Winter Thaw and Masonry Issues

As winter draws to a close and warm weather thaws New Hampshire’s ice and snow, it is time to think about annual chimney maintenance. If your chimney wasn’t waterproofed and ready before cold weather, winter weather might have damaged your masonry.

Hidden Damage

When it comes to the proper function of your chimney, there is no such thing as “a little damage”. Any damage to the chimney is too much damage and can decrease safety and efficiency. Scheduling an annual CSIA chimney inspection is the best way to catch winter damage before it worsens and becomes a serious hazard.

Because a large portion of the chimney system is hidden to the untrained eye, damage can go unnoticed. By the time the average homeowner notices a problem, it has caused extensive unseen damage. This type of damage can be prevented by scheduling a chimney inspection. Additionally, there are ways that you can detect damage by simply paying attention to your chimney system.

Signs of Winter Damage

  • A Sudden Decrease in Efficiency
    If your fire is hard to light and is increasingly hard to keep lit, then you might have a problem with your chimney system. Another sign of an issue is that it takes more wood than usual to produce the same amount of heat.
  • A Smoky or Stinky Chimney
    If your fireplace is pushing smoke into your home, it isn’t working properly. There may be an obstruction or damage to the masonry or liner that affects the draft. Additionally, mildewy odors from the fireplace mean there is water in the chimney. Water penetration is the single most detrimental thing that can happen to your masonry.
  • Spalling Bricks and Mortar
    If you begin to notice cracks in your masonry or missing mortar and bricks, your masonry is spalling. This is the result of the freeze/thaw cycle on masonry. First, water penetrates the masonry and freezes, expanding and damaging the masonry. The water thaws and moves further into the masonry and repeats the cycle, resulting in spalling masonry. Spalling can be a minor cosmetic issue or a serious structural issue. A certified chimney sweep can make a determination and correct spalling through tuckpointing, the process of removing the bricks and mortar and replacing it.
  • Interior and Exterior Stains
    Winter damage, depending on the weather can create stains on the masonry that are unsightly and can bring down the property value of your home. Stains on the exterior can be corrected and prevented by applying a coat of ChimneySaver water repellent. Interior stains mean the chimney has a leak. The chimney may need repairs and it definitely needs to be waterproofed.

What You Should Do

When winter is over it is time to think about closing out the fireplace and chimney for the off-season. Part of preparing the chimney for the off-season is to have it cleaned and inspected. Having winter damage repaired at the same time means that your chimney system will be ready for the burn season next year.

Get the ball rolling by scheduling an appointment with a chimney expert now. Call Black Moose today.

First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)