Did you know that it only takes a little bit of water to some cause some very serious issues to your chimney masonry? Although your chimney was designed to withstand some harsh conditions like high winds, extreme heat, and falling debris, all it takes is a little bit of water and some cold weather to cause your chimney brick and mortar joints to chip, crack and crumble At Northeastern Masonry and Chimney, we come across the issues related to the freezing and thawing cycle all of the time during ours. We want to help you understand why protecting your chimney from the rain in the spring and summer months can help save your masonry in the winter.

How does water harm my masonry?

Although it’s hard to see, there are little tiny pores within your masonry (bricks and mortar). When rain, sleet or snow, lands and settles on your masonry, it can seep into these tiny pores and settle inside your masonry. When this happens, water can pool and since it isn’t exposed to sunlight, it can take a long time to evaporate out of your masonry.

Water alone can cause issues. Since water is a solvent, it can slowly erode your masonry and cause unsightly water stains. However, when water in your masonry is exposed to the freeze/thaw cycle, issues can arise more quickly. When it gets cold enough to freeze, any water that has pooled inside your masonry will also freeze. When this water freezes, it expands inside your masonry, and since it has no room to expand, it presses out on your masonry. Over time, this cycle of freezing and thawing will stress your masonry, causing your brick and mortar to crack, chip, and crumble. Depending on the climate where you live, this freeze/thaw cycle can happen multiple times during a year, hastening masonry issues.

Protect your masonry!

At Northeastern Masonry and Chimney we know how to protect your masonry from freeze/thaw damage. The best way to prevent damage caused by freezing water is to prevent water from entering your masonry in the first place. There are a few mechanisms that have been put in place to protect your masonry. Your chimney crown is a component of your chimney located at its opening. It was constructed out of mortar or cement by a mason when your chimney was first built. You chimney crown forms a gentle slope away from your chimney opening, directing most water from rain, snow, and sleet away from exposed masonry. If your chimney crown is damaged in any way, it won’t work correctly, putting your masonry at risk. At Northeastern Masonry and Chimney our experienced masons can inspect and, if needed, patch your chimney crown for you. We can also make sure other water prevention components, such as your chimney cap and chimney flashing, are also working properly. Finally, we are able to waterproof your masonry for you by filling in cracks and waterproofing your chimney.

Protect your chimney from the freeze/thaw cycle! Call Northeastern Masonry & Chimney at 518-767-9314 or contact us online to talk with one of our masonry experts about keeping your masonry dry today!