Does Snow Cause Damage To Chimneys?
We’re in the middle of the cold winter months, and in some areas, that can mean quite a bit of snow. The greater Atlanta area recently saw its first measurable snowfall in several years. If you’re a homeowner in this area, you might be wondering if snow can damage your chimney. While chimneys are designed to withstand many different types of weather, they are still susceptible to damage from snow and cold. Here’s what you need to know this winter.
Icicles Can Lead To Long-Term Damage
One of the biggest things to watch out for during snowstorms is icicles on your chimney and roof. When too much ice forms on your chimney, it creates an ice dam, which can cause long-term damage to your masonry. An ice dam essentially forces water from melting snow back into your chimney, rather than letting it flow out and off your roof. Over time, that excess moisture can cause your chimney to break down.
Excess Moisture Damages Your Masonry
Even if you don’t have ice dams building up on your masonry, melting snow can still make its way in. If you have any cracks or other structural issues with your chimney, snow and water can make their way inside. When temperatures drop below freezing, the water will freeze in the cracks of the chimney. This causes the bricks and masonry to expand and contract, which results in even further damage.
Protecting Your Chimney From Snow
Luckily, there are precautions you can take to protect your chimney from snow and ice. The first step is to make sure you have proper flashing on your roof and chimney. Flashing seals off your chimney from the rest of the roof, which prevents moisture from getting inside. On top of that, you can also install a chimney cap. As the name implies, chimney caps fit on top of your chimney to keep precipitation, debris, and wildlife from making their way inside while still letting the smoke out.
If you are concerned about your chimney’s ability to withstand cold weather, make sure you are scheduling regular chimney inspections. During a professional chimney inspection, your chimney sweep will assess the structure of your chimney and catch potential issues. If there has been any damage to your chimney, they will suggest a plan of action to fix it.
Ideally, you will want to schedule your inspection before the winter starts. This provides more time for repairs during the warm weather. However, you should still schedule a chimney inspection during the winter if you suspect there are any issues. It’s particularly important to seek professional assistance if your chimney has any cracks or loose masonry, or if you notice any kind of dripping. If your chimney was damaged in the recent snowstorm, Chimney Solutions can help. Although snow is rare in Atlanta, it does happen, and it is very important to be prepared. You can contact us online or give us a call at (770)-874-6504 to schedule an appointment with our CSIA-certified chimney sweeps.