Winter can be tough on a chimney. Think about it – your chimney stands exposed to the elements day in and day out, year after year. Moisture that infiltrates brick can freeze and expand, putting pressure on masonry that can lead to gaps and cracks. As the years pass, the cycle continues, along with the effects of precipitation and wind.
Brick and mortar are strong materials, but they do wear down over time – and weather conditions and temperature fluctuations aggravate this breakdown. Have you ever caught sight of a leaning chimney or splitting, spalling bricks? If so, you’ve seen what unaddressed deterioration can do to a chimney structure… and it’s not pretty.
That’s why when spring rolls around, examining your chimney for signs of wear is important. Are there obvious signs of wear? Do you see crumbling mortar? Cracked or spalling bricks? If so, it’s time to schedule some masonry repairs to protect the integrity of your chimney system.
When Should I Schedule?
So when should these masonry repairs take place?
Any time you have chimney system concerns or spot damage, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out to your chimney professional. They will be able to tell you what steps should be taken and make recommendations about timing them. The immediate intervention of reaching out to your chimney technician will also allow you to get your repairs on their books in a timely fashion.
Calling your chimney professional with concerns can happen any time. As far as actually getting masonry work completed, however, the best seasons are springtime and late autumn – and of the two, spring offers some particular advantages.
What Are the Advantages of Springtime Scheduling?
There are a number of reasons that spring stands out as a good time for chimney masonry repairs.
First and foremost, springtime boasts the right conditions for curing. Whether all that’s required is tuckpointing or you need bricks to be totally replaced, your masonry project will require mortar – and new mortar needs to cure. Mortar bonds your brickwork together, which is a critical job. During curing, mortar develops the properties and strength that are desirable to ensure the durability and longevity of your chimney repair.
As soon as new mortar is in place, the curing process begins. It’ll be most successful if the weather is dry and warm – but not too hot – for a length of time. Technically, a masonry project could be completed any time. The work itself could be done year-round. But the curing that’s vital to the success of the project requires warm, dry conditions.
Since chimney repairs or rebuilding is work on the exposed exterior of your home, keep the weather factor in mind. As an added bonus, if it takes place in spring there will still be plenty of time after the masonry has cured to apply waterproofing that will protect it against moisture for years.
Serendipitously, the availability of chimney masonry professionals also tends to be best in spring. Homeowners often schedule inspections and repairs during the fall months in preparation for the colder seasons. This means busy season for chimney sweep technicians, and it can cause delays in booking for clients. Scheduling repairs in springtime is generally easier and the job is likely to be done promptly – meaning a quick, efficient repair, and less concern about running into burn season should a delay arise.
Spring is likely to be a simpler time for scheduling with your pro, and it’s likely to be most convenient for you too. Once burn and home heating season winds down, you won’t be using your fireplace, wood stove, gas or oil furnace chimney until the colder days of autumn and winter return. Taking care of maintenance or repairs in the spring ensures that your fireplace will be ready for the next heating season.
One last thing. If you plan to complete other projects around the house over the spring and summer, leading with masonry repairs is often wise. For instance, if you’re needing work done on your roof, getting your chimney in ship-shape first means less traffic and wear on other roof repairs.
Let Us Keep Your Chimney in Prime Condition
We have over forty years of extensive experience in the chimney industry. In that time, we’ve seen chimneys in all states of repair. Keep in mind that whatever a chimney may need – inspection, restoration, repair, rebuilding – it’s important that the homeowner act to keep their chimney system running safely and efficiently.
Step one? Finding a chimney company that you can trust to partner to keep this important home system running optimally. Look for CSIA certification and positive client feedback.
Step two? Don’t neglect your annual chimney inspections. During an inspection, your chimney sweep technician will examine the components of your chimney system from top to bottom with an expert eye. If there are issues that need attention, your inspection will help you catch them before they become more significant, extensive, and costly. And if masonry repairs are in order, consider getting them underway while spring is in the air!
Ready to schedule? Call us at 703-379-5006 or book online today.