When winter snow and ice begin to melt and winter weather turns to spring, it can be hard to detect winter damage. Most of the chimney system is hidden, especially to the untrained eye, so unless there are noticeable changes to the system. The best way to diagnose winter damage is to schedule your annual CSIA chimney inspection now. Only a certified chimney expert knows the signs of winter damage, is familiar with the Seattle climate, and knows when best to makes repairs before they become a problem.
Common Winter Damage
At Pristine Sweeps our technicians often diagnose winter damage that ranges from minor, seemingly cosmetic damage like staining, to serious structural damage like spalling and deterioration.
When water penetrates the masonry during winter it undergoes a process called the freeze/thaw cycle, resulting in serious damage. First,the water penetrates the masonry and freezes, causing it to expand and damage the bricks and mortar. It then thaws, moving further into the damaged masonry and repeats the process. This type of water damage should be repaired before spring rains and summer humidity appear. Pristine Sweeps repairs spalling chimneys through a process called tuckpointing in which a certified expert removes mortar and bricks piece by piece and replaces it with new mortar of equal consistency, strength, and color. Pristine Sweeps specialize in masonry repair and all of our masonry work is backed by a five year labor warranty.
Damaged Cap or Crown
Serious snow accumulation can take a chimney crown from a tiny crack to a gaping hole during a full winter of freezing temperatures. A chimney cap, however, when installed correctly should withstand normal winter weather, but sometimes animals and high winds can loosen the caps, causing leaks and winter damage. Pristine Sweeps offers chimney cap repairs and installation that can return your chimney to full protection from weather and wildlife.
Many issues with the chimney can result in chimney leaks. Leaks are best avoided because they don’t only damage your chimney, but can also stain, rust, weaken, and damage materials in your home including ceilings, walls, floors, coverings, and more. A chimney expert from Pristine Sweeps is able to diagnose and repair damage from chimney leaks, but also correct the problem that made the leak possible. The last step to chimney leak repair is to waterproof the chimney to avoid an occurrence later. This is a simple preventative measure that can save homeowners substantially in the future.
The best way to diagnose and repair chimney leaks is to have the chimney inspected at the end of winter. This gives you ample time to make repairs before burning season returns in the fall, and means you can spend the summer knowing that your chimney is taken care of.
Call Pristine Sweeps today at 206-574-8414 and have your chimney assessed for winter damage.