Can You Get Your Chimney Repaired in the Winter?
This is a question asked by a lot of people who live in cold-weather cities. A damaged chimney needs to be repaired – no matter what time of year the issue happens. Yet repairing a chimney during a fierce blizzard seems counterintuitive. So what’s the answer?
The answer is two-fold:
- Schedule all known chimney repairs during warmer months before issues become imminent.
- Schedule winter repairs with an experienced company that knows how to work around the weather.
One thing is certain: you should never use a fireplace if its chimney is damaged or clearly malfunctioning. So when problems happen in the winter, you need to get repair work done quickly, not six months down the line.
Why winter chimney repair is tricky
Your chimney repair technicians don’t love working outside in below-freezing temperatures, but they know it’s part of the job, and they’re ready to solve problems for their customers. The issue of winter chimney repair isn’t with the workers, it’s with the materials.
The mortar compounds used to hold bricks together doesn’t set up as well when it’s very cold as it does during moderate weather. If your chimney has serious brick damage and requires either partial or complete rebuilding, a lot of mortar is going to be used in the job.
Another challenge with repairing chimneys during the cold months is that frozen moisture within the masonry makes it difficult to diagnose the extent of water damage. It’s easier for technicians to assess damage after the normal freeze-thaw winter cycle is over. But, again, there are ways to work through this, if necessary.
How can chimney repairs be done during the winter?
Chimney service companies that keep up with the latest products know about newer masonry materials that are effective for repair jobs when the temperature drops below freezing.
Even “traditional” materials can be used during the winter, if technicians use tarps effectively to keep damaged areas of the masonry dry and warmer. Innovative use of heaters also will help keep the work areas warm to allow for proper repair.
Leading chimney sweep and chimney repair companies that are located in cold areas have devised many ways to get damaged chimneys repaired safely and thoroughly during inhospitable weather.
Who you choose to repair your chimney makes all the difference
We talked about reputable chimney repair technicians for winter repairs, but experienced and licensed techs are critical for repair work at any time of year.
Chimneys may appear simple if you just look at them, but repairing them correctly can be a complex job that requires significant knowledge and training. The company or individual you choose to make repairs to your chimney should:
- Be insured and licensed to perform work in your state and jurisdiction
- Be certified through the Chimney Safety Institute of America
- Have verifiable experience in winter chimney repair
- Supply references of previous satisfied customers
- Have a positive reputation (preferably long-standing) in your community
- Treat you well and answer your questions in a way you can understand
If your chimney is showing signs of problems in the dead of winter or any other time of year, Felgemacher Masonry & Chimney of Buffalo, NY, is ready to help. We’re a family-run business operating in the Buffalo and Rochester regions since 1953. We know what it takes to get your chimney back into top shape fast.
Call us year-round at (716) 907-4914 in Buffalo or
(585) 308-4914 in Rochester.