On long dark nights when the air gets cold
The Freeze/Thaw Monster will take hold
Freezing up long-sleeping water
Expanding it ‘til it gets hotter
Destroying even brick and mortar
Wreaking havoc on homeowners
Protect your chimney – keep water out
And keep the freeze/thaw monster from your grout
Tis the season for rhymes and stories. You’ve heard of The Grinch and Old Man Scrooge, but we’ve got another scary threat that tends to lurk this time of year – the freeze/thaw process. Fortunately, our crew is here to combat it.
How Can Freezing Water Hurt My Chimney?
It doesn’t seem like something so vital to life could pose such a danger to something as strong and sturdy as a brick and mortar structure. However, when water is able to penetrate your chimney it begins a process of freezing and thawing that can utterly destroy your chimney – and possibly your home’s structure too. Here is how it works.
- Water from rainfall or melting snow finds its way into tiny cracks and pockets in your brick and mortar where it pools and collects over time.
- The temperature gets cold and the water freezes and expands, causing so much pressure on the surrounding brick and mortar that it widens the cracks and causes more pockets to form.
- The temperature rises and the water melts, then pools and collects in the new wider cracks and holes. These new holes more easily take on additional water, as well.
- The temperature drops again, starting the process over and further widening cracks and opening up more holes.
- The process continues until it is fixed or the structure deteriorates completely.
The freeze thaw process can cause masonry to completely crumble, bricks to fall out, and if not taken care of, the collapse of your chimney. Fortunately, there are ways you can stop the freeze thaw process and prevent water from ultimately destroying your chimney. As soon as you notice cracks and pockets in your bricks, mortar, chimney crown, chimney cap, or flashing, take action.
We Offer Leak Solutions & Prevention
🧱 Missing Bricks
If you notice a brick is missing, crumbling, or cracked, it is relatively easy to replace the brick before it can cause further damage to its surrounding brick and mortar. And, while it’s not a hard or time-consuming process, it can take a professional’s tools and knowledge to make sure that everything looks good and is structurally sound.
🧱 Crumbling Mortar
Is some mortar missing, cracking, or crumbling? It’s likely time to give your chimney a tuckpointing job. Tuckpointing is the process of removing old mortar and replacing it with new mortar. Not all mortar is created equal, so make sure to have a professional from The Chimney Guys help make sure that the mortar matches aesthetically and compositionally.
🧱 Damaged Crown
Cracks or holes in your chimney crown? Getting it fixed or replaced as soon as possible is a must. The crown of your chimney is the concrete slab that sits right at the top. Its job is to keep water from pooling on the top of your chimney and direct it away from the sides of the structure. It should have a small drip edge that directs the water off of the chimney safely.
🧱 Broken Chimney Cap
If you are lacking a chimney cap or your existing cap is broken, dented, or cracked, a new one will be in order. The chimney cap is like a roof for your chimney flue. Without it, water is able to fall right through the top of your chimney where it can invisibly begin the freeze/thaw process. Installing a well-made chimney cap will shelter your flue from the rain, ice, and snow, while allowing the smoke from your fireplace to effortlessly exit your home.
🧱 Dented Flashing
The flashing is another area that may suffer if your brickwork is breaking down. If you notice dents, cracks, or abnormal wear and tear on your chimney flashing, you need to get it replaced. The chimney flashing provides a shield to your home from rain and melting snow. It is positioned where your chimney and roof meet meaning that it not only keeps water from breaking down your brick and mortar, but also from rotting the beams and rafters in your roof.
Once you have made sure that the components of your chimney are in healthy working order it is time to seal your chimney. Sealing your chimney consists of covering it with a vapor-permeable solution so that water can’t soak into the brick and mortar – but vapor and pre-absorbed moisture doesn’t get trapped inside and collect into small pools.
This, too, is a job for professionals as most of the sealants found in retail stores are not meant for chimneys and don’t provide the important compounds needed to allow the chimney to breath.
Avoid Damage by Working With Us
The Chimney Guys has an entire team of dedicated, knowledgeable, and friendly technicians who are willing, equipped, and capable of repairing your chimney and preventing it from the wrath of the Freeze/Thaw Monster. Call today for an inspection, so that you can rest easier knowing your chimney will provide lasting joy to your home and your family season after season
Reach out to us online or call 434-481-3796 now.