Winter is just around the corner, and the freezing temperatures it brings can do a lot of damage to your masonry chimney, especially if water has leaked into the bricks and mortar. For good reason, the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) calls water the biggest enemy of a masonry chimney. The amount of damage that water can do to masonry materials can cause so much deterioration that your chimney could end up collapsing if the damage is left unrepaired. Here in the Hudson Valley, we experience very cold winters, and All Seasons Chimney knows what the brutally cold weather can do to chimneys. We would like to explain to you exactly what repeated freeze/thaw cycles do to the bricks and mortar of your chimney and how you can prevent this type of damage.
What is a freeze/thaw cycle?
Known as spalling, the freeze/thaw cycle speeds up the deterioration of masonry materials. When water leaks into your chimney, it is absorbed by the bricks and mortar. As the temperature drops below freezing, the water in the masonry materials freezes and expands. When the temperature rises above freezing, the water thaws and causes the bricks and mortar to break apart and crack. This process repeats itself each time the temperature drops, and the repeated spalling can lead to pieces of bricks and mortar falling from your chimney structure. If this damage is left unrepaired, your chimney can deteriorate to the point of collapsing.
How can I prevent spalling damage?
The best way to keep spalling from damaging your chimney is to keep water from leaking into your chimney. All Seasons Chimney offers a couple of services that prevent water penetration. We can design and install flashing systems around chimneys to keep water from entering. Constructed from stainless steel or copper, flashing is the seal between the roof and the chimney. As every chimney and roof have different shapes and dimensions, flashing should be customized to fit perfectly. Our expert chimney technicians can create a custom flashing system for your chimney and roof that will protect your chimney from water penetration. Our other water penetration prevention service is waterproofing. Using a formula that is 100% vapor permeable, we will apply this formula to your entire chimney to provide a barrier that will keep water from leaking into the bricks and mortar, but allow water vapors to escape. If the vapors cannot escape, it can lead to even more spalling damage. Waterproofing your chimney is the best way to keep spalling from ever even occurring.
Protect your masonry chimney from spalling damage this winter. Contact us at All Seasons Chimney to make an appointment for our flashing or waterproofing services.