Winter storms can wreak havoc with chimneys. In the Midwest, we regularly see powerful storms that bring snow, wind, hail and ice to our cities and towns. Fluesbrothers Chimney & Fireplace of Kansas City, KS, would like to share four important tips for getting your chimney ready for whatever winter brings.
Tip 1: Have your chimney inspected
Before the cold season starts, schedule a chimney inspection with a licensed chimney technician. You can do your own visual inspection, but a trained technician will be able to see things you can’t. A proper inspection will turn up areas that need repair and parts that need replacing. Having the inspection done in the summer or early fall will allow plenty of time for any work that might be necessary.
Tip 2: Install a custom full-width chimney cap
If there’s no cap on the top of your chimney, your flue is open to all sorts of stuff you don’t want in there. Rain, hail and snow will move into your chimney and can easily begin a cycle of water damage to the flue liner, interior masonry, smoke chamber, fireplace damper and other parts of the system. Along with keeping out winter storm elements, a full-width chimney cap will do two other things for you:
- Prevent small animals from taking refuge in your chimney
- Protect the concrete chimney crown from damage that will send water to the interior areas of your chimney
Tip 3: Consider a top-mount damper
A top mount damper does much the same job as a standard throat damper located just above the firebox. But it also allows you to seal off the top of the chimney when the fireplace isn’t in use.This is beneficial when you want extra protection against moisture inside the chimney flue. Another benefit is that top mount dampers have mesh siding to keep fiery sparks and embers from jumping out of your chimney.
Tip 4: Waterproof your chimney
Two of the biggest reasons for service calls to chimney companies are masonry damage and leaky chimneys. When bricks become loose or cracked, and when mortar joints begin to crumble, trouble is almost always on the way. Damaged masonry will allow water from winter storms (and water from any kind of storm at any time of year) to infiltrate and begin a cycle of chimney deterioration. Severely damaged masonry can lead to major problems throughout the chimney system and eventually cause a chimney to collapse. Your masonry can be protected by having your chimney technician apply a waterproofing sealant. This will keep water away from the bricks and mortar and out of any cracked or decayed areas. Because the sealant is “vapor-permeable,” it will allow naturally occurring moisture to escape the seal and not build up against the masonry.
Fluesbrothers is your best defense against winter storms
The technicians at Fluesbrothers Chimney & Fireplace have endured every kind of Midwest winter storm imaginable. We know how to get your chimney ready for the worst that winter can throw at it. Call us first for chimney repairs, chimney cap installation, top-mount damper installation, chimney waterproofing and licensed chimney inspections. Speak with an expert today at (913) 236-7141. You can also get in touch with our handy contact form.