How to Maintain Your Chimney in Winter: Part 1

Winter is (still) here, and we can’t stress enough that chimney problems will perpetuate themselves, not fix themselves. Chimney maintenance is extra important in these colder months, especially if you have a beautiful, full-masonry chimney structure, as masonry construction is exponentially more demanding in the winter months than it is in the warmer months of the year. In this post, we will give you a few options for getting the chimney under control, even when the temps are much lower.

Addressing cracked or deteriorating crowns

Full-masonry chimneys are beautiful structures that accent the rest of your home. These classifications of chimneys are constructed with a concrete crown up top and are extremely susceptible to the effects of weathering — year after year. Freezing and thawing, rain, sleet, snow, ice and anything else you can think of, those crowns go through it all! Which means they can begin to deteriorate, due to weathering.

Given that a concrete crown serves as the top, or “roof”, of the chimney’s masonry work below — if hairline cracks form, water will find itself in. A couple of rough winters and those hairline cracks turn into the real deal cracks. Chipping and cracking of the concrete crown means more water for the masonry below and we all know how that story goes — whomp. You’ll either notice a concrete crown issue because your bricks are chipping and spalling, or you may begin to experience a legitimate leak from the chimney.

Neither is a winning situation, but both could be avoided with regular chimney maintenance.

Chimney Maintenance Tips

  1. Confirm with your chimney repair company that there is an overhang for the concrete crown. Water needs to be directed away from the chimney below, not directed to run down the chimney below. It will do yourself and your chimney no good to just slap a new crown on that reaches the edges of the chimney.  It needs to extend past the edges of the chimney. If you have a chimney with a steel chase-cover, click HERE to learn more about ensuring your chase-cover is protecting your chimney.
  2. Have your concrete crown assessed for any and all possibilities of unwanted hairline, or legitimate cracks that could lead to further deterioration to your chimney’s masonry, or leaks. Chimney & Masonry Outfitters is interested in building equity, restoring beauty and growing peace of mind, so that means we’ve got options to suit the needs of you, as the homeowner.

Extra steps have to be taken to ensure that masonry work doesn’t set too slow, leaving you with a leaning chimney because the mortar took longer than usual to dry. Our professionals are equipped to help!

Ask Yourself…
Are you wanting to stick around in your current home for 6 months, 3 years or be there your whole life long? At Chimney Masonry Outfitters, we will make sure you know what’s available, what’s best, and why! Give us a call and grow a little peace of mind as you light up your fireplace this winter: (615) 823-8268.

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