Your home’s exterior is built strong enough to withstand outdoor elements, including harsh weather conditions. But freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, and ice that accompany the winter season can pose a major threat to your house’s structure, including your chimney.
If your chimney sustains damage, smoke from your fireplace cannot flow properly out of your home. And drafts and other external threats could enter your home as well. Both situations can endanger your property and the people within your home.
You cannot control the weather, but there are steps you can take to keep your home safe this winter. Read on to learn about the dangers your chimney could face in snow and ice and how you can keep your chimney safe from potential damage.
Potential Risks of Winter Weather for Your Chimney
Harsh winter storms can allow high winds to pummel your chimney. It could sustain serious structural damage if debris strikes the structure. Then the foundation of the chimney could crack, disrupting airflow within the flue.
Plus, pests, drafts, and other irritants can easily enter your home through a damaged chimney. You may have trouble keeping internal temperatures regulated and comfortable, which may result in a higher energy bill.
Structural damage within your chimney will put it at risk of moisture damage as well. Your chimney faces exposure to water year-round thanks to rain and humidity. But snow and ice may seep into cracks in the chimney. Then the water molecules will expand in freezing temperatures, worsening damage.
The freezing cycle can allow moisture damage to reach further into your home as well, resulting in damage to your roof, interior, and more. Water damage can happen even if you do not see visible cracks in your chimney, so do not ignore this potential threat.
How to Protect Your Chimney This Winter
You can reduce the risk of harsh winter weather affecting your chimney when you keep up with maintenance. If you take the proper measures to keep your chimney in good shape, it can better resist potential damage from snow, ice, and other weather dangers.
Make sure you schedule an inspection of your chimney at least once a year with a professional chimney sweep company. They can identify leaks and existing structural concerns within your chimney. Then they can repair the damage before harsh weather conditions make the problem worse.
You will also want to get your chimney professionally cleaned on an annual basis. Smoke from your fireplace leaves a film of creosote within the flue that can weaken your chimney structure over time. A chimney sweep can thoroughly clean this residue so that your chimney can stay in good shape. Plus, they can complete the cleaning process quickly and without making a mess.
You should ensure that your chimney has a cap as well. This structure over the top of your chimney can block snow from entering into the flue where the moisture can cause serious problems. But the chimney cap also allows smoke to flow outside with ease for optimal safety. Contact your chimney professional to check that your chimney is ready to face winter weather this year.