January is the coldest time around the country, and that includes North Carolina. But that’s okay because there are so many things to do in Charlotte, North Carolina in the wintertime. Even though you can’t participate in watersports during the winter, you can still enjoy the great outdoors by hiking through man working on chimneythe woods and trails. And there are many fun things to do indoors as well. If you enjoy the arts, try looking into the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center and check out the performances they offer. Whether you like comedy or drama, dance or poetry, there’s something there that you’ll enjoy. For more culture, check out one of the museums in Charlotte. Or take in a Charlotte Hornets game and then hit one of the many bars for drinks and talk over all the highlights of the game. But even though there are some great things to do during the winter, there are some downsides to it as well. One of the problems with the freezing weather is the effect that the freeze/thaw cycle can have on your chimney’s masonry.

What is the Freeze/Thaw Cycle?

The brick and mortar that make up your chimney are porous materials. This means that when it precipitates, the drops of rain, snow, or sleet can permeate these materials. This moisture sits there, and when it freezes, that moisture freezes as well and expands, causing the pores to get bigger. The next time it rains or snows, even more moisture can penetrate and the process repeats itself. As those pores expand, the structural integrity of your chimney may be compromised. The best way to make sure that your chimney is and stays in tip-top shape is to give Owens Chimney Systems a call and let us do an inspection and cleaning.

What Will We Look For?

First off, we’re going to take a good look at the exterior of your chimney to see if there are any loose bricks or crumbling mortar. If this is the case, we may suggest that we perform tuckpointing. During this process, we will use our equipment to pick out all the weak, crumbling mortar and then replace it with mortar that matches your original chimney work. This will help stabilize your chimney’s structure and make sure that the outside of your home looks spiffy as well.

Another sign that you might have masonry issues is that spalling is occurring. If you look on the ground around your chimney and notice white specks or flakes, it probably means that the mortar or bricks are peeling or flaking. This is another sign that water has permeated the bricks or the mortar and that there might be damage that needs to be repaired. It’s important to keep an eye out for these signs and catch the damage early on. If you wait too long, that minor damage will turn into major repairs, and that means major damage to your pocketbook as well.

Another issue that can occur because of weak masonry caused by the freeze/thaw cycle is water leaks. There are several signs of water leaks, and we know exactly what those signs are. We’ll take a look at your dampers to make sure that they aren’t rusted and ill-fitting. We’ll also take a look to see if there are any rusty-looking streaks down the interior of your chimney or if the wallpaper or ceiling of your living area is weak or brown-stained or if your woodwork is moldy or rotting. Another problem caused by water leaks is a cracked or deteriorating chimney liner. If you have water leaks and that moisture mixes with the creosote in your chimney, it can cause a terrible odor that, over time, can permeate your carpet, furnishings, or drapery.

Why Call Owens Chimney Systems

If you’re worried about the state of your chimney, you need to give Owens Chimney Systems a call today. Whether you just need a simple inspection and cleaning or there are major repairs that need to be performed, we are the place to call. First off, it’s important to make sure that the company you hire is Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified, and that’s one of the certifications we hold. When you hold this certification, you have access to the best education and training in the industry. We care about our neighbors and friends and want to make sure that they are kept safe while using their fireplace, and that’s why we make sure that we stay on top of all the best techniques and technologies in the business. We’re also members of the National Chimney Sweep Guild and the North Carolina Chimney Sweep Guild. This is how you know you can trust us with your chimney repairs and cleanings. Make sure you give us a call soon and let us take care of all your chimney needs!