Review Our Business
Schedule an appointment TODAY!

Old Smokey's Fireplace & Chimney's Blog

How Cold Weather Can Damage Your Masonry

Cold Problems

Cold temperatures do a number on bricks and mortar. (We can’t give you that exact number because it differs with every set of circumstances; the algorithm considers temperature, construction materials, age, duration, etc.,) We do know this: with cold weather comes freeze-thaw cycles. This puts physical stress on chimneys. The freeze-thaw cycle can lead to masonry deterioration and potential risks.

Old Smokey’s understands what damage cold can cause on your chimney. It isn’t cold by itself that inflicts the harm. Moisture is cold’s ally in the Damage Department. Snow and ice melt leaving you with water or moisture. Moisture in your chimney can damage the brickwork, chimney crown, flashing or liner. Freeze-thaw cycles can affect much more than your chimney. You may have to address issues regarding your whole structure.

Brick absorbs water such as melted snow or ice. Gaps, cracks or crumbling in mortar joints can allow this water to spread to other parts of your chimney.

We have witnessed problems like this many times.

What can be done?

The first and most sensible step is a professional chimney inspection. We have to find out what’s going on — if anything.  A layperson may not recognize problems from freeze-thaw cycles. Schedule an appointment with Old Smokey’s today. Call us at 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539 or click here.

Let Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney take a professional look at your chimney’s brickwork. We will assess if damage from the cold, or anything else, warrants chimney repair or rebuild.

Chimney damage from freeze-thaw cycles is fairly common. It can cause a variety of problems, from cracking and crumbling joints and bricks to discoloration and mold growth.

Spalling is a significant potential casualty related to freezing and thawing. Spalling is the surface deterioration of your brickwork. Cracks appear. Pieces of brick begin to form chips and break off. It’s a breakdown that demands attention, often resulting in brick replacement or more.

Weather and time do their “number” on your chimney regardless of the chimney’s age or construction materials.

We can help!

Old Smokey’s can conduct an honest assessment of current conditions and guide you through recommended remedial options. What might these be? One option might be repointing. This involves the removal of eroding mortar joints and replacing them with smooth, new mortar. It’s one of our most common chimney jobs. The tedious task allows us to make good use of our expert knowledge of masonry history, materials, techniques and tools.

Other measures might range from selective brick replacement to chimney rebuilds.

We are proud of our Old Smokey’s trained professionals. Old Smokey’s has delivered excellence to homeowners in northern Indiana, northern Ohio and mid-Michigan for more than 20 years Homeowners from Elkhart, IN to Ypsilanti, MI, from Lansing, MI to Fort Wayne, IN in the south are served by Old Smokey’s. They know our “number.” By the way, it’s 260-424-0009 or 800-876-6539.

The night terrors of a leaky chimney

What’s that drip drip drip in the quiet of the night? You know it’s not the “plop plop fizz fizz oh what a relief it is” of the famous 1965 Alka-Seltzer TV ad (reprised for the 2007 Superbowl). And you know it’s not as terrifying as the beating sound immortally described in “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe. No, it’s nothing like that at all. You typically do not hear ANYTHING from a chimney leak. That actually makes it scarier.

So, let Old Smokey’s Fireplace & Chimney be your chimney-leak Sherlock Holmes.

What are the signs and symptoms of a chimney leak?

Water damaged chimney - Fort Wayne IN - Old Smokey's Fireplace and Chimney

Truth be told, the signs of a chimney leak are more apt to be visual or tactile than aural. The signs might even be olfactory if a leak is causing mold to form. Nevertheless, there are identifiable markers of a chimney leak. Those signs might be on or within the chimney itself or in associated elements within or outside your structure.

From experience, we at Old Smokey’s can share with you several tell-tale signs. Water in your hearth, crumbling mortar joints, visible water around your flashing, damaged roof shingles or cracked brickwork come to mind.

But what are the causes of chimney leaks?

Chimney leaks result from a variety of causes, some rather simple, others more complex. Let’s go over some of these root causes. You may simply be getting rainwater dripping down because you don’t have a chimney cover or cap. It’s possible you have a chimney leak resulting from leaking bricks that because of age and wear simply need replacing. You may have an improper or damaged chimney liner or a damaged flue. A common cause of chimney leaks is bad flashing or bad sealant around the flashing.

Old Smokey’s is both humble and open-minded: you might have a chimney leak from a bizarre and unusual cause we have not seen in 30 years. It’s unlikely but possible.

Why get an inspection?

The best way to sleep at night not worried about the silent danger of a chimney leak is to get a chimney inspection. Only a chimney masonry professional can be the most reliable Sherlock Holmes for detecting brick or mortar erosion, flashing damage or other potential breaches. That’s why the experience and training of Old Smokey’s technicians is a wise investment.

What takes place with a chimney inspection?

It depends on the degree of detail you choose. Old Smokey’s performs three defined levels of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) chimney inspections. The assessments range from observing discernible cracks to sophisticated video scanning. In any case, Old Smokey’s is proficient and adept at finding the causes of leaks.

How are chimney leaks repaired?

Of course, the answer to that depends upon the cause of the leak. Rest assured Old Smokey’s will speak to you in plain English to review the best options to remedy any problems you might have. Whether we are talking proper sealing or new bricks or flashing, we will give you straight talk.

We’ve been serving folks just like you for 30+ years. We’ve built a solid reputation in northern Indiana, northern Ohio and mid-Michigan. Old Smokey’s highly trained service staff are certified specialists. So, don’t hesitate to call Old Smokey’s at 800-876-6539. Oh what a relief it will be.

Recent Posts

Find Posts About