepaired, these cracks can lead to greater, more costly damage to your chimney and home. Water can penetrate your chimneys interior or compromise other aspects of your home’s structure. With that in mind, the best way to handle chimney damage is to notice it quickly and repair it immediately, preventing further deterioration.

How to Spot It

When you notice freeze-thaw cycles occurring, keep an eye on your chimney for signs of damage. Indications could include:

  • 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

If you notice any of these signs of damage, please don’t hesitate to contact Brick + Ember Outfitters. We will repair your chimney as quickly as possible to prevent further problems.

How to Prevent It

There are some preventative measures you can take to avoid damage and protect your chimney from winter weather and water penetration. A functioning chimney cap prevents water from entering your chimney flue. Your chimney’s crown deflects water away from the exterior masonry of your chimney. Waterproofing your masonry chimney can help further guard against water penetration.

If you are concerned about cold weather damage to your chimney, contact Brick + Ember Outfitters as soon as possible for inspections and repairs. We will keep your chimney, and your home, in good health.