A lot of folks are thanking their lucky stars that March is finally rolling in. All over the United States there has been record-breaking winter weather; snow, sleet, hail and ice have all taken their toll on homes across America. If you use your fireplace or wood-burning stove to heat your home, then you’ve likely gotten your money’s worth this winter. Because of the drastic weather we’ve had this year, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of any chimney damage.
Ice Damming Can Damage Chimneys
Snow and ice build up is a serious concern for many homeowners when the weather gets cold. Ice damming is a real problem during the winter months, and this year has affected the Southeast United States more than usual. When rain and freezing rain hits a roof and freezes solid before it can drain through the gutters it can get trapped and cause what is known as an ice dam. This can cause terrible damage to your roof, but it can also damage the masonry of your chimneys. If you’ve had a lot of freezing rain, inspect your gutters and be sure to call a professional gutter cleaner if you suspect an ice dam.
Snow, Hail and Rain Inside Chimneys Can Cause Damage
If you’ve stayed diligent in your chimney repair and maintenance, you’ve likely installed a top sealing damper or a chimney cap. These easy-to-install add-ons to your chimney can prevent moisture from entering. Without them, the winter elements can leak into your chimney and cause serious problems. Not only can the moisture damage the brick and mortar of your chimneys, but also a build up of moisture can cause the fires in your fireplace or stove to not burn hot enough. Fires that aren’t burning hot enough are not only inefficient at heating your home, but can also leave behind creosote, a potentially harmful chemical trapped inside your chimney.
Prevention Is Key When Avoiding Winter Chimney Damage
With due diligence, you can keep your chimney and fireplace in top working order. As with many homeowner responsibilities, prevention is the best way to avoid costly and potentially dangerous damage to your home. Some additional steps you can take to avoid winter weather chimney damage are:
Have the inside of your chimney professionally lined to protect the inside.
Carefully inspect your roof and chimney after a big storm.
Have a professional remove ice build up from your gutters after a lot of rain or freezing rain.
Professionally clean your fireplace before and after the winter season.
A professional chimney sweeping company like Billy Sweet Chimney Sweep in the Boston, Massachusetts area can help maintain your chimney year after year. Before you light your first fire, have a certified inspector thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior of your chimney and fireplace. If your chimney sweeping company recommends masonry repairs have them completed well before you plan to use your chimney to heat your home. Not only will an inspection prevent costly damage, it will also help you burn efficient fires that will provide warmth and comfort during the worst winter weather.