What’s the strongest structure in your home? Hopefully, the whole house is pretty sturdy, but it does seem as though the last thing standing would be the mortar and brick chimney system. It is extremely durable and long-lasting, but that doesn’t mean that nothing can bring it down. In fact, there are several things that can cause damage to both the bricks and the mortar of your chimney, and one of those is the weathering effects of precipitation. Although precipitation can wear down your chimney all year long, the freezing temperatures of winter can accelerate that process.

Free-Thaw Cycle

The thing about brick and mortar is that it is porous. When precipitation falls, it gets into those pores and sits, and when the temperatures drop, that sitting moisture freezes and expands, and that causes the pores to get bigger. That leaves more room for the next time it rains or sleets. This cycle continues, and the structure of your chimney weakens. This is one great reason to call Owens Chimney Systems in to check out whether damage has occurred. Not only are we experts at detecting damage, we are also experts at repairing the damage that can occur. If the mortar needs to be repaired, we may recommend the process of tuckpointing, which is removing the old, damaged mortar and replacing it with new, taking care to make sure that the new matches the old. Although this might seem as like a job that isn’t too difficult, it is a job that’s best left to the professionals.


Another thing that can cause damage to your chimney is using your fireplace. That seems like a no-win situation, but it isn’t! Owens Chimney Systems can help with this as well. When you use your fireplace during the winter, moisture and chemicals are released in the form of smoke. The chemicals can cause corrosive effects on the brick and mortar of your chimney, and that’s the reason that you have a chimney liner. We’ll come in and make sure that your chimney liner isn’t cracked or chipped as well as checking out the condition of the mortar and how much creosote has built up.

Creosote Buildup

Another thing that can happen when you burn a fire is creosote buildup. When smoke and chemicals rise up your chimney, particles can condense onto the cool interior of the chimney, especially closer to the top. This buildup is called creosote, and it is very flammable. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) warns that even as little as an eighth of an inch can cause a chimney fire. When we come in, we’ll make sure to clear your chimney of creosote buildup so you can enjoy your fire without worry of a chimney fire breaking out.

For all your chimney repairs and rebuilds, give Owens Chimney Systems a call!