Even though the air is starting to blow warmer and spring is just around the corner, a true Wisconsinite knows that there can still be some pretty cold days before spring is here for good. Did you know, though, that these on-again, off-again cold days can present a real danger to the structure of your chimney? In fact, because of something called the freeze-thaw cycle, there is even more of a threat this time of year, when the weather goes from warm to cold and back again on a daily basis, than during the cold winter months.
What Is The Freeze-Thaw Cycle?
Have you ever heard the saying, after someone has run into something, that it was like hitting a brick wall? This means that it was something very solid, something that would be impossible to knock down. Well, even though the brick and mortar of your chimney system looks extremely solid, the fact is that there is something that can damage it, and that is the freeze-thaw cycle. The bricks and mortar of your chimney are actually porous materials, and when precipitation hits, the drops of moisture can seep into the pores and rest there. When the weather freezes, this moisture will freeze solid. When moisture freezes, it expands, and that’s exactly what happens inside the pores. When that expansion occurs, it causes the pores to get bigger as well. This cycle continues, with the pores finally expanding to the point of causing cracks in your chimney. This can cause the structure of your chimney to be damaged, and over time, major repair work will be called for.
One sign that your mortar is in trouble is a condition called spalling. This is when your bricks or mortar begin to flake away because of the damage caused by the freeze-thaw cycle. If you take a walk around the outside of your house and see flakes of white on the ground by your chimney, it’s a pretty good bet that spalling is occurring and it would be a good idea to have the professionals from Chimney Concepts come in and conduct an inspection.
What Can Be Done?
If we come in and find out that there is damage to the mortar of your chimney, we’ll probably recommend a procedure called tuckpointing. This is simply the process of removing the old mortar and replacing it with new, being careful to match the old mortar so that the look of your chimney remains smooth and seamless. Although this may seem like a simple process, it does work best with the special tools and expertise offered by Chimney Concepts. Why undertake a time-consuming, picky task yourself when you can trust it to a company that has done the job many times.
If you suspect you may have damage from the freeze-thaw cycle, give Chimney Concepts a call today and let us get started making the necessary repairs!