Snow and ice can be the roughest weather conditions for your chimney system. The combination of moisture and freezing temperatures can cause major chimney and masonry damage, often in as little as one season. Because of this, it is important to have any damage repaired as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse during winter weather.
How do snow and ice damage my chimney?
The primary way that snow and ice impact your chimney is through water damage. While water damage can occur at any time of year because of rain, hail, and even water from sprinklers, it is most common in winter because of the freeze thaw cycle.
The freeze thaw cycle damages masonry by creating progressively larger and larger cracks and holes. Bricks are naturally porous, meaning that they can absorb small amounts of water at any time. While strong, undamaged bricks may only take in a miniscule amount, masonry with cracks or holes – no matter how small – can absorb more than the usual amount. As this water freezes in cold temperatures it expands; this creates a larger area of damage that will allow even more water to be absorbed in the future. The freeze thaw process is so harmful that masonry can crack and spall in as little as one winter season.
How can I prevent damage from snow and ice?
The best way to protect your chimney against damage from snow and ice is through preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance keeps your fireplace and chimney in good condition all year round, making it less susceptible to damage from snow and ice during the winter.
One way to protect your masonry from water damage all year round is through waterproofing. Professional waterproofing is very different from painting or sealing your chimney with a regular commercial product; professional-grade SaverSystems sealants are designed specifically for use on permeable brick. Our waterproofing products block water from being absorbed by the brick while still allowing gasses to pass through. This keeps the chimney venting safely while also protecting the bricks and mortar against damage from moisture or the freeze thaw process.
Another way to keep your chimney in good condition all year round is by having a regular chimney inspection. A yearly chimney inspection can help spot areas of damage long before they turn into major problems. This can be key to fighting chimney damage caused by snow and ice; if small masonry cracks or holes are identified and repaired early, it can prevent damage from the freeze thaw process from occurring. This can help extend the life of your masonry and save you money on costly future repairs.
Snow and ice can have a major impact on the safety and stability of your chimney system. To protect your chimney against future damage from winter weather, contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney today!