Winter can take a toll on chimneys, especially chimneys that have not been thoroughly prepared for the harsh weather. There are many common winter chimney problems that homeowners experience, but one that we are often asked about is how freeze/thaw cycles affect chimneys. Today, we’ll explain what freeze/thaw cycles can do to your chimney and actions that you can take to prevent issues.
Are you a homeowner located in the Greater Boston, MA area? Best Chimney Services is an all-service chimney company with technicians certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America. If you have questions or are in need of chimney service, feel free to click here or call (781) 893-6611 to speak with our team.
Now, we’ll begin by explaining how freeze/thaw cycles work!
What is a Freeze/Thaw Cycle
During New England winters, temperatures frequently jump between below freezing and above freezing. This is especially prevalent in March, when the weather slowly begins transitioning between winter and spring. When you hear of pipes bursting in homes, it is often not only because of an increase in pressure due to ice freezing, but it is also often caused by the ice inside of the pipes thawing.
Freeze/thaw cycles have a similar effect on chimneys. The pores of the chimney can absorb water and then, when that water freezes, it expands and begins deteriorating the chimneys’ masonry.
How Freeze/Thaw Cycles Can Negatively Affect Chimneys
Freeze/thaw cycles can have a host of negative impacts on chimneys. Here are some of the issues that chimneys experience:
- Chimney leaks
- Masonry damage
- Chimney crown damage
- Firebox or damper rust
Ways that Best Chimney Services Combats Freeze/Thaw Cycles
Annual Chimney Inspections
A chimney inspection before the cold winter months will detect any chimney issues that you may have and give you the time to address those issues before your chimney is subject to the cold weather. We recommend hiring a CSIA certified chimney sweep to inspect your chimney, so that you are assured that the chimney company is skilled and ethical.
Chimney Masonry Work
Freeze/thaw cycles make existing masonry issues even worse. That’s why proactively getting chimney masonry work done can make a world of difference once winter comes around.
One of the most effective chimney masonry services that will prepare your chimney for the winter is waterproofing. Since bricks absorb water like sponges, they need waterproofing to prevent water absorption. The product that Best Chimney puts on is 100% vapor permeable. This allows the water vapors to escape instead of being trapped. Check out our blog on the importance of waterproofing your chimney to learn more.