A fireplace may seem like an accessory in the home that does not require serious maintenance. However, a fireplace and its connected chimney, like anything else inside a house, is prone to damage. The masonry and brick of the fireplace and the chimney are just as susceptible to damage as walls and sidewalks outside. Since a fireplace is not exposed to harsh weather elements, damage seems less likely to occur. If weather-related problems create out of the ordinary issues with a fireplace, homeowners positively must look for damage and safety hazards.
Weather Begets Structural Damage
A very rainy summer or a snow-heavy winter means a lot of water resting on top of the roof. When imperfections in the chimney lead to water collecting or dripping down to the fireplace, this could create a problem. If the weather reaches freezing levels, moisture turns to ice and ice creates cracks.
Under certain circumstances, a home's interior could reach freezing temperatures. Turning the heat completely off while away from the property for some time is one way this occurs. A malfunctioning heater would be another. Regardless of the reason, frozen moisture-induced cracks may manifest.
So, what should a homeowner do when severe weather hits?
- Perform a Fireplace Inspection
Look closely at the exterior and immediate interior of the fireplace. Use a flashlight to check as much of the connecting chimney as possible. Doing so should quickly reveal whether or not any cracks are present. Performing the necessary repair work upon discovering the cracks is strongly advised.
- Avoid Patchwork Fixes
Purchasing brick or mortar crack filling products at a home improvement shop is absolutely not recommended. These fillers may not be capable of safely handling the stress and weight of the chimney. Cracks could also eventually grow and expand beneath the filler—filler that is inappropriate for this type of job.
- Call in the Professionals
In addition to being able to properly fix the cracks, experienced fireplace repair professionals are able to adequately determine the extent of the problem. They may also notice other issues that an untrained eye would never see. Catching all that is plaguing a fireplace and the connected chimney leads to the most thorough repairs.
Reacting After Harsh Weather
Many homeowners get into a regular routine for cleaning and inspecting a chimney and fireplace. Breaking that routine and having a cleaning/inspection done after harsh weather hits may be advisable. This way, weather-based cracks and other damage are picked up on immediately.Share