Fireplaces and chimneys transform your home into a warm and cozy environment during the cold winter months. Your family can gather around this welcoming place when temperatures drop. However, your chimney can be vulnerable to damage and malfunctions throughout the season. Here are some of the most common winter chimney problems.
How Winter Can Cause Chimney Problems
1. The Stack Effect
Cold air can leak into your home through your chimney and create an imbalance of air pressure in the lower and upper levels of your home. The negative air pressure can lead to a cold backdraft in your chimney, which causes problems when you want to light a fire. Depending on the situation, you may not be able to light a fire at all or smoke may blow into the room rather than up and out of the chimney.
When your chimney cap isn’t functioning properly and the wind picks up during winter storms, your chimney may become blocked. This chimney problem may also be caused by animals and birds seeking refuge from the winter cold. If a bird has built a nest inside the opening, you may be at risk for a chimney fire.
If your chimney cap is twisted or rusted, the flashing is loose, or the crown is cracked, winter precipitation may get into your house through a chimney leak. Some warning signs include dark spots on the ceiling near your fireplace, mildew on the wood, soft or spongy places on the walls, or dampness inside the chimney.
4. The Freeze-Thaw Cycle
The porous bricks and mortar used to build your chimney can soak up precipitation throughout the winter, which then freezes when the temperature drops, causing the pores to expand. The cycle repeats until the expansion causes cracks in the structure of your chimney. These cracks can allow smoke, gases, and chemicals to leak back into your home rather than out of the chimney, which can lead to health problems for your family.
Get professional help dealing with these chimney problems and much more by contacting The Chimney Sweep in Kernersville, NC. This fireplace inspection and repair company has been serving the residents of Forsyth County and the Triad Area since 1980. The team will use their expertise to handle any winter-related problem your system may be facing while providing excellent customer service. Schedule an appointment today by calling (336) 993-8999 or learn more about the business online.