Fight, Flight or Freeze: Mid-Season Care for your Chimney
Oh, New England! It’s that time of year again: One minute we are cold and the next hot. While we alternate turning up the heat and opening windows, it’s a good time to think about the past few months and the effect of the freeze-thaw cycle.
As the last snow and ice melt and warmer temperatures emerge, we begin to assess winter damage. We notice cracks in sidewalks, the gravel that was dug up, and the potholes. This time of year, it is important to evaluate winter’s effects on your chimney. The same freeze-thaw cycle that damages the roadways and sidewalks can also damage chimneys and other home masonry work.
Masonry materials, especially brick, are extremely porous. That means that when they come in contact with water, whether it’s from rain, ice, or snow, they soak up that water like a sponge. When the temperature drops, the water inside your chimney’s masonry will freeze and expand. That damages the masonry. Bricks can crack and crumble, or “spall,” just as roads and sidewalks do. That damage to your chimney can compromise its structure and its ability to contain the heat and smoke from your fires.
How To Address Freeze-Thaw Damage
Each spring, it is important to look at your chimney and examine it for signs of freeze-thaw or water damage, including cracked bricks, crumbling mortar, and discoloration. Spring is an excellent time for your annual chimney sweeping and inspection because it gives chimney professionals a chance to examine your chimney for freeze-thaw damage and provides ample time to repair the damage over the warm spring or summer months. The good news is that most freeze-thaw damage can be repaired easily if it is caught early enough. Ignoring freeze-thaw damage can lead to more severe, harder-to-fix, and more expensive repairs down the road.
How To Prevent Freeze-Thaw Damage
There are ways to help prevent freeze-thaw damage and avoid the need for future masonry repairs. First, we make sure you have a chimney cap securely installed atop your flue. That prevents water from pouring down the inner walls of your chimney and causing damage to inner flue tiles. The chimney crown must be kept in good condition, as it is designed to direct water away from the insides of your chimney. Waterproofing is the most effective way to protect your chimney from water and freeze-thaw damage. Our commercial grade waterproofing prevents water molecules from penetrating while still allowing the masonry to “breathe” and expel moisture from your chimney.
If you notice signs of freeze-thaw damage on your chimney, please schedule your annual chimney inspection, or call us at Boston Best Chimney.
We will inspect your chimney, perform necessary repairs, and help you protect your chimney and home.
A Day In The Life At Boston Best….You can’t make this up
Did you know that turkeys can fly? Not everyone did – we received a call from a client about being attacked by a flying turkey! She saw a turkey perched on her chimney and just when they made eye contact, the turkey dive bombed toward her and when she started to run away, she broke her foot! She was calling for a chimney cap. We don’t recommend going without a chimney cap or running shoes.
The Team at Boston’s Best Chimney
Schedule your annual chimney inspection or cleaning or feel free to call us at (781) 893-6611.
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