Winter can be a particularly rough time of year for fireplace systems. In addition to heavy use, chimneys are also faced with exposure to the harsh winter elements, including frigid temperatures, ice, snow, and freezing rain. Because of this, many homeowners find that their masonry fireplaces and chimneys are in need of repair when spring finally arrives.
Spring is the perfect time of year to have masonry repair work done. The mild temperatures and conditions allow work to be quickly completed with a minimum of weather-related delays. Likewise, because most homeowners do not use their fireplaces in the spring, our appointments for spring masonry repairs are often quickly filled.
Water damage and your masonry chimney
Chimneys are built strong to withstand the force of the elements. However, even the best built chimneys have one major enemy: water.
Water damage can quickly damage any masonry structure, sometimes in as little as one season. Although bricks are designed to be naturally porous, too much water can overwhelm them. When water is absorbed by the bricks during the winter, it freezes and expands. When the water melts, it leaves behind bigger cracks and holes, allowing even more water to enter the bricks. This freeze thaw process can lead to bricks cracking and even falling away from the chimney structure if left unrepaired.
Water can also find its way into your fireplace and chimney system through defective chimney caps, damaged or improperly installed flashing, or due to a number of other possible causes. Because it can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of water entry and damage, it is recommended to have your entire chimney system professionally evaluated if a leak is apparent.
Why is chimney maintenance important?
While a few small cracks in the brick may not seem like a major issue, if left unrepaired it can quickly turn into one. Unrepaired chimney damage will only continue to get worse, jeopardizing the health and safety of you and your family. Even no longer using the fireplace is a good option; even if you aren’t using your damaged fireplace, the masonry will still continue to decay.
In order to identify and repair masonry damage as soon as possible, it is recommended that homeowners have a chimney inspection performed each year. “A chimney inspection is like an annual dental check-up,” says Ashley Eldridge, Director of Education for the CSIA. “It’s preventative maintenance that helps minimize potential hazards.”
Our masonry services
At Jack Pixley Sweeps, we can do much more than just clean your chimney. We offer a wide range of masonry services for our customers. Since 1977 we have proudly been providing high quality masonry services to our friends and neighbors in the Saint Paul and Minneapolis area.
Unlike a general contractor, our skilled masons are knowledgeable about the codes, clearances, and other safety standards associated with rebuilding and repairing masonry chimneys. In addition, by choosing a chimney company to make the repairs you can rest assured that our masonry work will be not only aesthetically beautiful, but also safe and functional.
Our spring schedule has already begun filling up with masonry repair appointments. If your chimney needs to be repaired, don’t wait any longer – contact Jack Pixley Sweeps today to schedule your spring masonry repairs!