How the Freeze Thaw Cycle Affects Your Chimney

Heard of the Freeze Thaw Cycle? If you live in Illinois, you know what it means to have cold winters. There’s nothing quite so welcome and pleasant as a nice, warm day in the middle of winter. You go outside and hear the snow dripping and feel the heat of the sun on your face. Those days in the middle of winter are rare and must be enjoyed, especially when you know that the cold winter temperatures will be back soon enough. Did you ever stop to think what that nice, warm weather is doing to your chimney? The freeze-thaw cycle can cause significant damage to the bricks and the mortar of your chimney.

What is the Freeze-Thaw Cycle?

The Freeze-Thaw Cycle Affects A Chimney - Chicago IL - Jiminy ChimneyYou know the effects on the snow of the random warm day in the middle of a cold, snowy winter. You can see the snow melting off trees and hear the dripping of water off your roof. When precipitation gets into the porous surface of your mortar or even into the surface of bricks, it pools in the pores and stays there. When the weather freezes, that water freezes as well, and when water freezes, it expands. This causes those pores to get bigger. When the weather warms up, the ice thaws, and there’s room for even more water to collect. As this cycle continues, the pores get bigger and bigger, and this can cause major structural damage to your chimney.

What Will Your Chimney Professional Do?

When you hire Jiminy Chimney Masonry and Repair to come in and check out your chimney, one thing that they’ll be checking for is damage from the freeze-thaw cycle. If they notice that the mortar is crumbly and soft, they may recommend that you have tuckpointing done. Tuckpointing is a process where the mortar is carefully removed from between the bricks of your chimney and replaced with fresh, strong mortar. There are special tools that should be used when this delicate process is performed. It’s important for the outward appearance of your home that the new mortar match up with the old mortar. Although this may seem like a straightforward process, it’s a job that you will want to leave to the experienced professionals of Jiminy Chimney.


Another thing that your chimney professionals might recommend is waterproofing. Once your mortar has been repaired, you can protect it from further water damage by waterproofing it. This process involves ‘painting’ your chimney. They use a substance that coats your chimney and prevents water from getting into the bricks and mortar from the outside while allowing water vapor that is already in the bricks and mortar to escape out. Jiminy Chimney uses ChimneySaver water repellent, which is the best product on the market for keeping the precipitation out while allowing vapors to escape.

Make sure your chimney is strong and protected from the freeze-thaw cycle by calling Jiminy Chimney Masonry and Repair today.