Water is one of the harshest elements. It can really wreak havoc on your home over time. A single storm isn’t likely going to topple your home’s facade. However, over time, the elements are going to take their toll on your home. This becomes evident when you start looking at what water does to masonry. Water damage to bricks starts with a small crack. Then it settles further into the crack after a big freeze, creating serious problem. It’s for that reason that you should not hesitate to waterproof your chimney before winter brings on wetter, snowy, freezing weather.
Bricks Break and Collapse
Brick chimneys only last so long before they break and begin to spall without proper care. Even if you are meticulous about fixing cracks and adding mortar, you are still avoiding the one thing that can truly save the day. Waterproofing sealants are the absolute best way to protect your chimney before damage occurs.
Preventative maintenance is required for nearly everything in life if we expect it to keep nice things. We mow our lawn to keep things looking nice. We change the oil in our car to keep it running properly. We visit a primary care physician and dentist once a year to keep up with our own wellbeing. Keep your chimney and fireplace safe and working properly with a simple cleaning and inspection once or twice per year.
The CSIA (Chimney Safety Institute of America) recommends having your chimney cleaned once each year if you use the fireplace and chimney occasionally. They recommend two cleanings per year with regular use, usually defined as two to three days per week. They recommend three to four cleanings for heavy chimney and fireplace use.
This gets a little confusing to some homeowners because they think chimney use is chimney use. But more use means more creosote buildup. More creosote buildup means higher risk of chimney fires. You can do quite a lot to minimize the number of times you need a chimney cleaning by following these rules:
- Always burn hard wood such as oak, maple, black oak
- Always burn seasoned wood
- Never use a liquid fire starter like lighter fluid, gasoline, or kerosene
- Never burn anything other than wood in your fireplace
Fireplace safety measures and preventative maintenance will keep your fireplace and chimney working properly for years to come. Waterproofing isn’t just something you do in the spring and summer. We still have time to waterproof the chimney before winter hits. Give us a call at 610-626-2439 to discuss your chimney problems or to schedule an inspection, cleaning, or waterproofing.