Company Blog

How the Freeze/Thaw Cycle Affects Your Masonry Chimney

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.

How the Freeze/Thaw Cycle Affects Your Masonry Chimney Image - Poughkeepsie NY - All Seasons Chimney

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.

We Love Serving Poughkeepsie

For over 25 years, All Seasons Chimney has been providing comprehensive fireplace and chimney care to the Hudson Valley area, and one of the cities we are proud to serve is Poughkeepsie. Our technicians are all certified by the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and can be trusted to provide excellent and reliable chimney maintenance and repair services. We would like to tell you more about the types of services we offer to the residents of Poughkeepsie.



The majority of national fire safety organizations like the CSIA and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend that you have your chimney professionally swept at least once a year to prevent dangerous fire hazards. When the certified sweeps from All Seasons Chimney perform a chimney cleaning, they will remove all of the accumulated creosote from your chimney and check for any blockages that could cause problems. This service guarantees that your chimney is clean and safe to use.


Using our closed circuit video cameras, the technicians from All Seasons Chimney will examine the accessible parts of your chimney to look for damage and other possible problems. They will also ensure your chimney is structurally sound and that every part of your heating appliance is correctly installed and connected. Also recommended annually by national fire safety groups, a chimney inspection guarantees your fireplace and chimney functions safely and properly.


One of our specialties is relining chimneys. A chimney liner is essential for the safe use of your fireplace or other heating appliance, and if the liner is damaged, you are at risk of a devastating chimney fire or a possible carbon monoxide leak. All Seasons Chimney can repair damaged liners or install a new stainless steel liner to protect your home from fire hazards. We also troubleshoot leaky chimneys to repair leaks and to prevent water penetration with waterproofing and flashing.


The experienced masons at All Seasons Chimney can repair damaged masonry on your chimney as well as rebuild masonry chimneys. We can also construct chimney crowns that cover your chimney to protect it from water leaks.


Not only can the technicians at All Seasons Chimney install prefabricated chimneys, but we can also install different components of chimney systems, including chimney caps, fireplace dampers, and stainless steel chase covers.

Along with all of our chimney services, All Seasons Chimney also provides dryer vent cleaning services that can prevent a residential clothes dryer fire. If you live in Poughkeepsie, contact us for any chimney need you may have.