Snowfall Woes: How to Handle Snowfall With A Chimney
Snow can be a problem for homeowners with masonry or factory-built chimneys. Buffalo, New York, is known for its harsh winters and heavy snowfall. The area experiences an average of 98 inches of the fluffy white stuff each year. So, how can something so small and soft be such a menace to a two-ton brick chimney? When snow piles up on your roof and chimney, it can block the airflow. This creates a dangerous situation when the pressure forces smoke and exhaust out of the fireplace like a rocket, which could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Additionally, snowmelt seeps into the bricks of your chimney, causing damage. If the brickwork is already compromised with masonry decay, gaps, and loose or missing bricks, the deterioration worsens exponentially. It can also cause the chimney to collapse. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to handle snow in your chimney like a pro:
Schedule a Professional Chimney Inspection & Cleaning
It is imperative to look for any signs of damage, such as cracks in the bricks or mortar or missing caps, that could further compromise the chimney when the next snowstorm arrives. The Certified Chimney Sweep® will also perform any necessary cleaning to remove soot, creosote, and debris that has built up in the flue. And it will also help to prevent snow from sticking to the sides of your chimney.
Install a Chimney Cap
A chimney cap is an inexpensive accessory that can help prevent thousands of dollars in water damage. It acts like a rain hat, allowing smoke to rise out the chimney while preventing rain and snow from getting inside. A chimney cap will also help prevent birds and other small animals from nesting in your chimney. Felgemacher Masonry & Chimney carries an extensive assortment of chimney caps in various stylish designs.
Parge Your Smoke Chamber
Older homes in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and East Rochester often have chimneys built with corbeled brick, which creates a rough, jagged surface in the smoke chamber. Parging the smoke chamber creates a smooth, clean surface that improves heating efficiency and reduces creosote and snow buildup.
Ensure You Complete Needed Repairs
A functional chimney ensures the safe and efficient operation of your heating system during the colder months, preventing potential hazards like carbon monoxide leaks or chimney fires. Addressing repairs promptly can help to avoid further damage caused by harsh winter weather, such as freezing temperatures and precipitation, which can exacerbate existing issues. Repairs may be as simple as replacing a missing chimney cap or as complex as repointing, flashing repair, or brick replacement. Investing in chimney repairs before winter sets in is a proactive measure that ensures both safety and comfort for your household during the colder seasons.
Waterproof Your Chimney
Applying a specialized waterproof sealant will prevent rain and snow from sticking to the masonry, providing year-round protection against water damage. Just be sure to make masonry repairs before waterproofing. Otherwise, trapped moisture will continue to damage the chimney.
How Do You Prepare a Chimney for Winter in Buffalo, NY
We’re in your neighborhood! Whether you have a gas or wood fireplace, insert, or stove, it is vital to have your chimney, vents, and attached heating appliances cleaned and inspected to prepare your chimney for winter. So, call Felgemacher Masonry & Chimney’s certified professionals at (716) 452-9156 in Buffalo or (585) 684-7197 in Rochester to schedule a visit with a Certified Chimney Sweep® today! You can also contact us online.