How Weather Affects Your Chimney: Tips for All Seasons
As chimneys go, there is a comprehensive topic that can help you stay safe and save you money. It is how the weather affects your chimney–tips for all seasons. There may be a lot more going on up there on your roof than you ever suspected, other than possible reindeer making a visit come December 25th. Our Certified Chimney Professionals® at Guardian Chimney Sweep have either seen it all or been trained about every seasonal event that may arise.
Winter Chimney Problems
The harsh weather in winter can wreak havoc on chimney exteriors. When it’s particularly icy outside, the chimney draft can be affected, as well. In the season when the best perk may be the making of fireside memories, diligence may be needed to avoid disruptions. Winter has the most variables, as far as how the weather affects your chimney–tips for all seasons. The following are among the things to be aware of:
Spalling: If moisture has entered the chimney system, the damage to bricks may include spalling. This is when the brick face flakes, breaks, and chips off. It’s not difficult to identify that spalling has occurred. Debris will collect around the chimney or on the ground below.
Chimney Leaks: Bricks damaged by moisture could manifest that fact in winter. After freeze and thaw cycles, the destruction of masonry may result in chimney leaks.
Chimney Crown Damage: The white part of the chimney at the very top is the chimney crown, and it is susceptible to damage. Harsh winter weather could cause cracks to develop, resulting in moisture entering the chimney system.
The Stack Effect: A cold column of air inside the chimney may make it impossible to light a fire in the fireplace. The cause of this “stack effect” is usually that the chimney is on the exterior of the home and the weather is especially frigid. Prime the chimney to dispel the cold air.
Chimney Surprises in Spring
The biggest chimney surprises that countless homeowners have experienced in the springtime can be avoided by installing a chimney cap with mesh. The mesh keeps out animals in the season when they seem most attracted to chimneys. Bats, snakes, squirrels, rats, mice, and raccoons are known to make their way into chimney flues in Texas. They are all problematic, especially if they can’t get out and eventually decompose, creating a horrendous odor.
Then there is the chimney swift, a federally protected type of bird. They nest in chimneys and must be allowed to stay once they’ve claimed a chimney as their spring abode. Cleanup of bird waste is one of the resulting problems not easily resolved, and listening to the noisy cries of hatchlings is another. Always call qualified chimney sweeps for animal removal and other related issues. It is a dangerous job for a layperson to tackle, between working on the roof and exposure to possible rabies and other contaminants.
Summer Shines for Chimney Services
For several practical reasons, summer is the best time to schedule a chimney inspection and make masonry repairs. The likelihood that chimney masonry damage has occurred in the past year is greater than you might imagine. The flue liner is a critical chimney component, and it may need to be replaced before your fireplace can be safely used. You will beat the mad rush that occurs every fall and winter if you give attention to your chimney in summer.
The most convincing reason to schedule chimney maintenance in summer is because summer provides the ideal conditions for masonry repairs. Temperatures have an undeniable impact on the ability to conveniently make repairs and on the durability of the repairs made. If it becomes necessary to repair exterior chimney masonry in winter, the cost is potentially much higher. That’s because it often requires chimney sweeps to create the environmental conditions required for masonry materials to perform.
Chimney cleaning should be scheduled in summer, as well. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, the creosote in the chimney may cause odors in your home. Fire safety experts recommend chimney cleaning annually or when at least 1/8” of creosote is layered inside the chimney flue.
Chimney Maintenance in Autumn
Fall is the season of anticipation in the Conroe and the Greater Houston Area. It’s important to get your chimney and fireplace ready because appropriate weather that invites cozy fires may be rare. You never know when that first opportunity to use your fireplace will blow through. This is the season to be sure prep is complete.
Here’s a handy checklist:
- The chimney has been inspected.
- Creosote and other blockage have been removed from the chimney flue.
- The chimney liner is fully intact.
- The chimney cap is watertight, and the mesh is in good condition.
- Firewood is seasoned.
- If a gas fireplace, it has had a professional inspection and cleaning since last winter.
We Provide Reliable Chimney Services for Every Season
Guardian Chimney Sweep has qualified chimney sweeps trusted by homeowners throughout Conroe and Houston. When you know how the weather affects your chimney–tips for all seasons, you can see why chimney maintenance provided in the best season can save you money. We are proud that the work we do impacts the safety of Texas families, and we are also confident. That’s why we offer a satisfaction guarantee.
Contact us at Guardian Chimney Sweep today! Fill out our contact form or call us at the phone number below that’s closest to your South Texas home.
• Conroe: (936) 271-9781
• Houston: (713) 401-2011
• Outside Houston Metro Area: (888) 306-6069 (Toll-Free)