It’s no secret that the winter months can be hard on masonry. As water freezes and thaws it can cause damage to brick structures. Because of this, most people choose to repair their masonry either preemptively in the fall or later in the spring. You may have noticed damage to your masonry patio or chimney but are holding off on repairs until March rolls around. But is this always the best course of action? Is there masonry maintenance that you can, and should, perform in the winter?

When Repairs Are Possible

The cold, wet winter weather can interfere with traditional masonry repair tools. Because of this, masonry repairs should typically not occur when temperatures drop below 40℉. This can make maintenance tricky during the colder months. However, you can work around the weather in many cases. Choosing a few days with a warmer forecast can be helpful. Alternative masonry tools can be used in colder temperatures. Employing tarps and heaters can facilitate the curing process. In short, it is possible to perform winter masonry maintenance; consult a professional (such as your local Brick + Ember Outfitters) to discuss your options.

When Repairs Are Necessary

In some cases, putting off masonry repairs until the spring can cause serious problems. This is particularly true in the case of chimneys. If your masonry chimney is cracked or crumbling, it will only take on more water and suffer more damage as the winter freeze-thaw cycles continue. This water damage could severely affect your home structure. You don’t want winter weather to compromise the function of your chimney or the structure of your home. This should be the time that you are enjoying your fireplace the most!

We understand the impulse to save winter masonry maintenance for warmer months. However, there are cases when masonry repairs can and should be tackled as soon as possible, regardless of the weather. If your masonry is suffering some damage, and you are unsure of what steps to take, consult Brick + Ember Outfitters. We would be happy to advise you!