When it comes to your chimney, making sure that it is adequately protected is important. Your chimney does a lot of work as far as helping your fireplace run efficiently, and keeping it in top condition will ensure that your home and family remain safe. Also, maintaining the brick will reduce the occurrence of cracks and stains, making your home look better overall and keeping its resale value intact. Make sure you are educated on what winter weather can do to a chimney, then make sure you are taking the appropriate steps to avoid these issues.
The Freeze/Thaw Process
One of the biggest impacts of winter weather on a masonry chimney has to do with moisture. Water on your masonry should be avoided year-round but is especially detrimental in the winter when it is given the opportunity to freeze. If the brick has already soaked in a lot of water, this water will solidify and expand once the temperature drops. This causes the chimney structure to shift, then shift back once things heat up and the water turns back into a liquid.
Going through this stress can cause damage to your mortar, encouraging cracks and holes to form. It also causes damage to your chimney structure, as a whole, which will eventually lead to costly and time-consuming repairs, if not addressed right away.
Cold weather means that animals are looking for warm places to build their homes and settle in. If nests and other debris build up in your chimney, it makes your fireplace unsafe for use. It increases the likelihood of blockages, which will then cause smoke and other harmful toxins to back up into your home, putting you and your family at risk.
The Stack Effect
When temperatures drop, the stack effect starts to take place. Due to air pressures in and outside of the home, when the heat from the chimney rises, the cold air outside tries to get back in to replace it. This can often leave you with nasty drafts, despite having a warm fireplace going. Not only does this cause an uncomfortable home life for you and your family, but it feels like you are throwing away money when it comes to your heating bills. Look for fixes to this issue before it becomes a more serious problem.
Cracks and Creosote
When cold weather hits, people are much more inclined to start fires in their fireplaces. The more fires being lit, the more creosote will build up, and the higher your chances are of experiencing a chimney fire. Making sure that your chimney is cleaned and inspected before being put to more frequent use is vital in maintaining the safety of your home and family. Any damages or debris build-up could be the start of some more serious issues.
Call SirVent Chimney and Venting Service today to schedule a cleaning and inspection. Our experts are trained and certified and will work hard to ensure that your chimney is safe for use throughout the cold weeks ahead.