Recently, the Nashville area experienced one of the biggest snowfalls in the city’s history with the average amount of eight inches of snow. While the snow was beautiful, it caused damages to homes throughout the region. Freezing winter weather can be especially tough on masonry chimneys, and our staff at Ashbusters have been busy making repairs to snow-related chimney damage. We would like to tell you more about the types of chimney damage that heavy snowfalls can cause and how we can repair this damage.
The Dangers of Ice Dams
Although icicles hanging from the edge of your roof may look harmless, you could actually have an ice dam that is causing the water from melted snow to back up onto your roof. This water can lead to some serious roof problems, including water leaks. One of the main causes of ice dams has to do with the space around your masonry chimney in your attic. If this space is not sealed off or insulated properly, heated air from your home can easily escape, which contributes to the formation of ice dams on your roof. To prevent heated air from leaking around your chimney, Ashbusters provides customized flashing services that will seal off the area around your chimney where it meets the roof. Consisting of metal sheets that are layered and wrapped around your chimney at the roof, flashing not only seals this area, but it also prevents water from entering your home. Our Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney technicians can build a new flashing system for you as well as make repairs to your existing flashing system. We will ensure the metal sheets will allow both your chimney and roof to expand and contract without breaking the seal. If you are experiencing roof problems caused by ice dams, we have experience in working with roofing companies to prevent and repair these problems.
The Effects of Snow and Ice on Masonry Materials
When your chimney is exposed to a large amount of snow and ice, it can cause the masonry materials to deteriorate. Ashbusters typically sees a lot of cracked chimney crowns and loose bricks and mortar joints after snowstorms. Since masonry materials are porous, they absorb water easily. Any water that is trapped inside the bricks and mortar of your chimney will freeze and expand when the temperature drops, and when this water thaws, it can cause the bricks and mortar joints to crack and break apart. If you do not have this damage repaired, you could possibly see major structural issues occur, including the collapse of your chimney. This is part of the reason why the CSIA has called water the greatest enemy of masonry chimneys. Fortunately, Ashbusters knows how to prevent this type of water penetration damage to your chimney crown, bricks, and mortar joints. We offer waterproofing services that can keep water from being absorbed into these masonry materials. If you have noticed cracked or loose bricks or mortar joints, we can repair this damage and then apply a waterproofing formula that is 100% vapor permeable. This means that even though water cannot penetrate into masonry materials, vapors produced during the combustion process can easily escape. We will never use a clear sealant that traps vapors inside the bricks and mortar as this can lead to even more deterioration.
Have you noticed any chimney damage after the snowstorm? Contact us at Ashbusters to find out more about our repair and prevention services that can prolong the life of your masonry chimney.