Have you heard about the chimney freeze thaw cycle? Many homeowners have; however, we still get plenty of confused looks. If your chimney is made from bricks, which most of them are, then this article is a must read.
What is the Chimney Freeze Thaw Cycle?
According to the CSIA, the chimney freeze thaw cycle is when moisture penetrates the exterior chimney bricks and mortar joints then contracts when the moisture freezes and expands when the moisture thaws with warmer temperatures. As we slowly begin to make our way into Spring, the freeze thaw cycle can happen many times.
How It Works
Naturally, bricks and mortar joints are naturally porous. Even though the material looks solid, it contains tiny pockets of emptiness or space where water and moisture can settle in. When the moisture or water is happily living in the space, and it gets at or below 32 degrees, it’s going to freeze inside of the bricks. Once the temperatures start climbing above 32 degrees, the frozen water begins to melt. The chimney freeze thaw cycle causes the materials, both the bricks and mortar, to deteriorate over time.
As you notice our temperatures, you’ll get the report from the weather expert that today’s high is 18 degrees then in a few days the high will be 50 degrees. Of course, those are just the high temperature for the day. Let’s not forget we have evenings as well. This is a perfect example of what the Chicago temperatures can do to the chimney.
How Do I Know What’s Happening?
Most homeowners don’t go climbing on the ladder to inspect the chimney. It’s probably not the best idea at any height or season. This is where certified chimney technicians are important. They are trained professionals and understand the science behind the living, breathing chimney as well as safety.
The Superior Chimney certified technicians practice proven procedures during a chimney inspection. Part of the chimney inspection is to evaluate the condition of the exterior chimney. If the chimney is healthy or needs repair, the technician will take pictures so you can see for yourself the health of the chimney.
What is the Chimney Technician Looking for?
Here are a few areas that your Superior Chimney technician is inspecting while on your roof.
- Chimney Cap. The technician will inspect the chimney cap to ensure that you have one, that the chimney cap is directing the water away from the bricks and it is properly sealed to the chimney.
- Flashing. Flashing protects the bottom of the chimney. This is the space where the chimney meets the roofing system. If the flashing is missing, water can get into your home creating lots of problems.
- Bricks & Mortar. The technician will evaluate the condition of the bricks and mortar. The technician is searching for spalling, missing mortar, deterioration and more. Any issues found will be repaired.
What Can Be Done to Avoid Future Chimney Repairs?
To protect the chimney, waterproof it with Chimney Saver. The chimney repellant is sprayed directly onto the bricks and mortar. The Chimney Saver is absorbed into the brick and mortar filling in the empty spaces and coating the brick and mortar. The product repels water, directing it to go down and away from the chimney.
Schedule your chimney inspection today. Contact us at… 877-CHIM-FIX (877-244-6349)