Homeowners that are fortunate enough to have a fireplace will testify to how important it is having one during the cold months of the year where the house could use a little extra boost. It is difficult to recapture the feeling of a natural wood fireplace, or even a natural gas fireplace to help reduce home energy costs.
What happens though when you go to get the fireplace ready for the winter? You schedule an inspection of the chimney only to find out it needs work before it can get cleared for use. Can chimneys get repaired in the winter?
Best Time to Repair Chimneys
The truth is most masonry repairs take place during the warmer months of the year for a reason. The warmer weather allows materials to cure properly. Summer repairs are also more beneficial as skilled repairmen can remedy places where moisture has gone through its freeze/thaw cycle and revealed exposed areas. The same cannot be said of the winter months.
As a result, it is a good idea to get ahead of the game when it comes to chimney repairs. Unfortunately, too many homeowners wait until the late-fall to get their fireplaces inspected. By then it is close to being too late to get the masonry repaired correctly before the weather gets too chilly.
While it’s not impossible to make chimney repairs in the winter it isn’t recommended if you want the best job done. Therefore, you can buy yourself more time by having the chimney inspected in the early spring, or shortly after you are done using the fireplace for the year.
It will buy you months of time to save up and make the necessary repairs before it’s time to use the chimney once again in the fall or winter.
Masonry Chimneys & Cold Weather
It isn’t common to receive a list of recommended repairs from a chimney professional before the unit is determined safe to operate for you and your family.
It is traditionally recommended that homeowners avoid making repairs to the chimney in the fall and winter because the conditions are not ideal. Masonry chimneys are known to deteriorate due to water damage and wind. Furthermore, some are inherited from the previous homeowner either from poor construction or lack of maintenance.
Chimneys that are repaired during warmer months have more ideal weather conditions to allow the materials to cure properly. It also correctly addresses water issues. Chimneys that absorb moisture must pass through the freeze and thaw cycle to reveal major problems. In the winter, it’s difficult to diagnose these repairs since most of the masonry is still frozen.
If your home is revealing water damage like leaks around the chimney, ceiling, or attic you should get them fixed in the summer for the best rate of success. Furthermore, chimney repairs are sometimes done in conjunction with roof repairs. Once again, the summer months are the best time to fix a poor roof.
Roofing & Chimney Repairs
As previously mentioned, it isn’t common to have to make roofing repairs at the same time as chimney repairs in order to fully address water damage issues.
If you ask the experts, most recommend not only doing both types of repair at the same time and during the warm months of the year, but also in a certain order. Experts recommend making chimney repairs first, roofing repairs second. Why? Repairmen will put a lot of traffic and potential wear on a roof while making chimney repairs. You might as well get the roof repaired after the foot traffic is reduced.
When you gather quotes for chimney repairs consult the report given at the inspection. It may mention things like if the masonry surrounding the chimney needs to be waterproofed, flashing needs to be replaced, the crown repair is recommended, or chimney crickets need to be established.
All of these chimney repair services are recommended during warm weather. The same is true of major chimney repairs like completely rebuilding the chimney or relining it. If you wait too late you may have to go through a winter without being able to use your fireplace. As a result, try not to procrastinate once repairs are advised.
Chimney Repairs in the Summer
Even though it’s recommended that most chimney repairs take place in the summer very few homeowners follow this golden rule. Unfortunately, they wait until late-fall to get the fireplace inspected. By then, it’s nearly too late to schedule and make necessary repairs before the weather gets too extreme. It basically forces you to have to go an entire winter without using the unit.
In order to avoid the dilemma, we recommend getting started on the inspection in the early spring. In fact, it could save you money!
Get Chimney Repair Early
It pays to get ahead of the ball. Don’t get bombarded by last-second repairs to your chimney when it’s not advised to make repairs during the winter. It is more expensive, a hassle, and the repairs are less likely to get completed correctly.
Instead, get your fireplace inspection done early and conduct chimney repairs in the summer in order to keep your home safe from fire hazards, carbon monoxide exposure, and pest infestations.
Most homeowners in the Midwest go with Vertical Chimney Care for chimney maintenance and repairs. To improve the functionality of your chimney, it’s also best to go with chimney cleaning for at least once a year. Contact us today to speak with a product specialist!