Cold weather in the Midwest means fireplace season — a time many homeowners look forward to. Relaxing before a crackling fire with a glass of wine or a cup of cocoa is one of life’s true pleasures. However, before you strike that match or pull out the lighter during the next cold snap, you should take a moment to consider how our Chicago-area freezing and thawing cycles can negatively affect your chimney.
Frequent Weather Changes Can Cause Serious Damage
We all know that Chicagoland gets extremely cold in the winter and sweltering humid in the summer. However, simple summer and winter temperature variations are not the biggest threat to your fireplace system, which, after all, is engineered to withstand the standard four-season temperature variations. However, when we experience frequent, short-term freezing and thawing cycles, several problems can occur.
How Fluctuating Temperatures Can Damage Your Chimney
It’s not uncommon for our Midwestern temperatures to vary 30 degrees or more between high and low (sub-freezing) temperatures in a very short period. Over the years, frequent freeze and thaw cycles can cause various chimney issues as bricks and mortar expand and contract with each cycle. It’s especially bad when rain or snowmelt seeps into the cracks but doesn’t dry out before the next feeze; this water will expand when it freezes, creating additional pressure on the underlying structure. Here are some of the potential issues caused by freeze and thaw cycles.
- Mortar Cracks & Gaps
- Loose Or Missing Bricks Or Stones.
- Leaning Chimney
- Total Chimney Collapse
How To Prevent Weather-Related Wear & Tear
Unfortunately, every chimney requires maintenance and occasional repair. Weather-related wear and tear is just a fact of life. However, you can take steps to keep your fireplace system in optimal condition so that you can safely enjoy your crackling fires for years to come.
- Schedule regular chimney inspections and cleaning to identify and take care of minor issues before they become major.
- Install a liner for extra protection and to increase your chimney’s life.
- A chimney cap helps keep out water, debris, and pests.
- Ask a professional if a chimney sealant is suitable for your home.
Chicagoland Chimney Inspection & Repair
The fact is, during the swing season, our temperatures can be highly unpredictable, with significant variations during short periods. Failing to promptly take care of weather-related damage could mean putting yourself and your loved ones at risk. This is why Capital Chimney Corp recommends annual chimney inspections and cleaning. Our expert team can identify and repair common weather-related issues and perform complete restoration when repairs are not enough. Call today to find out more about our services and schedule your next inspection.