Chimney Repairs to Complete before Winter
Winter is just around the corner, if you’re like most people then there are probably chimney repairs that still need attention. When projects stack up, prioritizing which chimney repairs must be done before winter is the winning strategy. Repairs that will not include using cement, bricks, or mortar should be safe to do all year round but repairs using those materials should be done in warmer weather.
Why should Brickwork be done before Winter?
Brickwork using mortar needs time to dry properly or “cure.” In warm weather, the heat helps to evaporate moisture causing faster drying times. But in the winter, slow evaporation means longer drying times.
A chimney that has newly laid brickwork of any kind can’t be used until it is completely dry, some professionals say around 28 days. This would delay the joy of using your fireplace, most likely during the holiday season. Not to mention that in the meantime added moisture from snow and rain can cause water damage, so all the money and time that was spent on the job could essentially be wasted.
Common Pre- Winter Repairs
This is where old mortar is removed, and new mortar is spread between bricks to fill in gaps. It is always advised to carry out this job when there is no heavy precipitation the day before or several hours after. A temperature above 40 degrees is recommended. So, this is a task better left to the warmer weather of fall rather than the biting cold of winter.
The crown is a cement portion on top of your chimney to protect the chimney from water damage. Cement will have the same struggle with drying times in winter, that is why it is advised to take care of any rebuilds or repairs while the weather is still warm.
There are chimney repairs that can be done throughout the winter months such as installing a new chimney liner or chimney cap, or damper repair but if major chimney repair or brickwork is called for it’s best to take care of it in the fall or wait until the spring.
Now in emergency cases where waiting till spring is just not possible, professionals have ways to repair severe damages in winter. Heat lamps can be used to keep materials from freezing and tarps to keep materials dry, but such repairs may experience delays.
The ideal time for masonry is spring and fall.
When Should You get a Professional Opinion?
If you have not had a yearly inspection or cleaning, then calling a professional is always a good start. If you are not sure about the extent of damage to all the parts of your chimney including the chimney crown and flashing (part of the chimney that connects to the roof) it is best to call a professional who can inspect these areas and let you know where you stand. Avoid experiencing severe chimney issues in the middle of winter by getting your chimney inspected so that when winter rolls around you can sit back and enjoy your fireplace. Call us today, at GA – (706) 833-4630 or SC – (803) 508-3990 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.