5 Ways Cold Winter Air May Affect Your Chimney
It’s no secret that winter can be tough on the body. But what about your home? Winter weather can take a toll on your chimney, too. Neglecting the effects winter can have on your chimney can be costly, and also dangerous.
Prevent dangerous and costly situations by following these 5 winter chimney maintenance tips that will keep your home safe and warm this winter season.
1. Stack Effect
Many people don’t really know what the stack effect is and how it can be dangerous. The stack effect occurs when colder winter air is sucked into your chimney, causing the warm air in your home to be pushed out. This can result in a loss of heat and an increase in utility bills, among other issues. To prevent this from happening, make sure you have a tight-fitting cap installed on top of your chimney that will keep winter air from entering. Keep in mind that Chimney cap installation should always be performed by a professional chimney company.
2. Animal Nesting
In a similar fashion to humans, animals (such as birds and squirrels) may try to nest in your chimney for warmth or protection during winter months. This can result not only in structural damage to your chimney but also in a fire hazard. Prevent this by using a mesh guard that will keep animals out while still allowing smoke to escape.
Besides installing a mesh guard, there are other ways to keep animals from nesting in your chimney. We cover that in our blog post “How To Keep Animals From Nesting In Your Chimney”.
3. Structural Damage
If winter rains or snow seep into your chimney, it can damage the brick and mortar of your chimney or fill the flue with moisture. This can result in cracking and spalling, which are signs of structural damage that must be addressed as soon as possible. To prevent winter weather from entering your chimney, make sure to have a waterproofing agent applied to the exterior of your chimney by a professional. Keep in mind that there are many causes for spalling and each of them has a different remedy. Learn about them here.
4. Chimney leaks
Moisture damage is a common winter issue that can be caused by snow, ice, and winter rains. To prevent winter weather from damaging your chimney, make sure to check regularly for any signs of water damage (such as water stains on the walls) and contact a professional if needed. If you are looking for tips on how to prepare your chimney for the cold season, we got the perfect blog post for you. Click here to learn more.
5. Crumbling mortar
Winter weather can also cause mortar between bricks to crumble, which can lead to structural instability or even collapse. This occurs when winter moisture is absorbed into the mortar and freezes, resulting in cracking or crumbling.
To prevent winter weather from damaging the mortar, make sure to have your chimney inspected by a professional before winter arrives. They will suggest a number of actions that you can take to winterize your chimney, such as having a waterproofing agent applied or tuck-pointing (the process of making repairs to the mortar).
Winter weather can take a serious toll on your chimney, but with proper winter maintenance and regular inspections, you can prevent winter weather from damaging your chimney. Keep your home warm and safe this winter season with these 5 winter chimney maintenance tips!