Keep Your Chimney Safe This Winter
Chicago winters are snowy and beautiful, magnificent and majestic, but cold and wet. Unfortunately cold and wet winters take a toll on your precious chimney. As a homeowner, you want your chimney to be working properly so you can enjoy those beautiful and majestic Chicago winters. While white snowy roofs are an amazing sight to see, the constant freezing and thawing of the ice is damaging to your chimney. The mortar breaks down overall, causing damage to your chimney. Winter weather causes your chimney to expand and contract, which results in your chimney getting cracks, gaps and breaking mortar. This makes your chimney unsafe to use and in need of repair. A chimney inspection should be performed annually and is recommended for all chimney owners. A hazardous chimney is very dangerous and not a problem you want to prolong.
Moisture, or water damage, causes the most problems for chimneys. When moisture from winter weather sits for a long time, it deteriorates all the components of the brick and mortar chimney over time. While the bricks themselves are moisture-proof, the mortar that binds them together, is not. The mortar can erode when water seems into it, causing the bricks to weaken that it is holding together. Some of the damage that can occur when moisture permeates the bricks is:
- The walls in your home can become stained, discolored and ruined
- The metal and masonry of the actual firebox can deteriorate inside the home
- The clean-out area of the fireplace can become clogged
- A bad smell can occur of water and mixed with creosote in the chimney
- Damp parts can rust and fail to function properly
- The cooling and heating system can become damaged
- The outside of the chimney can become stained and cause an unattractive appearance
- The whole chimney structure can bend and fall
The best solution to the problems listed above, is prevention. Prevention from these problems is quite simple. All you need to do is install a chimney cap. A chimney cap is an inexpensive solution to a potentially expensive problem. If you don’t have a chimney cap, large amounts of water can seep inside the chimney. Chimney caps serve other important functions such preventing the possibility of fire that can be caused by sparks flying out of the chimney as well as preventing animals getting inside the chimney.
After you have enjoyed a beautiful and snowy Chicago winter, it is best to call a chimney professional to see if the condition of your chimney has deteriorated. A professional can come out and perform all the needed repairs to get you ready for the next majestic Chicago winter.