With outside temperatures rapidly cooling down, winter will be here before we know it! This year, ensure your fireplace system is safe and ready to use by having any masonry repairs made now. Having your chimney’s masonry repaired before winter can ensure you can safely enjoy your fireplace all winter long.
What causes masonry damage?
Chimneys are built to last, and masonry is one of the most durable building materials available. Despite this, there are a number of ways that your chimney can be damaged. The following are three common causes of masonry issues.
- Water entry:
Moisture from rain, ice, sleet, snow, and even your sprinkler system can all damage your chimney. Water entry is particularly damaging to masonry during the winter months because of the freeze-thaw cycle. When moisture absorbed by the semi-porous masonry freezes it expands; after melting, this leaves behind progressively larger and larger holes and cracks. Consequently, if not repaired, this can cause serious spalling in as little as one winter.
- House settling:
Settling occurs slowly in all construction; if your fireplace and chimney are not built on a strong foundation, however, it can cause masonry problems. Cracks in the refractory bricks of the firebox, tilting chimneys, or large cracks in exterior masonry are all signs of problems with settling. It is important to have chimneys inspected if settling is a suspected problem as it can affect the structural stability and safety of the chimney system.
- Other causes:
Unfortunately, there is no “one cause” of masonry problems. In addition to water damage and settling, there are a number of other ways masonry damage can occur. Painted masonry – including chimneys sealed with non-breathable sealants – can suffer from hidden deterioration as trapped water in the masonry cannot escape. Likewise, cleaning a chimney by power washing the masonry can do more harm than good, exposing the bricks and mortar to water as pressure creates cracks and holes.
Have your masonry repaired today!
Having your masonry issues repaired before winter arrives can keep your fireplace burning safely and efficiently all winter long. Because some masonry repairs are weather-dependent they must be done before freezing temperatures arrive. Likewise, having repairs or services done now ensures there are no breaks in service; if you are waiting for a chimney repair, you might have to spend days, weeks, or longer without your fireplace as you wait to have the issues resolved.
It’s still not too late to have your chimney waterproofed, too! Our ChimneySaver products are water repellents specifically formulated for use on masonry; these products allow bricks and mortar to retain their semi-porous properties – without letting water be absorbed by the masonry. Waterproofing can protect your chimney against new damage as well as prevent existing damage from getting worse.
Don’t be left out in the cold this winter; have your masonry issues taken care of now and enjoy your fireplace all season long! Contact ChimneyTEK today for more information about having your masonry repaired.