Winter brings so many wonderful things: skiing, sledding, snuggling down in front of a beautiful crackling fire. A beautiful fireplace is something many people dream about, and it can definitely add value to your home. But along with ownership comes the responsibility of taking care of your fireplace. A big part of taking care of your fireplace is scheduling yearly inspections, cleanings, and maintenance by a certified technician, like those at Old Dominion Chimneys.
What Effect Does Winter Weather Have on Your Fireplace
One reason that an annual inspection is so important for the upkeep of your fireplace is because of the freeze-thaw cycle. The cold weather can have a serious negative effect on the mortar that connects the bricks or stones that make up your chimney. Because mortar is a porous material, precipitation (snow, rain, sleet) will, over time, permeate into it. This may not seem like such a big deal, especially in areas where the winters are mild. But anytime the temperatures dip below freezing, you are dealing with the freeze-thaw-cycle. According to pothole.info, when water freezes, it needs about ten percent more space to handle the expansion that takes place; this is going to cause a crack to appear in the mortar in your chimney. When a thaw occurs, there is now a crack in your mortar, and when it rains or snows again, there’ll be a place for that precipitation to go. When it freezes again, this cycle will continue – with larger and larger cracks appearing. Simply stated, going from freezing to thawing to freezing again can have a devastating effect on your chimney, especially on the mortar.
The Importance of Annual Inspections
Because of the wear and tear that your chimney undergoes throughout the cold winter months, it’s especially important that you have your chimney inspected, cleaned, and repaired on an annual basis. This can not only increase the efficiency of your fireplace, but will also ensure that any damage that has occurred from the freeze-thaw cycle will be repaired. In many cases, a homeowner can actually see the damage that has been caused by the freeze-thaw cycle. If you can see the damage, however, the damage is probably pretty extensive and it’s time to contact a professional. And that’s why Old Dominion Chimneys should be on your call list. The professional team at Old Dominion Chimneys is specially trained to inspect your chimney and repair any damage caused by the freeze-thaw cycle. They can also clean out the creosote build-up that will occur in any well-used fireplace. The professionals at Old Dominion Chimney are NCSG certified and are well-trained in all the latest techniques so that you can rest assured that your fireplace is safe and well maintained. If you make chimney inspection, cleaning, and repair an annual event, you won’t need to worry that the damage caused by the freeze-thaw cycle gets out of hand to the point of needing expensive repairs.
Call Old Dominion Chimneys for all your chimney inspection, cleaning, and repair needs.