Company Blog

All About Winter Masonry Damage

When you live in the Hudson Valley, you know how brutally cold the weather can be during the winter. Not only do we experience frequent periods of temperatures below snow covered roof and chimneyfreezing, but we can also have winter storms that can leave behind lots of snow and ice in this region. This means homeowners need to be prepared by making sure they have the best preventive measures in place to protect their homes from winter weather damage. One of the most commonly damaged parts of a house by cold temperatures, masonry chimneys can suffer from accelerated deterioration when it is freezing outside. Fortunately, All Seasons Chimney has been taking care of masonry chimneys in the Poughkeepsie area for over 25 years with the highest quality of professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services. We know how to fix winter masonry chimney damage, and after we have made the necessary repairs, we can talk to you about the different preventive service options we provide that can protect your chimney from future masonry deterioration. We would like to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about winter masonry damage that we get each year.

Why is winter weather so tough on masonry chimneys?

To understand why winter weather can cause so much masonry chimney damage, you should know more about the role that water penetration plays in masonry deterioration. In fact, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) has referred to water as the biggest enemy of masonry chimneys. Every time it rains, sleets, or snows, the bricks and mortar joints naturally absorb that moisture because masonry materials are porous. Water penetration leads to erosion, and the CSIA warns homeowners that masonry deterioration can be accelerated during the winter because of freeze/thaw cycles. Also known as spalling, this type of damage occurs when water that is trapped inside masonry materials freezes and expands. As the water freezes and expands, the expansion can cause the bricks and mortar joints to crack and break apart. They could become loose and even fall from the structure of your chimney. Then, when everything melts, the water will flow into those new cracks and the process starts over. Repeated freeze/thaw cycles can result in serious masonry chimney structural damage that could be a safety hazard if repairs are neglected.

How can All Seasons Chimney help me with winter masonry damage?

If you notice damaged bricks and mortar joints on the exterior of your chimney after a period of freezing temperatures, you should contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment with our team of CSIA-certified chimney professionals. We have years of experience with inspecting winter chimney masonry damage, and you can count on us to fully explain how we can restore the integrity of the structure of your chimney. We have been trained in the best masonry repair techniques, which include tuckpointing. After we remove the damaged bricks and mortar joints, we will replace them with durable masonry materials that have been precisely matched to your existing chimney. After we have repaired the masonry damage, we will make our recommendations for the best water penetration preventive services to keep this from occurring in the future.

What options does All Seasons Chimney have to keep water out of my chimney?

For over 25 years, we have specialized in water penetration preventive services, and you can count on our CSIA-certified professionals to ensure your masonry chimney has the ultimate protection against water leaks. You need a chimney cap professionally installed at the top of your chimney, and our expert team can help you find the best cap for your home. We have a wide variety of chimney caps of different materials, and our chimney professionals will properly install it to ensure it keeps water, and even birds and wild animals, out of your chimney. To protect the vulnerable spot where your chimney meets the roof, we can install and repair customized flashing. Our chimney technicians will take precise measurements to properly layer metal sheeting around your chimney to keep water from leaking into your home. For the ultimate protection against winter weather masonry chimney damage, All Seasons Chimney strongly recommends our professional waterproofing services. We only use 100 percent vapor-permeable waterproofing formulas that have been manufactured for masonry chimneys. This means that you will not have to worry about further spalling damage from trapped combustion gases trying to escape. After we have waterproofed your chimney, we will have reduced the possibilities of water penetration to as low as .01 percent! This professional chimney maintenance service is a great investment that will prolong the life of your masonry chimney.

Even though winter has arrived here in the Hudson Valley, it is never too late to protect your chimney from cold weather masonry damage. Contact us today at All Seasons Chimney to schedule an appointment with one of our CSIA-certified chimney technicians. We are here for all of your professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs.

Hire a Certified Sweep for the Job

One of your most important home maintenance responsibilities is scheduling a professional chimney sweeping and inspection appointment at least once a year. These annual services are essential to ensure that your chimney and fireplace system will work efficiently and safely throughout the coldest months of the year, so you want to Understanding CSIA Certification - Poughkeepsie NY - All Seasonshire the best qualified professional chimney sweep for the job. Finding the right chimney professional for your home may seem challenging, especially if you have recently moved to a new place. Unfortunately, scam artists commonly advertise bargain-priced deals for annual professional chimney maintenance services. Although it may seem like you are making a smart money-saving decision, you could end up with extensive and expensive chimney damage that lead to dangerous safety hazards if you choose to hire someone who has not been trained and certified by industry professionals such as the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) [https://www.csia.org/certification.html]. For over 25 years, All Seasons Chimney has provided professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services to the Hudson Valley region, and our team is proud to hold CSIA certifications as chimney sweeps and dryer vent technicians. We would like to tell you more about why we value this professional credential so highly and why you should only hire a CSIA-certified chimney sweep to take care of your annual chimney maintenance responsibilities.

The CSIA is nationally recognized as the leading expert on chimney safety issues.

Whenever Good Morning America, the New York Times, Dateline NBC, Consumer Reports, and other national, regional, and local publications and media need a trusted source for accurate information about chimney safety, they go to the CSIA. Over the past three decades, the non-profit industry leader has worked with countless news and media organizations of every size across the country to promote its mission of preventing chimney fires, carbon monoxide leaks, and other emergencies that involve chimney and venting systems. Our team at All Seasons Chimney is proud to help the CSIA with its commitment to chimney safety by partnering with local news media to help to educate the public about using their chimney and fireplace systems as safely and efficiently as possible.

The CSIA provides chimney professionals with a wide variety of continuing educational opportunities.

After a chimney sweep goes through the initial certification process of taking a two-part exam on the CSIA Chimney and Venting Essentials (2019), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 211 (2019), and the International Residential Code (IRC) (2015), the chimney professional must renew this credential every three years. The CSIA offers a variety of renewal options, such as taking an in-person or online review and exam, obtaining 48 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) over the three-year certification period, and combining the exam with nine CEUs. The CSIA has partnered with the National Fireplace Institute (NFI) to approve courses that can be considered for CEU credits, and the certification renewal committees review and assess these courses based on five areas of focus, which include technical, codes and standards, health and safety, and communication and liability. Our team at All Seasons Chimney enjoys keeping up with the latest technologies and trends in chimney and venting system practices through our continuing educational work because it helps us to best serve our customers with the newest and most innovative products and services in the chimney industry.

The CSIA Code of Ethics protects you as a customer.

When a chimney professional takes the CSIA certification exam or renews this credential, he or she must also sign a stringent ethical code to pledge to uphold certain responsibilities and obligations. Our CSIA-certified professionals at All Seasons Chimney are held to higher standards of performance and professional behaviors, which means you are guaranteed to always be treated in a fair and honest matter by our chimney sweeps. This pledge also includes agreeing to stay up to date with the latest in chimney safety practices and to comply with all local building safety codes as well as with the manufacturer’s installation instructions for every appliance installed. Your safety is our number one priority, which is why we take the CSIA Code of Ethics very seriously. We promise to conduct ourselves in a decent, respectful, and professional manner at all times when we are providing our chimney services in your home.

Since 1983, the CSIA has provided the professional chimney sweep certification credential to homeowners as a way to measure the technical expertise of chimney professionals, and you should always look for this credential when you are hiring a professional chimney sweep. If you live in the Hudson Valley region, All Seasons Chimney is here for all of your professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation needs. Contact us today to schedule your appointment for your annual chimney sweep and inspection with one of our CSIA-certified professionals.