How to Maintain Your Chimney in Winter: Part 2

As we discussed in How to Maintain Your Chimney in Winter: Part 1, Chimney maintenance is extra important in these colder months. 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. In this post, we will continue to outline important components of the chimney and its masonry that need to be considered when it comes to ensuring the functionality and the longevity of your chimney. 

Address Deteriorated Mortar Joints

This doesn’t need to be too in-depth. The mortar joints are the grayish (generally speaking) mortar that you see between the bricks of your chimney (or home). Just like the concrete crown, as the effects of weathering take a toll on the masonry, the mortar joints can begin to deteriorate. These are generally pretty visible to the naked-eye. Missing mortar between bricks? You are, indeed, experiencing deteriorated mortar joints. Mortar joints are designed and are constructed to keep water out, but once deterioration begins — the porous masonry (brick) will absorb water and the joints will continue to crumble. The best type of chimney maintenance for rectifying this problem is to have the joints ground out and repointed (filled back in with mortar). Simply putting more mortar back in is not going to be the most ideal fix as the deterioration will simply continue rather than be brought back to a fully restored state.

Address Flashing

Flashing is (generally) the sheet metal material that is utilized for the sealing of the chimney to the roof (or vice versa). Flashing is put beneath the shingles of the roof and is caulked to the masonry of the full-masonry chimneys. Flashing is intended to dispel the water from running all of the way down the chimney into the home, ruining drywall and other structural materials inside of the home. You may notice a flashing issue if you see water-spots on the ceiling surrounding the chimney – this problem does not resolve itself, you’ll continue to experience damage to the interior structural components of your home until this is addressed and repaired. The flashing allows the chimney and the roof to come together while still expanding and contracting, creating the need for less chimney maintenance in the long run if addressed properly.

Consider a Cricket

A cricket is a structure that is installed at the point where the roof and the back of the chimney come together. Stick with us here: if a chimney is erected perpendicular to the home’s roof, there will be a place in which the roof and the chimney meet – often a rather abrupt spot where water has an opportunity to sit and wait around, freeze and really take a toll on your chimney’s masonry. The cricket is a triangular shaped structure that cause the water to run out and away from the back of the chimney.

Winter is a rough season for your masonry and the Nashville area is no exception to this rule. Take a look at the masonry on or around your chimney and if you see any reason to believe it’s not in great condition, give us a call reliable, professional chimney maintenance: (615) 823-8268. Chimney & Masonry Outfitters is committed to building equity, restoring beauty and growing peace of mind for our Indianapolis homeowners.

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