The snow, ice, and freezing temperatures that winter brings can end up causing a lot of damage to your masonry chimney. In the Indianapolis area, we must endure some tough winter weather, and The Mad Hatter knows that we will be busy repairing damage after a big snow storm. Our chimney technicians have years of experience in working on damaged chimneys and know the most common areas that get damaged by winter weather. We would like to tell you more about how winter can damage your chimney and what we can do to repair this damage as well as prevent it from happening next winter.
How does winter weather damage my chimney?
Because masonry materials are porous, they naturally absorb water. When the temperatures drop below freezing, any water that has been absorbed by the bricks and mortar of your chimney freezes and expands. As the weather warms up, this water thaws and causes the bricks and mortar to crack, break apart, and even become loose. Repeated cycles of this freezing and thawing can lead to a great deal of deterioration of your chimney structure. This is why The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has called water the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys.
Large amounts of snowfall can also cause chimney leaks. The weight of the snow can damage your flashing system and allow water from melted snow to easily get into your chimney where it meets the roof. These types of water leaks can also damage the interior of your home, including the wood that surrounds your chimney, ceilings, and walls.
How does The Mad Hatter repair and prevent this type of damage?
Our chimney technicians begin by performing an inspection of your chimney to see where any damage is located. If we find cracked or loose bricks and mortar joints, we can replace the damaged bricks using masonry techniques such as tuckpointing. Repairing this damage is crucial as the cracks and gaps created by deteriorated bricks allow more water to enter your chimney. If we find that your flashing system has been damaged, we can repair it so that the area where your chimney meets the roof is properly sealed.
After we have made all of the necessary repairs, we can waterproof your chimney to protect it from water penetration. We apply a 100% vapor permeable waterproofing formula to your entire chimney that creates a barrier against water. Vapors are still able to escape, and this is important as trapped vapors can cause even more damage to the bricks and mortar.
Have you noticed any winter-related damage to your chimney? Contact us at The Mad Hatter to schedule an appointment for a chimney inspection today.