With winter weather finally gone and warm spring temperatures here to stay, most of us are finished using our fireplaces until next fall. Unfortunately, the long winter may have caused damage to the masonry of your chimney.
The combination of freezing temperatures along with moisture from freezing rain, sleet, and snow can all cause serious chimney damage during the winter. Not only that, but these conditions can make existing masonry problems or damage significantly worse. If your chimney was damaged during the winter, tuckpointing may be able to help repair your masonry.
How winter weather causes chimney damage
During the winter, the combination of freezing temperatures and moisture can cause damage to your masonry during a process called the freeze-thaw cycle. Because bricks are vapor permeable, they are naturally porous and can absorb small amounts of water. When outside temperatures dip below zero the water in the bricks freezes and expands; this leaves behind progressively larger and larger holes and cracks. Over time, this damage can cause bricks to crack and spall, even to the point of affecting the structural stability of the chimney.
Chimneys that have large cracks, chips, crumbling masonry, or missing bricks may be suffering from water damage caused by winter weather. In these cases, it is important to repair the masonry as soon as possible to avoid further damage and protect the bricks and mortar surrounding the damage.
What is tuckpointing?
The mortar of your masonry is often affected by winter weather damage before the bricks are. Because of this, it is important to repair the mortar to prevent damage to the surrounding bricks. One way to do this is through tuckpointing.
During the tuckpointing process, the old, damaged mortar is carefully removed before new mortar is applied. Tuckpointing can help reinforce your chimney’s structural stability and prevent damage to surrounding masonry. Our technicians also take the time to specially mix mortar specifically for your chimney; this ensures a seamless transition between the old and new mortar.
At Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney, our technicians have the training and expertise to perform this specialized chimney service. With certifications from the National Fireplace Institute and the Chimney Safety Institute of America, we have more than 15 years of experience working on chimneys in the mountains of Colorado.
Preventing future winter weather damage
One of the best ways to prevent winter weather damage is through regular chimney maintenance. Annual chimney sweepings and inspections can help spot minor areas of chimney damage before they progress into major problems. Waterproofing may also help protect your chimney against winter weather damage. Water repellants specially designed from chimneys allow the masonry to retain its gas permeable qualities while keeping moisture off of the bricks and mortar.
Winter weather can seriously damage your chimney’s masonry; thankfully, the tuckpointing process can help repair winter weather damage and leave your chimney structurally sound. For more information on repairing your chimney’s winter damage with tuckpointing, contact Mountain Man Fireplace & Chimney today.