If you reside in the Pacific Northwest, especially in and around Seattle, you are probably hyper-aware that the rains are coming. Our cold, drizzly season of rain runs from October through June and combined with cool temperatures, this can mean extra maintenance for homeowners.
Chimney Care in Winter
Your chimney is one of the most important things in your house. You may use it as supplemental heat, maybe even primary heat, and it’s a focal point of your décor. The chimney itself is important for the safety and function of your fireplace. Without a properly functioning chimney, smoke and carbon monoxide will affect your home, cause your fire to burn improperly, and lead to a rise in utilities cost and more. You want to take care of your chimney because it takes care of you. Part of this chimney care is preventative and very important. In order for your chimney and fireplace system to continue working properly year after year, it’s important that you protect it from winter damage each year. There is still time to protect your chimney this year. By maintaining your chimney crown this fall, you can protect against water damage this winter.
Water and Your Chimney
Your chimney’s worst enemy is water. During winter months chimney leaks are even worse, especially in a region with high precipitation like Seattle. If water is allowed into the chimney system by way of a damaged crown, the water will then freeze when the temperature drops below freezing. As water freezes, it expands, breaking apart the masonry it has penetrated. When the water is melted again due to rising temperatures or fire is lit, it runs further into the damaged portions of the chimney. This process called the freeze/thaw cycle repeats throughout the winter, wreaking havoc on a perfectly good chimney system. All this damage and more can be prevented by maintaining the chimney crown.
Chimney Crown Repairs
Your chimney crown may be in good shape. If it was constructed properly and has little damage, it may just need a simple application of a water-repellant. If the crown is badly damaged and threatening to allow water into your chimney system, we can help with that too. At Pristine Sweeps we use a product called ChimneySaver CrownCoat which fills small cracks and large gaps, allows our experts to reshape the top of the crown to shed water, and acts as a flexible waterproofing sealant all winter long. This repair is simple and cost-effective and can save you thousands in damage.
If your crown damage is extreme, the repairs may be extreme. Badly damaged crowns are best trashed so that a new, durable crown can be made for your chimney. In this case, our technicians will custom make a chimney crown according to industry standards that will work together with your cap and flashing to protect your chimney against water damage.
If you haven’t had your chimney system waterproofed, the time is now. We can take care of your crown AND your masonry by applying a water-repellent to your masonry itself!
If you own a home or business in the Seattle area, call Pristine Sweeps at 206-574-8414 to have your crown serviced and your chimney waterproofed now.