Here in Charleston, we are fortunate to have fairly mild winters, but the temperature does drop below freezing every now and then. When this weather gets that cold, it can do damage to your masonry chimney. If you have noticed cracked or loose bricks on the exterior of your chimney, you are seeing exactly the type of damage winter weather can cause. At Ashbusters, we have the training and experience to repair any winter-related damage to your chimney, and we also know how to prevent this damage from occurring. We would like to tell you more about the impact winter weather can have on your chimney and how we can help you take care of any damage done.
How does winter weather affect my chimney?
The masonry materials used to build your chimney are very porous, which means the bricks and mortar joints will absorb water from rain and melted snow and ice. While this trapped moisture can lead to leaks, the real damage occurs when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When this cold snap occurs, the water inside the bricks and mortar freezes and expands. As the weather warms back up, the water thaws, and its force causes the masonry materials to crack and even break apart. After repeated cycles of freezing weather, this damage worsens and can lead to structural problems. Your chimney could even collapse! This devastating damage is why the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has called water the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys.
What can Ashbusters do to repair this damage and prevent it from happening next winter?
If you notice any damage to the exterior of your chimney, let us know so we can take a look at the condition of the bricks and mortar. We will explain the necessary repairs when giving you an estimate. Our skilled masons can replace any damaged or missing bricks and mortar joints by using masonry techniques, such as tuckpointing.
After the repairs are completed, we provide several water penetration prevention services that can protect your chimney from future winter-related damage. Protecting the area where your chimney meets the roof is essential in keeping water out as water from rain and melted snow tends to pool in this area. You need a customized flashing system, which consists of sheets of metal that are wrapped around the chimney at the roof. Not only do we construct new flashing systems, but we can also repair existing flashing that has been damaged. Another water leak prevention service we offer is waterproofing, which is an excellent investment for your chimney. We apply a waterproofing formula that is 100% vapor permeable, which is important because vapors can escape. Some chimney companies use clear sealants that trap the vapors inside the bricks. This can create even more damage to your chimney.
Keep your chimney in good shape and take care of any winter-related damage as soon as possible. Contact us at Ashbusters to schedule a post-winter chimney inspection today.