How to Check Chimneys for Winter Damage from Nexus Chimney Repair

May 11, 2019

Now that it’s spring, it’s a great time to check your chimney to see how the snow, wind, cold, and rain have impacted it, not to mention all the use you got out of it. Before you put your fireplace to bed for the summer, check for creosote build-up and other damage, and schedule a chimney repair if you find anything suspicious. If you get it all taken care of now, you’ll be able to fire up your chimney without any waiting on the first chilly day of fall!

Loose Bricks or Cracked Mortar

When water gets into your masonry (usually via a leak or lack of appropriate sealant) it becomes trapped there, and freezes when the temperatures drop. The water expands when it freezes, putting pressure on the bricks and mortar. As this process occurs over and over throughout the winter, it destroys the chimney from the inside. To make sure your chimney hasn’t fallen victim to a freeze-thaw cycle, look for loose bricks, fallen bricks, or cracked, crumbling mortar.

Other Signs of Chimney Leaks  

It’s also possible that water has squeezed into your chimney, but not frozen—a much more likely event in our balmy Raleigh, Apex and Cary area. This type of water damage is difficult to spot, and will also cause your mortar to crumble from the inside. Look for discolored bricks, bricks with a rust-colored stain; water in your fireplace; or a damp, moldy odor coming from the fireplace. That’s right, it’s possible for a typically-hot area like your chimney to get moldy! Chimney water damage can be extremely costly to fix, so if you spot any of the above signs, be sure to call a chimney repair company as soon as possible. Otherwise, the damage will worsen and be even more expensive to fix.

A Damaged Chimney Cap or Damper

The chimney cap and damper keeps animals, bugs, water, and debris from entering your chimney, so it’s important for them to be in good shape. If the damper is open or broken, it’s pretty much the same thing as leaving a window in your home open; it lets cold air in, and runs up your electricity. It’s common for these items to become damaged during harsh winter storms, and somewhat difficult to spot without physically going up on your roof. If you want to inspect your chimney cap yourself, make sure to invest in a tall ladder and proper safety equipment—or, you could give us a call, and we will be happy to perform your chimney inspection for you.

Get your Apex Chimney Inspection in the Spring!

Spring is actually the best time to check and repair your chimney, because once fall and winter arrive, we quickly become booked up! Since less people want to use their fireplace in the springtime, we are able to more quickly and efficiently deliver chimney repairs and maintenance during this season. If you’d like a chimney repair in Apex NC, give us a call now!