If you’re lucky enough to be a homeowner with a fireplace, you know exactly how beneficial it is to have one during the winter months. It adds a comforting source of warmth as the air gets chillier and it provides the perfect gathering spot for the family during the holidays. The temperature change tends to be hard on your chimney system leading to breakdowns at the time of year when you need your fireplace the most. 

Winter isn’t the easiest time of year to complete chimney repairs, but the skilled chimney technicians at The Chimney Doctor can get the job done year-round. If you need to book a service, call us at 901-388-8097 or schedule your appointment online today.

Can a Chimney Be Repaired in the Winter?

The short answer is yes – we can perform chimney repairs in the winter. That said, it is a little more complicated. Fixing a chimney in the winter often presents challenges for chimney professionals due to the following reasons:

  • It can be unsafe for our technicians. A chimney technician will often need to get up on your roof, depending on the type of repair you need. Working at heights is already dangerous and gets more hazardous when ice and snow are thrown into the mix.
  • Cold weather slows down the curing process. Let’s say that you notice that your fireplace isn’t giving off enough heat. An inspection reveals several cracks in the flue and you need to have your chimney relined. After some consideration, you choose to reline the flue with the HeatShield® Resurfacing method. This is a repair we can do in the winter, but the HeatShield® sealant will take longer to dry due to cooler temperatures.
  • It’s harder to access parts of the chimney. When it gets colder, the ground around the chimney freezes. If you have a sudden event that calls for a level 3 chimney inspection, it’ll be more difficult to dig up the ground to access the chimney’s foundation.
  • It’s more difficult to diagnose problems. If there is ice or snow present, the chimney technician may not be able to accurately view and assess the damage – and therefore recommend the correct repairs.

What Are the Most Common Problems That Chimneys Face in Cold Weather?

Winter is especially harsh on masonry because of the freeze/thaw process. Brick naturally absorbs water which freezes as temperatures drop. The masonry expands when the water freezes, then it contracts when the water melts as the weather warms up. The cycle repeats and it takes a toll on the chimney. Eventually, the masonry will crack and break down. You’ll start to see problems like chipping bricks and gaps in the mortar.

Moisture wreaks havoc on a chimney and surrounding home structure components. Snow collects on rooftops during storms which introduces water to vulnerable parts of your chimney system. It’s common for us to also see damaged chimney caps, crowns, and flashing and water damage to ceilings and walls. 

When Is the Best Time for Chimney Repairs?

You should schedule at least one chimney inspection and cleaning per year. Spring and early summer are the best time for homeowners to book chimney maintenance. It gives us a chance to identify problems with enough time for us to come back for follow-up appointments – and in ideal weather – before the burning season begins.

A lot of homeowners put off chimney maintenance until the last minute, and our calendar fills up over late summer and fall. It can be tougher to find time to book chimney repair services during this time, so we suggest setting up an appointment earlier in the year to secure the times that work best with your schedule.

original infographic stating tips for preventing wintertime chimney damage

How Can I Prevent Winter-Related Chimney Damage?

Winter is a time for joy and holiday festivities – you should be able to focus on spending time with your family instead of worrying about fixing your chimney. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to protect your chimney from frosty weather:

  • Schedule annual chimney maintenance. Book your chimney inspection and cleaning – preferably in the spring and summer. 
  • Don’t delay repairs. If we find a problem during our inspection, try to schedule an appointment for repairs right away. 
  • Invest in waterproofing. The easiest way to protect your chimney from moisture is to waterproof it. The Chimney Doctor uses ChimneySaver water repellent to provide a watertight coating that gives you 10 years of protection against damage and leaks.
  • Install a chimney cap. If you don’t already have a cap, schedule an appointment with us to have one installed. We offer custom caps to keep rain, snow, animals, and debris out of your chimney.

Need Chimney Repairs During the Winter? Call the Chimney Doctor

When you have a problem with your chimney, don’t wait to get it repaired – even in the winter. Putting off repairs can lead to more expensive issues that are harder to fix down the line. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, The Chimney Doctor is here for you. Schedule an appointment with us online or by calling 901-388-8097.