Things are cooling down, well…they are trying we think. October was a bit warm and November is now oddly warm, but it doesn’t sound like the majority of our homeowners seem to mind the warmth!

Regardless, the Winter will be on it’s way soon enough, and it isn’t asking your chimney if it is ready – Winter’s coming!

Here at Brick + Ember Outfitters, we can’t stress it enough, chimney problems will perpetuate themselves, not fix themselves. Especially if you’ve got a full-masonry chimney, you have a beautiful structure that deserves to be restored and well maintained.

We wanted to leave you with a few options for getting the chimney under control before the winter months hit, because we’d hate for you to find out that the chimney leaks, mid January!

Masonry construction is exponentially more demanding in the winter months than it is in the warmer months of the year – extra steps have to be taken to ensure the masonry work doesn’t set too slow, leaving you with a leaning chimney because the mortar took longer than usual to dry (unless you’re going for the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” look this time around? That’s unlikely).

We’re going to list a few things that could actually already be underway — you’ll want to address these prior to heat season (and it looks like the weather is holding out for you – get to it)!

Address Cracked or Deteriorating Crowns

Those full-masonry chimneys are beautiful structures that accent the rest of your home. These classifications of chimneys are constructed with a concrete crown up top and are extremely susceptible to the effects of weathering — year after year. Freezing and thawing, rain, sleet, snow, ice and anything else you can think of, those crowns go through it all! Which means they can begin to deteriorate, due to weathering.

Given that a concrete crown serves as the top or “roof” of the chimney’s masonry work below — if hairline cracks form, water will find itself in. A couple of rough winters and those hairline cracks turn into the real deal cracks. Chipping and cracking of the concrete crown means more water for the masonry below and we all know how that story goes — whomp. You’ll either notice a concrete crown issue because your bricks are chipping and spalling or you may begin to experience a legitimate leak from the chimney. Neither is a winning situation.

You’ll want to confirm, if it is not Brick + Ember Outfitters repairing the crown, that your chimney-guy repairs the chimney by ensuring there is an overhang for the concrete crown. Water needs to be directed away from the chimney below, not directed to run down the chimney below. You’ll have really done yourself and your chimney no good just to slap a new crown on that reaches the edges of the chimney — it needs to extend past the edges of the chimney. If you have a chimney with a steel chase-cover, feel free to click HERE to learn more about what you need to know to ensure your chase-cover is protecting your chimney!

Have your concrete crown assessed for any and all possibilities of unwanted hairline, or legitimate cracks that could lead to further deterioration to your chimney’s masonry, or leaks. Brick + Ember Outfitters is interested in building equity, restoring beauty and growing peace of mind, so that means we’ve got options to suit the needs of you, as the homeowner. Are you wanting to stick around for 6 months, 3 years or be there your whole life long? We will make sure you know what’s available, what’s best, and why!

More tips to come! In the mean time — please don’t hesitate to reach out to your Brick + Ember Outfitters. We are committed to building equity, ensuring beauty and growing peace of mind for our Indianapolis homeowners.